Reply To: Music

  • Encyclios

    April 24, 2023 at 9:29 AM

    New genres and forms

    The years between the end of the sixteenth century and the seventeenth were of essential importance for the development of modern European music and constituted a period of experiments and stylistic upheavals of such magnitude that they can only be compared to the first fifty years of our century. In the field of vocal music, the elaboration of the monodic accompanied style, polemically opposed by the musicians and theorists of the Florentine Camerata to the traditional contrapuntal writing, constituted the prodrome for the creation of new genres, such as the opera in music, the oratorio, the cantata.

    At the same time, in the course of the seventeenth century, instrumental music, thanks above all to the diffusion and the technical improvement of string instruments (among which the violin imposed itself) created the most important forms of modern compositional technique: the fugue, the sonata (both solo and multi-instrumental, with particular reference to the sonata a tre) and the concert (in the double form of the concerto grosso and the solo concert). All these stylistic conquests were substantially the prerogative of Italian music, which until the beginning of the 18th century was to know an undisputed European supremacy: Monteverdi, Cavalli, Cesti, Legrenzi, Stradella, Steffani, Carissimi, Frescobaldi, Corelli, Torelli, Albinoni, Vivaldi, A. Scarlatti are some of the most illustrious representatives of this period of singular creative fervor.

    In the field of melodrama, in particular, the compositional schemes elaborated by the authors of the Roman and Venetian schools first, and then by the Neapolitan school, were universally diffused in Europe, with the exception of France, which with Lulli gave itself a particular dramatic structure, largely open to the suggestion of the previous tradition of the ballet de cour and of the great tragic theater of Racine and Corneille. The greatest French opera composer of the eighteenth century, J. Ph. Rameau. From a vast cultural synthesis between the Italian tradition, the French tradition (with the rich flowering of instrumental music, in particular harpsichord music, in which F. Couperin excelled), the English tradition (illustrated by the lively virginal school and the solitary art of H. Purcell) and the Germanic tradition. Purcell) and the Germanic one (in which stand out the gigantic figures of H. Schütz and D. Buxtehude) is nourished by the work of the two greatest exponents of European baroque music: G. F. Händel and J. S. Bach.