Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi
March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741
•Born in Venice, Italy
•Taught to play violin by his father
•Age 15; entered seminary
•Age 25; Ordained into Priesthood
•Il Prete Rosso (the Red Priest)
•Stopped practicing, due to health
•1703: Began working as a music instructor at
Devout Hospital of Mercy in Venice.
•Directed Orchestra of most talented musicians
Antonio Vivaldi
March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741
• Known as Virtuoso violinist as well as teacher.
• Extreme talent aided in composition of Concerti
• Concerto– ONE soloist accompanied by orchestra
– Solo part is very technically demanding
– First movement in Ritornello form
• Vivaldi composed 450+ Concerti.
– Most for Violin, Cello, and Bassoon.
• In general, a sonata is a solo instrument
accompanied by piano.
– For musical enjoyment rather then virtuosic display
• In Baroque Era, three main types of Sonatas:
– Sonata de Chiesa: “Church Sonata” (Dignified)
– Sonata de Camera: “Chamber Sonata”(Dance)
– Trio Sonata:
• Three contributing harmonic lines:
– 2 solo instruments
– Basso Continuo
George Frideric Handel
(February 23,1685 – April 14,1759)
• Born in Germany
• Child prodigy, composed by age 11
• Hamburg Opera- Age 18
• Own operatic compositions
produced by age 21.
• 1710:Traveled to England
– Very successful (stayed 50 years)
• Began composing Oratorios
• Large-scale composition for Chorus, Vocal
soloists and Orchestra
• Narrative, usually Biblical
– Concert works, not for Worship (musical
• Employ no costumes, staging, acting or
• Can last 2 hours+
The Messiah
• Composed in 3 parts, lasting ~2.5 hours total
• Scored for four soloists (SATB), chorus (SATB) and
orchestra including oboe, trumpet and timpani
• Each part told a story of Christ’s life
– Part 1 “Christmas”: The Prophecy of the coming Christ,
and His birth.
– Part 2 “Easter”: Christ’s suffering, crucifixion, and the
spreading of His doctrine.
– Part 3: The redemption of the world through faith in
Johann Sebastian Bach
(March 21,1685 – July 28,1750)
Born in Germany, to a musical family
Received musical training from early age
Organ virtuoso
Held Court positions in various cities
1717: Named Kapellmeister at the Court of Prince
– Traveled with Prince to purchase and inspect
• Remarried to Anna Magdalena Wilcke, a
– Served as Bach’s copiest and dedicatee
Johann Sebastian Bach
(March 21,1685 – July 28,1750)
• Not famous or recognized in his day
• While working for the Court he composed
mostly instrumental compositions
– Developed the genre of the Baroque Suite
• The Baroque Suite is a set of dances from
different regions and of different styles..
The Baroque Suite
• Four fixed dance movements:
– Allemande: Stately, German dance in a moderate tempo
– Courante: A lively French dance in triple meter
– Sarabande: A slow, Spanish dance, containing many
sustained notes
– Gigue: A fast English dance, originating from the ‘Jig’
• Variants:
– Overture or Prelude: Completely unrelated non-dance
material played at the beginning of the Suite
– Galanteries (Minuet, Bouree, or Gavotte): Composers
would often chose one of these optional dances to
insert before the Gigue
Johann Sebastian Bach
(March 21,1685 – July 28,1750)
•After serving as Kappelmeister, Bach held the
position of Music Director at Leipzig
•Responsible for music at Leipzig’s 4 principal
(Lutheran) churches
•From this point, his music is predominately
vocal and sacred
•Many Cantatas….
• Sacred vocal work for the Lutheran church service
– In vernacular
– Luther stressed importance of music in the service
• Text used relates to the Scripture or message the
that day’s sermon
• Many composed (new each week)
• For vocal soloists, choir, and small orchestra
• Short compared to oratorio, but similar in structure
– Cantatas do not necessarily tell a story