Baroque and classical music

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Part 1: Music of the Late Baroque (1700-1750) Italian opera was composed all over Europe. Metastasio was a famous librettist who supplied Italian opera stories to composers of the late baroque and classic periods.Two of Handel's best-known Italian operas are Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda. The Italian city to the south of Rome that became the trend-setting center of opera was Naples. Two famous composers that worked there were Leonardo Vinci and Leonardo Leo. When Handel came to Italy he worked primarily in the city of Rome. A choral work from his Italian period was his Dixit Dominus. The Dixit, as well as the Magnificat belonged to the liturgical service known as the Roman Catholic and Anglican Vesper Services. Handel's best known oratorio in English is The Messiah. Two of his other oratorios with English texts are Judas Maccabaeus and Israel in Egypt. Handel also wrote instrumental music in the Italian style, notably two sets of concerti grossi.

Another composer, an Italian, who wrote many concerti grossi in England and also reworked music by Corelli to add to his repertoire was Vivaldi. London's Royal Academy of Music was not a music school. The purpose of the society was to firmly establish Italian opera in London.

II Like Bach and Telemann in Germany, Vivaldi was in charge of music at a church school. Vivaldi's school was called the Pio Ospedale della Pieta. He wrote concertos for so many different instruments because of the variety of talents represented among the student body. J.S. Bach transcribed some of these works for himself to play at the harpsichord. However, Vivaldi's best known set of concerti is for violin and is called La Stravaganza. Vivaldi also wrote quite a bit of church music. Vivaldi's better known choral compositions include the Magnificat, Gloria, and...