early baroque vocal music

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  1. 1. Vocal Music in the Baroque 1600 - 1750
  2. 2. Opera Opera is born in the Baroque The word opera means work Originally opera drammatica in musica, meaning dramatic work in music Opera is entirely sung in the Baroque Focus is on the solo singing Text is called the libretto
  3. 3. Libretto Literally means little book The libretto is the text or script of the opera Librettist: the writer of the libretto Usually a poet working with the composer
  4. 4. Early Baroque Opera Opera in the early Baroque is different in many ways from late Baroque It was based on the musical reforms and philosophies of the Florentine Camerata
  5. 5. Florentine Camerata Late Renaissance group of humanist intellectuals in Florence, Italy Sought to improve music by returning it to classical (ancient Greek) dramatic ideals Believed (incorrectly) that Greek drama had been sung in a declamatory style Developed monody as an approximation of Greek dramatic style
  6. 6. Florentine Camerata Their efforts led to the first opera, Jacopo Peris Dafne Opera grows in popularity The first opera that is still performed today is Monteverdis LOrfeo
  7. 7. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Transitional figure from Renn. to Baroque Mantua, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga (1590-1612) Embraces the new style Baroque secunda prattica 5th book of madrigals (1605) His first opera, is the first operatic masterwork Orfeo (1607)
  8. 8. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Leaves Mantua court for Venice cathedral Prominent position for sacred music Allowed the freedom to accept commissions Composed operas for other venues Return of Ulysses (1641) Coronation of Poppea (1642) One of the most significant composers in music history
  9. 9. Monody Monteverdis Orfeo is primarily monodic Homophonic texture Solo vocal line with chordal accompaniment Rhythmically free No meter approximates natural rhythm of speech Slight differences between aria and recit.
  10. 10. Listening Example Title: Tu se morta from LOrfeo Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Genre: Opera
  11. 11. Notes on Tu se morta Continuo accompaniment varies Bass lute Harpsichord, bass viol, and bass lute Organ and bass lute Word painting in the arioso Subtle lyricism not quite an aria
  12. 12. Listening Example Title: Possente Spirto from LOrfeo Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Genre: Opera
  13. 13. Notes on Possente Spirto Begins with brief sinfonia (instrumental intro) Extensive ornamentation of vocal line Much more active melodically Increased involvement of orchestra Trumpets and violins punctuate his phrases Continuo is still present (organ, bass lute)
  14. 14. Evolution of Opera As genre matures, the various components of opera become more specialized and elaborate Much greater difference between recitative and aria Music becomes more rhythmically structured regular meter
  15. 15. The Components of Opera Opera combines many diverse elements Vocal music Instrumental music Acting Scenery and costumes Dancing
  16. 16. Recitative Based on the ideals of monody Rhythmically free, no meter Declamatory, speech-like singing style Mirrors the natural rhythms of speech Recitative presents the plot and the action Often used for dialogue Helps build emotional tension
  17. 17. Vocal Music of Opera Soloists Ensembles (small groups singing together) Duets Trios Quartets Chorus (large group of singers)
  18. 18. Solo Singing Two kinds of solo singing in opera Recitative Aria Recitatives involving multiple singers are like conversations: one sings after another Ensembles are sung in aria style, though the term aria by itself refers to a solo
  19. 19. Two kinds of Recitative Semplice (simple) or secco (dry) Accompanied only by basso continuo Very speech-like, many repeated notes Early opera uses simple recitative almost exclusively Accompagnato (accompanied) Accompanied by the orchestra More lyrical than simple recitative Later opera uses a combination of the two
  20. 20. Aria Italian word for air or song More lyrical than recitative Clear meter and rhythm Arias express emotion Focuses on emotion of a character in the story Does not advance the story Da capo arias became a very popular form
  21. 21. Arioso Not as widely used as recitative and aria The midpoint between the two styles More lyrical than simple recitative More declamatory than aria
  22. 22. Da Capo Aria This aria form became popular later in the Baroque period Da capo is Italian for from the top This is an aria with a specific structure A-B-A form Section A is sung followed by section B After section B, section A is repeated with embellishments
  23. 23. Instrumental Music of Opera Orchestra accompanies arias, accompagnato recitatives, and sung ensembles (duets, trios, etc.) At times the orchestra plays instrumental pieces Prior to the start of the opera, a piece is played This is usually called an overture This lets the audience know the opera is starting During scene changes, music is played Names for these pieces vary: sinfonia, interlude, etc.
  24. 24. Basso ostinato Any repeated pattern in music is an ostinato Ostinato means obstinate, or stubborn A repeated bass melody is a basso ostinato Baroque lament arias often sung to a descending basso ostinato
  25. 25. Henry Purcell (1659-1695) Born in London area (Westminster) Father was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal Organist at Westminster Abbey and later at the Chapel Royal Composed for both the church and court Died young, most likely of TB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Purcell
  26. 26. Henry Purcell Composer of one of the first English operas Dido and Aeneas Composed for a Chelsea girls school Taken from Virgils Aeneid The final aria, Didos Lament, is very famous
  27. 27. Listening Example Title: When I am laid in earth, from Dido and Aeneas Composer: Henry Purcell Genre: Opera
  28. 28. Notes on When I am laid in earth The aria is preceded by an unusually expressive recitative: Thy hand Belinda Listen for the descending line of the ground bass (basso ostinato) Notice the emotional expression the purpose of an aria
  29. 29. Summary of Baroque Opera Opera has many components Vocal music Instrumental music Acting Scenery and costumes Dancing The vocal music is also varied Solo singing Ensembles Chorus
  30. 30. Summary of Baroque Opera Solo singing is done in two styles Recitative Secco Accompagnato Aria Da Capo Aria Text of an opera is called the libretto Operas varied regionally across Europe
  31. 31. Oratorio Began as small scale religious plays Grew to be essentially an opera without the staging: no costumes, no scenery Same use of recitative and aria Accompanied by orchestra
  32. 32. Oratorio Usually a religious theme Always deals with weighty subject Handel is best known composer of oratorio Great deal of musical similarity between oratorio and cantata, but oratorios are much longer
  33. 33. Cantata Cantare Italian for to sing Smaller performing forces Much shorter than opera or oratorio
  34. 34. Early Baroque Cantata Earliest cantatas were short, usually secular, and heavily influenced by monody The genre originates in Italy out of the same desire for textual expression as opera One or two singers usually performed a poetic setting with basso continuo The poem is usually set in several contrasting sections
  35. 35. Later Baroque Cantata Much more like a small scale oratorio Consists of all operatic characteristics Recitatives Arias Ensembles Choruses Orchestra
  36. 36. Sacred Cantatas of J.S.Bach Cantata integral to Lutheran church service New cantata required every Sunday Yearly cycle approx. 60 cantatas One per Sunday plus holidays/special occasions Usually 5 to 8 movements Bach composed 45 cycles (only 200 extant) Frequent use of Lutheran Chorale
  37. 37. Lutheran Chorale Chorale is the hymn tune Sung by the congregation Originally sung in unison Later set in 4-part harmony, melody in soprano (top voice) These 4-part settings referred to as a chorale Chorale unifies the cantata