Baroque period part 2

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Baroque period part 2

  1. 1. Baroque Opera <ul><li>A major development of the Baroque era was the opera </li></ul><ul><li>An opera is a drama or play that is sung to musical accompaniment </li></ul><ul><li>It is a fusion of music, poetry, acting, dance, scenery, and costumes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a theatrical experience offering overwhelming excitement and emotion. It remains a powerful form of musical theater today. </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Baroque Opera <ul><li>The creation of an opera involves a joint effort between a composer and a dramatist </li></ul><ul><li>The libretto , or text of the opera is usually written by the dramatist or librettist </li></ul><ul><li>A good opera plot cannot be sensible because people do not sing when they are feeling sensible </li></ul>
  3. 3. Baroque Opera <ul><li>In opera, the characters are overwhelmed by love, lust, hatred, and revenge </li></ul><ul><li>They wear fantastic disguises and commit extraordinary acts of violence </li></ul><ul><li>Yet the music makes them human and real </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Aria (in Operas) <ul><li>The main attraction for an opera fan is the aria </li></ul><ul><li>An aria is a song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment </li></ul><ul><li>It is an outpouring of melody that expresses an emotional state </li></ul><ul><li>It usually lasts for several minutes and is meant also to show off the soloist’s singing abilities. </li></ul>
  5. 5. More than you wanted to know about opera: <ul><li>Composers usually lead into an aria with a vocal line that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech </li></ul><ul><li>This spoken line is called the recitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The words are sung quickly and clearly, often in repeated tones. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. More than you wanted to know about opera: <ul><li>Besides arias, the soloist in an opera will sing compositions for two or more singers: duets (for two singers), trios (for three), quartets (for four), quintets (for five), sextets (for six). </li></ul><ul><li>When three or more singers are involved it is called an ensemble </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a duet or ensemble, the performers either face the audience or move through action that develops the plot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each character expresses his or her own feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting emotions like grief, happiness, or anger can be projected simultaneously when different melodies are combined </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. More than you wanted to know about opera: <ul><li>The nerve center of an opera in performance is the orchestra pit - a sunken area directly in front of the stage </li></ul><ul><li>An opera orchestra uses the same instruments as a symphony orchestra, but with a smaller string section </li></ul><ul><li>The orchestra not only supports the singers, but depicts mood and atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>During the performance the conductor shapes the entire work, sets tempos, cues singers, and indicates dynamic changes </li></ul>
  8. 8. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) <ul><li>One of the most important composers of the early baroque era </li></ul><ul><li>He created the opera Orfeo (Orpheus, 1607) </li></ul><ul><li>He Became music director at St. Marks cathedral in Venice, the most important church position in Italy </li></ul><ul><li>Monteverdi wrote music for church services and also for the public </li></ul>
  9. 9. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) <ul><li>He wanted to create music with emotional intensity </li></ul><ul><li>To achieve this intensity, he used dissonances with unprecedented freedom and daring </li></ul><ul><li>He pioneered new orchestral effects to evoke angry or warlike feelings in his music </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These effects include: pizzicato and tremolo </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eventhough only 3 of his 12 works were preserved, Monteverdi is considered the first composer of operatic masterpieces </li></ul>
  10. 10. Orfeo (Orpheus 1687) Monteverdi’s first opera <ul><ul><li>It is about Orpheus, the son of the god Apollo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He is very happy after marrying Eurydice, but his joy is shattered when she is killed by a poisonous snake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orpheus goes down to hades (the underworld) hoping to bring her back to life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because of his beautiful music, he is granted the privilege-on the condition he not look back at Eurydice while leading her out of hades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During a moment of anxiety, however, Orpheus does look back, and Eurydice vanishes. There is however a happy ending of sorts, Apollo pities Orpheus and brings him up to heaven, where he can gaze eternally at Eurydice’s radiance in the sun and stars. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Orfeo (Orpheus 1687) Monteverdi’s first opera <ul><li>Act II Recitative: Tu se’ morta (you are dead) </li></ul><ul><li>Monteverdi shows his mastery of the then new technique of the recitative </li></ul><ul><li>After Orpheus is told of the death of Eurydice he resolved to bring her back from hades </li></ul><ul><li>He bids an anguished farewell to the earth, sky and sun </li></ul>
  12. 12. Orfeo (Orpheus 1687) <ul><li>Listen to: </li></ul><ul><li>Act II Recitative: Tu se’ morta (you are dead) </li></ul><ul><li>His vocal line is accompanied by only a basso continuo played by a small organ and bass lute </li></ul><ul><li>The texture is homophonic </li></ul><ul><li>The accompaniment gives simple harmonic support to the voice </li></ul>
  13. 13. Orfeo (Orpheus 1687) <ul><li>Monteverdi frequently uses word painting to get his message across </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Words like stelle (stars) and sole (sun) are sung to climactic high notes, whereas abissi (abysses) and morte (death) are sung to somber low tones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using these techniques, Monteverdi makes Orpheus’s passion come alive </li></ul>
  14. 14. Henry Purcell (1659-1695) <ul><li>Is called the greatest English Composer </li></ul><ul><li>He mastered all the musical forms of his day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He wrote church music, secular choral music, and music for the stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>His only true opera was Dido and Aneneas (1869) which many consider the finest opera ever written to an English text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Few composers have equaled Purcell’s handling of the English language. Some of Purcell’s finest songs use a variation of the form found in many baroque works: a ground bass. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Henry Purcell (1659-1695) <ul><li>Often in baroque works a musical idea in the bass is repeated over and over while the melodies above it change </li></ul><ul><li>The repeated musical idea is called a ground bass or basso ostinato </li></ul>
  16. 16. Henry Purcell (1659-1695) <ul><li>Dido and Aeneas (1689) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Act III Dido’s Lament </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A melodic recitative accompanied by only the basso continuo sets the sorrowful mood for Dido’s Lament , the climax of the opera </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The aria is built on a chromatically descending ground bass that is stated 11 times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dido’s melody moves freely above this repeated bass creating touching dissonances with it </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) <ul><li>Was one of the most prolific composers ever </li></ul><ul><li>He wrote 50 operas, 40 pieces for chorus and orchestra, and 100 works for orchestra alone </li></ul><ul><li>He also wrote over 500 concertos for solo instruments </li></ul>
  18. 18. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) <ul><li>After he left the Priesthood his next job was at the Ospedale della Pieta (Mercy Hospital) </li></ul><ul><li>It was actually a school for illegitimate girls </li></ul><ul><li>He was their music teacher and composer </li></ul><ul><li>Whenever he had a student with talent, he would compose a concerto for her </li></ul><ul><li>All of Vivaldi’s concertos have 3 movements They are: FAST-SLOW-FAST </li></ul>
  19. 19. La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from The Four Seasons <ul><li>One of his most famous piece is The Four Seasons </li></ul><ul><li>It is a set of four concertos for violin and orchestra </li></ul><ul><li>Each concerto is meant to evoke a feeling for each of the four seasons </li></ul>
  20. 20. La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from The Four Seasons <ul><li>Spring is full of bird songs, a quick thunderstorm with lightning, a sleeping goatherd complete with barking dog, dancing shepherds, and nymphs </li></ul><ul><li>Spring was as popular in Vivaldi’s time as it is today </li></ul><ul><li>Like most of Vivaldi’s concertos, Spring has 3 movements </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1. Fast, 2. Slow, 3. Fast </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from The Four Seasons <ul><li>Listen to: </li></ul><ul><li>First Movement: Allegro </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opens with an energetic orchestra ritornello depicting the arrival of spring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of the ritornello’s two phrases is played loudly and then repeated softly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After the ritornello, the movement alternates between extended solo sections containing musical tone painting and brief tutti sections presenting part of the ritornello theme </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from The Four Seasons <ul><li>Listen to: </li></ul><ul><li>Second Movement: Largo e pianissimo sempre (very slow and soft throughout) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It uses only the solo violin and the orchestral violins and violas, omitting the cellos, basses, and harpsichord </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A tender, expansive melody for the solo violin depicts the goatherd’s slumber, while a soft, rocking figure in the violins suggest a rustling of leaves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The violas imitate the barking of the goatherd’s “faithful dog” with a repeated-note figure in short-long rhythm </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from The Four Seasons <ul><li>Listen to: </li></ul><ul><li>Third Movement: Danza pastorale (Pastoral Dance) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like the first movement, the concluding Danza pastorale, in E major, alternates between tutti and solo sections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The playful ritornello theme, with it’s dotted rhythms, suggest nymphs and shepherds dancing in the fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The sections for solo violin contain brilliant passages with many melodic sequences, which are typical of the baroque style. </li></ul></ul>

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