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Baroque Music: From Monteverdi to Handel

ISBN: 9780500016060
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Edition: 0
Publication Date: 1994-06
Number of pages: 224
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The Baroque style - one of the richest traditions in Western music - emerged during the late 16th century and lasted well into the 18th. Italy was the source of this new impulse, which soon spread across Europe, and the period was one of contrasts and innovations. Few other eras witnessed such a profusion of new forms: opera, oratorio, cantata, sonata and concerto. Although Baroque music contained distinct national idioms, fundamental values were shared by all the leading creative figures of the time. All aimed to stir emotions - those emotions appropriate to their two great patrons, the Church and the nobility. Ecclesiastical commissions freed composers to depict suffering, pathos and elation; whilst secular and court patrons gave them the opportunity to evoke splendour and opulence. Nicholas Anderson relates musical history to the cultural milieux of Church and court, as well as to public patronage. He considers major figures such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, and lesser-known artists whose music is now being avidly collected and explored - such as Telemann, Charpentier, Stradella and Leclair - allowing a broad perspective on this prolific period. Not only was the Baroque period blessed with a plethora of great composers; it also provided the foundations for all subsequent musical development. Its enduring strength is reflected in the popularity of today's "authentic" performances and recordings. Nicholas Anderson, broadcaster, writer and music scholar, was a producer for BBC Radio 3 1971-1991, specialising in the Baroque repertory. He is a Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, and contributes to "Gramophone" and "Early Music", as well as being consultant to the recording companies Erato and Teldec.

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