Chapter 7 The Early Baroque Period Opera. Key Terms Opera Recitative Aria Arioso Chorus Ground bass

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Transcript of Chapter 7 The Early Baroque Period Opera. Key Terms Opera Recitative Aria Arioso Chorus Ground bass

  • Slide 1
  • Chapter 7 The Early Baroque Period Opera
  • Slide 2
  • Key Terms Opera Recitative Aria Arioso Chorus Ground bass
  • Slide 3
  • Opera Most significant, popular Baroque genre Started as court entertainment 1st public opera house in Venice (1637) Ideal vehicle for emotional, theatrical quality of new solo vocal style Appealed to all tastes with its mix of music, drama, poetry, dance, set design, and machinery (special effects)
  • Slide 4
  • Recitative Technique for declaiming the words in a heightened, theatrical manner Singer echoes what a good actor or orator does in highly emotional speech For example, to express anger: High, loud notes delivered rapidly To express sadness: Low, soft notes with slow, perhaps halting delivery Solo voice with continuo accompaniment
  • Slide 5
  • Aria Italian word for songfor solo singer Vocal part strongly melodic Consistent, clear rhythm Accompaniment often for full orchestra An aria tends to focus on one emotion Elements of music used methodically to express that emotion Melodies were often elaboratewritten for virtuoso solo singers
  • Slide 6
  • Recitative vs. Aria Free, speechlike rhythms Pitches follow patterns of speech Continuo accompaniment Prose text (words stated once) Advances the action (movement) Dialoguefree interaction Clear beat, consistent meter Pitches form melodic patterns and phrases Orchestral accompaniment Poetic text (phrases often repeated) Freezes the action (reflection) Soliloquyexpresses one emotion
  • Slide 7
  • Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) The most dominant figure in music c. 1600 The last great madrigalist and the first great opera composer The first great composer publicly attacked for being too radical At music-loving Mantua court (1589-1612) Wrote Orfeo, operas first masterpiece Master at St. Marks, Venice (1613-1643) Wrote Poppea for public opera house
  • Slide 8
  • Monteverdi, Coronation of Poppea Startlingly cynical story Poppea is mistress to Emperor Nero Their love wins out But only after Poppeas former lover is banished, the Empress is set to sea, and Neros trusted adviser is forced to commit suicide In the end, Poppea is crowned Empress of Rome
  • Slide 9
  • Coronation of Poppea Act I Act I begins outside of Poppeas house Neros guards grumble about standing watch all night while Neros having fun Poppeas former lover shows up only to discover that Poppea is now with Nero In Poppeas bedroom, Poppea and Nero sing a lingering farewell (recitative) After Nero goes to work, Poppea sings of her hopes and her ambition to become Empress (aria)
  • Slide 10
  • Coronation of Poppea from Act I, Recitative Whether recitative or aria, always a vivid, fluid response to the words Recitative Rhythm speeds up and slows down freely, as dictated by the words and the dialogue Short arioso (songlike) passages support Neros attempts to flatter Poppea
  • Slide 11
  • Coronation of Poppea from Act I, Aria Aria A kind of victory dance in three sections Recitative used in a moment of uncertainty Energetic rhythms depict section 3s battle
  • Slide 12
  • Henry Purcell (1659-1695) Greatest English Baroque composer Member of the Chapel Royal and organist at Westminster Abbey Wrote sacred, instrumental, & theater music Strongly influenced by French and Italian music Wrote the first real English opera, Dido and Aeneas
  • Slide 13
  • Purcell, Dido and Aeneas Story from Virgils epic poem, the Aeneid After escaping from Troy and before founding Rome, Aeneas meets and falls in love with Queen Dido of Carthage Malicious witches (a Shakespearean touch) make Aeneas believe that Jove has ordered him to continue his journey Furious at his rejection, Dido spurns him Dido commits suicide in the final scene
  • Slide 14
  • Dido and Aeneas Act III, final scene (1) Recitative Dark, somber tone as she prepares to die Mostly minor mode with chromaticism Aria (See next slide) Chorus Madrigal-like lament alternates imitation & homophony, using some word painting
  • Slide 15
  • Dido and Aeneas Act III, final scene (2) Aria Ground bass aria built over sad, chromatic, descending bass line Phrases repeated to extend this poignant, emotional tableau
  • Slide 16
  • Early Baroque Opera Conclusions The most significant new Baroque genre The most extravagant genre in the history of early music Monumental size, lavish sets, mix of arts Focus on human emotions made it deeply expressive Rigid schemes (e.g., recitative, aria) used to organize plot and music Ideal example of extravagance & control