Listen to the Corelli, Vivaldi and Bach examples. Using the stylistic features of each, write a summary of the development of instrumental music in the 18th century. Be aware of overall form and musical elements you hear in the examples. Explain the musical terms you use.
Instrumental music developed quite profoundly in the 18th Century especially through the music of Bach. Amongst the most important forms of musical development one can identify the fugue, the gavotte as well as the minuet. The 18th century also saw the development of the concerto grosso which also saw substantial changes across the same period which eventually developed into a symphony. Vivaldi perfected the art of the concerto with several named works to that name especially the more famous one titled The Four Seasons where descriptive elements come to the fore consistently. The same could be said of the concertos which Bach wrote and which feature a number of stylistic differences which are also noticeable in for example, the Brandenburg Concertos. Corelli also perfected the art of the concerto with his 12 Concerti Grossi Op 8.
Although Handel had by this time given up opera, he still makes use of theatricality in his writing. In the sequence above, how has Handel created a mood to suit this episode in “Messiah”?
The sequence demonstrates theatricality which shows that Handel had not abandoned his operatic roots. The coloratura parts in the piece also demonstrate operatic moods which are immediately noticeable.
The sequence contains distinct musical elements to present this information to the audience. Discuss the musical features found in the clearly defined sections of this example.
The trumpets announce that Christ has come to the world whilst the shepherds are beckoned by the sound of the flutes.
How has Handel used the orchestral writing to reflect the meaning of the text being sung? Hint: there is programme writing involved.
The orchestral writing interweaves and interlopes with the sung text in a very original way. Here once again we have the trumpets showing the way to the birth of Jesus and the shepherds represented by the oboes.