•       Mature Baroque – Vocal Music: Supplement to Listen (Chapter 10)


    1.       Julius CaeserLa guistizia” by G. F. Handel – refer to p. 143



    2.       Messiah, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!” (aria) by G. F. Handel

    3.       Messiah, “There were shepherds” by G. F. Handel; this includes a series of recitatives, both secco and accompanied that precede the chorus, “Glory to God”. – refer to p. 146

    4.       Messiah, “Hallelujah” by G. F. Handel – refer to p. 147


    Passion - These tracks are from The Passion According to St. Matthew by J. S. Bach (refer to class notes)

    5.       Chor: “Kommt, Ihr Töchter, Helft Mir Klagen” – features choir

    6.       Evangelista: “Die Aber Jesum Gegriffen Hatten” – solo tenor; the evangelist is something of a narrator that ties together the story told by soloists and the chorus.  Both secco and accompanied recitative forms are used throughout the Passion. This particular recitative is secco

    7.       Choral: “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen” – features choir singing a hymn

    8.       Aria (Alto) “Buß und Reu


    Cantata - all examples by J. S. Bach

    9.       Solo cantata No. 55, Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht, 1st mvt.: "Ich armer Mensch, ich Sundenknecht", aria for tenor (refer to class notes)

    10.   Cantata No. 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”, stanza 3 (tenor solo) – refer to p. 150

    11.   Cantata No. 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”, stanza 4 (chorus) – refer to p. 150

    12.   Cantata No. 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”, stanza 7 (hymn) – refer to p. 150

    13.   Chorale Prelude, “Christ lag in Todesbanden” by J. S. Bach – refer to p. 152


    Mass - refer to class notes

    14.   Domine Fili Unigenite from Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi


    15.   Osanna in excelsis from Mass in B minor (JS Bach), eight-part chorus: All choral parts are split to form two antiphonal choruses for a number taken from Cantata No. 215, “Preise dein Glücke.”

    Osanna in excelsis.

    Hosanna in the highest.


    16.   Benedictus from Mass in B minor (JS Bach), tenor with flute: This thoughtful solo may have come from a now-lost original.  Bach did not specify a solo instrument.  Earlier practice called for a violin, but Sir Donald Tovey pointed out that the part is better suited to a flute.

    Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini

    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.



    17.   Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225 (Motet 1) - double chorus, chorus and chorale, double chorus, fugue (refer to class notes)



    18.   Magnificat in D major, BWV 243: 1. “Magnificat” by J. S. Bach (refer to class notes)


    Coronation Anthem

    19.   Zadok the Priest, Zadok the Priest,

    “Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King.”

    20.   Zadok the Priest, And all the people rejoic'd,

    “And all the people rejoic’d, and said:”

    21.   Zadok the Priest, God save the King,

    “God save the King, long live the King, may the King live for ever!”  - 1 Kings 1:38 - 40                      



  • Major Music II: Early Baroque Period Supplementary Listening Guide

    Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) The Christmas Oratorio

    The German title of Schütz's Christmas Oratorio, when literally translated, becomes "The Story of the Joy- and Grace-abounding Birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and of the Virgin Mary, and our Sole Mediator.  Redeemer and Savior"-itself a reflection of the serene and leisurely pace of this great work of the composer's artistic maturity. Schütz wrote this oratorio and three settings of the Passion around his eightieth birthday.  Far from producing works that were routine in thought and execution, he created music that was as fresh and vigorous anything written by his younger contemporaries or himself when young.

    In setting out musically the familiar story of the birth of Christ, Schütz made ample use of devices that he had tried out and perfected in his earlier works: an appropriate nature for each chorus, the accompaniment of carefully specified instruments, an important role for the organ. A new element was the treatment of the recitatives of the Evangelist.  Rather than follow either the neo-plainsong of his earlier scores or the dramatic declamation of Italian opera, Schütz moves them along quietly organized patterns that give the maximum of intelligibility to the text while remaining musical.

    By way on contrast to the recitatives that carry the Biblical narrative, Schütz inserted eight intermedia, or interludes, each one scored for a different combination of voices and instruments as well as choral sections at the beginning and at the end of his work.  In his use of techniques bordering on the operatic, Schütz foreshadowed the monumental Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach, who employed theatrical devices with overpowering religious effect.

    Before the shortened version of this record begins, the Evangelist has told of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and of the birth of Jesus.  The shepherds, who were the first to hear of the Savior's birth, have visited the Holy Family and begun to spread the glad tidings. The scene is now set for the appearance of the three wise men from the East, and the Evangelist is heard (Stevens 10).


    1.    Evangelist 1

    Da nun Jesus geboren war zu Bethlehem im jüdischen Lande, zur Zeit des Königes Herodis, siehe, da kamen die Weisen aus Morgenlande gen Jerusa­lem und sprachen:

    Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem and saying:

    2.    Interlude 4: Chorus of the Three Kings, sung by three tenors, with two violins, bassoon, and organ. The instrumental introduction presents a theme that also serves for the trio of the Kings (Stevens 11).

    Wo ist der neugeborne König der Juden? Wir haben seinen Stern gesehen im Morgenlande und sind kommen, ihn anzubeten.

    Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the East and are come to worship Him.

    3.    Evangelist 2

    Da das der Konig Herodes hörete, erschrak er and mit ihm das ganze Jerusalem, and liess versammeln alle Hohenpriester and Schriftgelehrten unter dem Volk and erforschete von ihnen, wo Christus sollte geboren werden. and sie sagten ihm:

    When Herod the King had heard these things. he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born; and they said unto him:

    4.    Interlude 5: Chorus of High Priests and Scribes, sung by four basses, with accompaniment by two trombones and organ.  Since the men's chorus is somewhat dark in timbre, Schutz offsets this most artistically by writing his trombone parts for tenor and alto, the latter now extinct, as far as modern orchestration is concerned (Stevens 11).

    Zu Bethlehem im judischen Lande,

    denn also steht geschrieben durch den Propheten:

    Und du Bethlehem im judischen Lande,

    du bist mit nichten die kleineste unter den Fursten Juda,

    denn aus dir soil mir kommen der Herzog

    der Uber mein Volk Israel ein Herr sei.

    In Bethlehem of Judea,

    for thus it is written by the prophet:

    And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda,

    art not the least among the princes of Juda:


    for out of thee shall come a Governor

    that shall rule my people in Israel.

    5.    Interlude 6: Herod, sung by a solo bass with two clarini (high trumpets) and organ.  The stridently regal nature of Herod's pronouncement is vividly expressed by the clarini (Stevens 11).

    Ziehet hin and forschet fleissig nach dem Kindlein,

    und wens ihr's findet,

    so saget mir es wieder.

    dass ich auch komme and es anbete.

    Go and search diligently for the young child.

    and when ye have found Him,

    bring me word again,

    that I may come and worship Him also.

    6.    Interlude 7: The Angel of the Lord, soprano solo with two viols and organ.  Here Schutz suggests the rocking of Christ’s cradle by a two-note figure repeated over and over again (Stevens 11).

    Stehe auf, Joseph.

    Stehe auf und nimm das Kindlein und seine Mutter zu dir

    und fleuch in Egyptenland,

    und bleibe allda, bis ich dir sage,

    denn es ist vorhanden,

    dass Herodes das Kindlein suche,

    dasselbe umzubringen.

    Arise. Joseph.

    Arise and take the young child and His mother.


    and flee into Egypt.

    and be thou there until I bring thee word; for it is come to pass

    that Herod seeks the young child

    to destroy him

    7.    Interlude 8: The Angel to Joseph-again a solo for soprano, with the rocking theme in the bass and the same instruments as in the seventh interlude (Stevens 12).

    Stehe auf, Joseph.

    Stehe auf und nimm das Kindlein und seine

    Mutter zu dir,

    und zeuch hin in das Land Israel: sie sind gestorben, die dem Kinde nach

    dem Leben stunden.

    Arise, Joseph,

    arise and take the young child and His


    and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young

    child's life.

    8.    Conclusion: Chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), with two violins, two trombones, bas­soon and organ.  Almost the entire movement is in a joyful, swinging measure, with voices and instruments now alternating, now joining together in a hymn of praise (Stevens 12).

    Dank sagen wir alle. alle Gott.

    Gott unserm Herrn Christo,

    der uns mit seiner Geburt hat erleuchtet

    und uns erloset hat mit seinen Blute

    von des Teufels Gewalt.

    Den sollen wir alle mit seinen Engeln

    loben mit Schalle, singen, singen:

    Preis sei Gott. Gott in der Hohe!

    Preis sei Gott in der Hohe!

    Thanks say we all unto God,

    To God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Who by His birth hath lighted us

    and redeemed us by His blood

    from the powers of hell.

    So shall we all, with his angels,

    praise Him singing:

    Glory be to God in the highest!

    Praise God in the highest!

    Francesca Caccini (1587 - 1640)

    Virtuoso singer, composer, teacher and skilled performer on the lute and harpsichord, Caccini spent most of her musical life in the Medici Court in Florence, Italy.  The main opportunity for women at this time was through singing.  If a woman was a talented singer, as Caccini was, she had a better chance at getting any compositions she created performed.  Caccini's style can be favorably compared to Monteverdi - elements of the Renaissance can be heard (Jezic 18).

    9.    Selection from the opera la Liberazione di Ruggiero (1625) - recitative style

    10. Selection from the opera la Liberazione di Ruggiero - aria

    Text Translation

    Since the sky and sea today give destiny

    To you high heroism equal to an empire,

    May it please you to hear, likened to Ruggeriero

    Abandoning his love for the wicked Alcina

    As the ardor of his wife for her husband,

    Love, like a vile countenance spewed forth from the evil witch

    This magnanimous virtue of royal love

    Gave playful spectacle to the royal heart.

    But, having been scorned and therefore repentant,

    With her pity I soothe my breast

    And so I bear witness to one who does not believe

    That love is the only god of every beloved.

    11. Chi desta di saper, 'the cos' a amore (1618) - a canzonetta for voice and Spanish guitar

    Text Translation

    To whoever desires to know what love is

    I will say it is nothing but burning

    That it is nothing but pain,

    That it is nothing but fear,

    That it is nothing but fury!

    I will say it is nothing but burning,

    To whoever desires to know what love is


    To whoever counsels me to love

    I will say I no longer want to sigh,

    Nor to tremble, nor to hope,

    Nor to blaze, nor to freeze

    Nor to languish, nor to suffer.

    I will say I no longer want to sigh,

    To whoever counsels me to love.


    To whoever asks if I feel love

    I will declare that my burning is over,

    That I no longer suffer torment,

    That I no longer tremble, nor fear,

    That I no longer enjoy every moment.

    I will declare that my burning is over,

    To whoever asks if I feel love

    To whoever believes that love brings joy

    I will say that the sweeter love is, run faster,

    Do not give in to its desire,

    Nor tempt its disdain and rage,

    Nor test its martyrdom.

    I will say that the sweeter love is, run faster,

    To whoever believes that love brings joy



    Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1666)

    12. Tradimento! ("Betrayal!") from op. 7, Diporti di Euterpe on a poem by Giovanni Tani

    Tradimento, the word, or refrain, that begins and ends this arietta, means "betrayal."  Composed in 1659, the form is free in its depiction of the text.  There are changes of tempo and rhythm, sudden interpre­tations in the flow of the text, and frequent repetitions of single words. Sometimes declamatory but more often melismatic, "Tradimento!" is representative of a style that is clearly "singers' music."  Strozzi included numerous performance indications in her scores: specific directions for tempo, dynamics, and ornamentation.  This arietta is representative of the stile concitato, with its furious introduction framing the smaller sec­tions, and returning at the end to "Tradimento!" almost in da capo style.  Word painting is especially pictorial on the words kgarmi ("to bind me") and incatemrmi ("that imprison me").  As in the recorded selec­tion, Strozzi probably accompanied herself on the lute (Jezic 28).

    Text Translation


    Love and Hope want to make me their prisoner

    And my sickness is so advanced

    That I realize I am happy

    Just thinking of it.


            Hope, to bind me,

            Entices me with great things.

            The more I believe what she says

            The tighter she ties the knots that imprison me.

            To arms, my heart, to arms against the unfaithful one.

            Take her and kill her, hurry!

            Every moment is dangerous.



    Isabella Leonardo (1620 - 1704)

    13.  Kyriefrom Mass op. 18 1696

    Leonarda's Kyrie is followed by a Gloria, Laudamus te, Qui tolis, Credo, Crucifixus, and Et Unam Sanctum, the whole mass lasting just over twenty-three minutes.  All three masses from op. 18 are scored for four voices, two violins, and violin or organ continuo.  In this example, the cello takes the lower part.

    This three-sectional work alternates chorus, solos with basso continuo, and instrumental ritornelli.  In contrasting solo and tutti, Leonarda alter­nates chordal and fugal textures.  Changes of tempo and character are frequent, though mostly between the three main sections.  The tonality is almost all major and minor, the Kyrie beginning and ending in A major tonality, but the Christe Eleison beginning on a half-cadence on E.  The final Kyrie is a fine example of Leonarda's fugal writing, but the final Eleison is a well-formulated choral cadence—IV, V, I.  The unexpected emphasis on the subdominant, in the final phrases, is not unlike the "Amen" formula of the German Protestant chorale.  The instrumental ritornelli are in the style of Corelli, the chosen instruments being two violins and cello basso continuo.

    The score of this Kyrie is published in Historical Anthology of Music by Women, James Briscoe, ed. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987 (Jezic 33).



    Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) Les Amants Magnifiques

    Lully was the preeminent French composer of the Baroque era.  He was the most important musician in the court of King Louis XIV and significantly influenced the development of the French style.  He composed ballets (the king himself danced in many of them), operas and sacred works.  This ballet is said to be the last one in which Louis XIV danced.

    14.  Overture” – dotted eighth - sixteenth pattern is the hallmark of the "French overture" which was used by most Baroque composers, not just the French ones

    15.  “Danse des Pêcheurs” (Dance of the Fishermen)

    16.  “Danse de Neptune” (Dance of Neptune)

    17.  “Les suivants de Neptune” (The Servants of Neptune)

    18.  “Symphonie des Plaisirs” (Symphony of Pleasures)

    19.  “Menuets pour les Faunes et les Dryads” (Minuet for the Fauns and the Dryads)

    20.  “Ritournelle pour les Flûtes” (Ritornello of the Flutes)

    21.  “Les Pantomimes – 2nd air” (The Pantomimes 2)

    22.  “Les Porteurs de Haches” (The Hatchet-Bearers)

    23.  “Les Hommes et Femmes Armés” (The Armed Men and Women)


    Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707)

    Prelude & Fugue in G minor

    Buxtehude is often overlooked due to the large shadow cast by Bach.  This is unfortunate for several reasons.  First, Buxtehude’s music displays some great virtuoso keyboard opportunities.  Second, his compositional style clearly establishes the German style as one with which to be reckoned.  Finally, Buxtehude was a significant influence on Bach, both as a composer and as an organist.

    24.  Prelude


    Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695) Dido and Aeneas

    See page 90 in Listen: Brief Fourth Edition for information


    Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713) Sonata da Chiesa in F, op. 3, no. 1

    See page 93 in Listen: Brief Fourth Edition for information


    Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1666 - 1729)

    34.  Instrumental Preludefrom Samson

    35. "Tempête" ("Tempest") from Le Sommeil d'Ulisse (The Sleep of Ulysses)

    It is the genre of the French cantata that provides the following two musical examples.  With the 1703 publication of Cantatas françoises by Jean-Baptiste Morin (1677-1745), the French cantata became established as a type of chamber entertainment, in which instrumental numbers, recitatives, and airs told dramatic biblical stories or heroic myths. Aside from la Guerre, who wrote her first cantatas just four years after Morin's publication, other composers of the new French genre included Andre Cazzora (1660-1744), Michel de Montclair (1666-1737), Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738), and Philippe Courbois (ca. 1705-1730).

    La Guerre's early cantatas are based on biblical stories, in keeping with the emphasis on sacred music at Versailles during the last decade of Louis XIV's rule.  Her third book of cantatas, dedicated to the Elector of Ba­varia, includes three extended cantatas, based on mythological subjects, which may have been intended for stage performance. Typical of the form, both Samson from Book 2 (1711) and Le Sommeil d'Ulisse (1715) contain a Prelude, resembling the French Overture in its slow, dotted rhythms, an "Air Furieux" or a "Tempest" number, and a Finale that provides "the moral of the story."  These characteristic features alternate with the usual recitatives and airs.  Both cantatas are scored for voices, strings, continue, and a wind instrument, either flute or bassoon (Jezic 41).

    Text Translation

    Autour de notre Heros, Le redoutable Ulisse,

    Tout le ciel est rempli dcs foudroyants eclairs.

    II faut grander les airs!

    L'univers allarme craint nouveau naufrage,

    Tous les vents luttant centre les flots.

    Le vaisseau renverse,

    Cede a 1'affreux orage, disparait;

    Et la Mer engloutit son enfant.

    All around our heroic adventurer the mighty Ulysses, the sky is filled with flashing lightning.

    The heavens are to blame!

    The very universe fears another shipwreck.

    All the winds battle the waters.

    The ship capsizes and yields

    to the hideous tempest; it vanishes,

    and the Sea swallows up its child.



    Jezic, D. P. (1994). Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.


    Stevens, D. (1967). From The Renaissance. New York, NY, USA: Time-Life Records.



    Early Baroque Exam Study Guide

    Topics covered:


    1)      Transition from Renaissance to Baroque

    a)      Music in Venice

    b)      Extravagance versus Control

    c)      Important differences between Renaissance & Baroque


    2)      Style Features

    a)      Rhythm & Meter

    b)      Texture: Basso Continuo, Ground Bass, Bass Ostinato

    c)      Functional Harmony


    3)      Opera

    a)      Recitative

    b)      Aria


    4)      Instrumental Music

    a)      Dance suites

    b)      Virtuosity

    c)      Fugue

    d)      Sonata da chiesa

    e)      Sonata da camera


    Short Answers

               Definitions, trends, descriptions of form (i.e. – how many movements in a sonata da chiesa and how do they differ from each other)


    Listening Examples:

    Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) The Christmas Oratorio

    Francesca Caccini (1587 - 1640)

    ·         Selections from the opera la Liberazione di Ruggiero (1625) - recitative, aria

    ·         Chi desia si saper, 'the cos' a amore (1618) - a canzonetta for voice and Spanish guitar

    Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1666) Tradimento! ("Betrayal!") from op. 7, Diporti di Euterpe

    Isabella Leonardo (1620 - 1704) “Kyrie” from Mass op. 18 1696

    Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) Les Amants Magnifiques

    Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707) Prelude & Fugue in G minor

    Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695) Dido and Aeneas

    Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713) Sonata da Chiesa in F, op. 3, no. 1

    Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1666 - 1729)

    ·         Instrumental Prelude from Samson

    ·         "Tempête" ("Tempest") from Le Sommeil d'Ulisse (The Sleep of Ulysses)

  • Mature Baroque - Instrumental Music

    Antonio Vivaldi (1678 -1741)

    See page 117 (4th edition)/page 130 (5th edition) in Listen for information Violin Concerto in G, “La stravaganza, op. 4, No. 12

    1.    First movement - ritornello form

    2.    Second movement - variation (ground bass) form

    3.    Third movement - ritornello form


    The Four Seasons

    The sonnets that serve as unheard lyrics for these concerti were possibly penned by Vivaldi himself.  Underlined in each sonnet is the text that is highlighted in the example.

    4.    Concerto in E, op. 8, no. 1: I. Allegro “Spring's awakening”


    Spring has come and with it gaiety,

    the birds salute it with joyous song,

    and the brooks, caressed by Zephyr's breath,

    flow meanwhile with sweet murmurings:


    The sky is covered with dark clouds,

    announced by lightning and thunder. 

    But when they are silenced, the little birds

    return to fill the air with their song:


    Then does the meadow, in full flower,

    ripple with its leafy plants.

    The goatherd dozes, guarded by his faithful dog.


    Rejoicing in the pastoral bagpipes,

    Nymphs and Shepherds dance in the glade

    for the radiant onset of Springtime.

    5.    Concerto in G minor, op. 8, no. 2: III. Presto “Summer storm”


    Under the heavy season of a burning sun,

    man languishes, his herd wilts, the pine is parched;

    the cuckoo finds its voice, and chiming in with it

    the turtle-dove, the goldfinch.


    Zephyr breathes gently but, contested,

    the North-wind appears nearby and suddenly;

    the shepherd sobs because, uncertain,

    he fears the wild squall and its effects.


    His weary limbs have no repose, goaded by

    his fear of lightning and wild thunder;

    while gnats and flies in furious swarms surround him.


    Alas, his fears prove all too grounded,

    thunder and lightning split the Heavens, and hailstones

    slice the top of the corn and other grain.

    6.    Concerto in F, op. 8, no. 3: III. Allegro “The hunt”


    The country-folk celebrate, with dance and song,

    the joy of gathering a bountiful harvest.

    With Bacchus's liquor, quaffed liberally,

    their joy finishes in slumber.


    Each one renounces dance and song,

    the mild air is pleasant,

    and the season invites ever-increasingly

    to savour a sweet slumber.


    The hunters at dawn go to the hunt,

    with horns and guns and dogs they sally forth,

    the beasts flee, their trail is followed.


    Already dismay’d and exhausted, from the great noise

    of guns and dogs, threatened with wounds,

    they flee, languishing, and die, cowering.

    7.    Concerto in F minor, op. 8, no. 4: I. Allegro non molto “Shivering in the icy storm”


    Frozen and trembling among the chilly snow,

    exposed to horrid winds,

    our legs tremble with cold,

    our teeth chatter with the frightful cold.


    We move to the fire and contented peace,

    while the rain outside pours in sheets.

    Now we walk on the ice, with slow steps,

    attentive how we walk, for fear of falling.


    If we move quickly, we slip and fall to earth,

    again walking heavily on the ice,

    until the ice breaks and dissolves.


    We hear through the closed doors

    Sirocco, Boreas and all the rushing winds at war -

    this is winter, but such as brings joy.


    Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)

    8.    Suite in A minor for recorder and strings - Overture

    Georg Philipp Telemann was among the most distinguished composers of his time, a rival to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach in reputation, and the certain preference of the Leipzig authorities for the position of Kantor at the school of St. Thomas, where Bach was eventually appointed in 1723.  Telemann had, in 1721, taken the position of Kantor of the Johanneum in Hamburg, with musical responsibility for the five principal churches of the city.  His negotiations with Leipzig a year later proved the means to secure better conditions in Hamburg, where he remained until his death in 1767.  He was succeeded by his godson, Carl Philipp Emanual Bach, son of Johann Sebastian.

    Born in Magdeburg in 1781, Telemann belonged to a family that had long been connected with the Lutheran Church.  His father was a clergyman and his mother the daughter of a clergyman, and his alder brother also took orders, a path that he too might have followed, had it not been for his exceptional musical ability.  As a child he showed some precocity, but it was while he was a student at Leipzig University, which he entered in 1701, that a career in music became inevitable.  He founded the university collegium musicum that Bach was later to direct and in 1703 became musical director of the Leipzig Opera.  At the same time he involved fellow-students in a great deal of public performance, to the annoyance of the Thomaskantor, Bach's immediate predecessor Kuhnau, who saw his prerogative now infringed.

    After Leipzig Telemann went on to become Kapellmeister to the Count of Promnitz, a nobleman with a taste for French music, and in 1708 moved to Eisenach, following this with a position as director of music to the city of Frankfurt am Main in 1712.  There were other offers of employment elsewhere, but ft was to Hamburg that he finally moved in 1721, to remain there for the rest of his life.

    As a composer Telemann was prolific, providing an enormous body of work, both sacred and secular.  This included 1043 church cantatas and settings of the Passion for each year that he was in Hamburg, 46 in all.  In Leipzig he had written operas, and he continued to involve himself in public performances in Hamburg, arousing some opposition from the city council, his employers.  Once he had strengthened his position he took additional responsibility as musical director of the Hamburg opera, while he was active in publishing and selling much of the music that he wrote.

    The A minor Recorder Suite is a fluent example of the refreshing lightness of touch that Telemann brought to the music of the period, a reflection, often enough, of his wider educational background and cultural interests more typical among musicians of a later age.



    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)

    Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 – 1st movement

    See page 123 (4th edition)/page 135 (5th edition) in Listen for information

    9.    Ritornello

    10. Ritornello (first phrase)

    11. Ritornello (middle phrase)


    Goldberg Variations

    14.  Aria

    15.  Variation I

    16.  Variation II

    17.  Variation III: Canone all’Unisuono

    18.  Variation IV

    In his day, Bach was one of the finest of keyboard artists and renowned throughout the German-speaking world.  In 1731 he inaugurated a series of four volumes with the general title Clavier-Ubung (Keyboard Practice), which demonstrated his skill in composing in all keyboard forms current at the time: fugue, canon and chorale embellishment, as well as the many dance forms.  The six Partitas were presented in 1731, in 1735 the Italian Concerto and the B Minor Partita, in 1739 a collection of chorale arrangements and, finally, in 1742 one of his crowning achievements: the “Aria with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals.  Produced for the enjoyment of music-lovers by Johann Sebastian Bach.”

    The improbable story that has given the name Goldberg Variations to this monumental work comes from an early Bach biographer, Johann Forkel.  In 1736 Bach was appointed “Composer to the Royal Court of Poland and Saxony,” thanks to the active intervention of the music-loving Count Hermann Carl von Kaiserling, the Russian Ambassador to the Saxon Court.  The Count often suffered from insomnia, and on sleepless nights he enjoyed the distraction of music played from an adjoining room by the young court harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg.  Kaiserling requested of Bach a series of pieces “smooth but lively,” which would either induce sleep or enable him to pass wakeful hours more pleasantly.  Bach responded magnificently, and Kaiserling was so pleased with the variations that he always referred to them as “his” variations and rewarded the composer in princely fashion- one hundred louis d'or presented in a golden goblet.  However, as Forkel comments, “had the gift been a thousand times larger, their artistic value would not yet have been paid for.”

    The origin of the theme upon which Bach built this amazing edifice is unknown, although it appears in the 1725 Notenbuch of his wife Anna Magdalena. It is a sarabande in G. Bach, however, does not resort to the melody for the source of his inspiration (as is more generally true in the composition of variations); rather he chooses the bass line for the foundation blocks.  The variations were conceived for an instrument with two manuals, but they can also be performed on the single keyboard of modern instruments.

    In their entirety the Goldberg Variations can be likened to an immense passacaglia in which the harmonic implications of the bass fine are realized 30 times in different guises, changes in the bass line itself being kept to a minimum.  The overall layout is designed around 10 groups of three movements-the first in each group is in a free form, the second an arabesque, the third a canon.  Beginning with a canon at the unison in Variation III, the canons move by progressively increasing intervals to a canon at the ninth in Variation XXVII.

    The work begins and ends with the Aria, and interspersed are those variations that so beautifully demonstrate Bach's astonishing versatility in the handling of the varied forms of his day.  For example, Variation III is a pastorate, Variation VII a saltarello, Variation X a fughetta, Variation XVI an ouverture à la française, Variation XVIII an alla marcia, Variation XIX a quasi-barcarolle, and Variation XXTV a gigue.

    It is perhaps in the last variation that Bach exhibits the most daring exercise of wit. It is a quodlibet (“do what you will”) in which he mingles two folk songs, Kraut und Rüben haben mich vertrieben, which can he roughly translated “Beets and cabbage give me indigestion,” and Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir g’west, again, roughly translated, “we’ve been apart so very long.”


    19.  Fugue in C-sharp Major, from “The Well-Tempered Clavier”

            See page 123 (4th edition)/page 135 (5th edition) in Listen for information

    20.  Fugue in C-sharp Major, from “The Well-Tempered Clavier”


            Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D

    See page 123 (4th edition)/page 135 (5th edition) in Listen for information

    21.  Air

    22.  Gavotte I & II


    George Friederic Handel (1685 – 1759)

    23.  Music for the Royal Fireworks


    The only major instrumental work of Handel's late years, apart from the Concerti i due cori, is his Music for the Royal Fireworks.  England had signed the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in 1748, and in celebration a firework display was planned for Green Park in April 1749.  The king agreed that it be accompanied by music, as long as the music was for ‘warlike instruments’ (wind and percussion).  But Handel demanded strings too.  ‘Now Hendel’, wrote the Master of the Ordnance, ‘proposes to lessen the nomber of trompets, &c and to have violeens.  I dont at all doubt but when the King hears it he will be very much displeased ... I am shure it behoves Hendel to have as many trumpets, arid other martial instruments, as possible, tho he dont retrench the violins ... tho I beleeve he will never be persuaded to do it.’  Probably Handel was not persuaded.  The number of ‘martial’ instruments specified in the score (24 oboes, 12 bassoons, one double bassoon, nine each of horns and trumpets, percussion) falls well short of the ‘band of 100 musicians’ reported as having taken part.  There could have been at least 40 string players.  Further, the surviving autograph score carries clear indications for the addition of strings to the original wind-only scheme; and we know that Handel’s own later performances included strings, as did the text whose publication he authorized.

    The work was publicly rehearsed - against Handel's wishes - in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens; 12,000 people are said to have attended, and the resulting traffic jam blocked London Bridge for three hours.  The performance proper, on 27 April 1749, was a mixed success; part of the specially erected building caught fire, and the weather was rainy.  But the music, it seems, was well received. 

    - Stanley Sadie