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Encyclopedia > Cantata

A cantata (Italian, 'sung') is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment and generally containing more than one movement. Vocal music is music performed by one or more singers, with or without non-vocal instrumental accompaniment, in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. ... A musical composition is a piece of original music designed for repeated performance (as opposed to strictly improvisational music, in which each performance is unique). ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... In music accompaniment is the art of playing along with a soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner as well as the music thus played. ... In music, a movement is a large division of a larger composition or musical form. ...

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Historical context

The term did not exist prior to the 16th century, when all "cultured" music was vocal, but with the rise of instrumental music in the 17th century the term emerged as the instrumental art became sufficiently developed to be embodied in sonatas. From the middle of the 17th until late in the 18th century a favorite form of Italian chamber music was the cantata for one or two solo voices, with accompaniment of harpsichord and perhaps a few other solo instruments. It consisted at first of a declamatory narrative or scene in recitative, held together by a primitive aria repeated at intervals. Fine examples may be found in the church music of Giacomo Carissimi; and the English vocal solos of Henry Purcell (such as Mad Tom and Mad Bess) show the utmost that can be made of this archaic form. With the rise of the da capo aria, the cantata became a group of two or three arias joined by recitative. George Frideric Handel's numerous Italian duets and trios are examples on a rather large scale. His Latin motet Silete Venti, for soprano solo, shows the use of this form in church music. (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... An instrumental is, in contrast to a song, a musical composition or recording without lyrics or any other sort of vocal music; all of the music is produced by musical instruments. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Sonata (From Latin and Italian sonare, to sound), in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to cantata (Latin cantare, to sing), a piece sung. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. ... Harpsichord in the Flemish style A harpsichord is any of a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument currently called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. ... Giacomo Carissimi (baptized April 18, 1605 – January 12, 1674, Rome), was an Italian composer, one of the most celebrated masters of the early Baroque, or, more accurately, the Roman School of music. ... Henry Purcell Henry Purcell (IPA: [1]; September 10 (?) [2], 1659–November 21, 1695), a Baroque composer, is generally considered to be one of Englands greatest composers. ... George Frideric Handel, 1733 George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born British Baroque composer who was a leading composer of concerti grossi, operas and oratorios. ...


Differences between other musical forms

The Italian solo cantata tended, when on a large scale, to become indistinguishable from a scene in an opera, in the same way the church cantata, solo or choral, is indistinguishable from a small oratorio or portion of an oratorio. This is equally evident whether we examine the unparalleled church cantatas of Bach, of which nearly 200 are extant (see list of cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach), or the Chandos Anthems of Handel. In Johann Sebastian Bach's case many of the larger cantatas are actually called oratorios; and the Christmas Oratorio is a collection of six church cantatas actually intended for performance on six different days, though together forming as complete an artistic whole as any classical oratorio. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ... This is a list of cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach in order of BWV number as given in Wolfgang Schmieders catalogue of Bachs works. ... Bach in a 1748 portrait by Haussmann Places in which Bach resided throughout his life Johann Sebastian Bach (pronounced ) (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the... The Christmas Oratorio (German: Weihnachtsoratorium) BWV 248 is a work by Johann Sebastian Bach celebrating the Christmas season. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ...


The essential point, however, in Bach's church cantatas is that they formed part of a church service. Many of Bach's greatest cantatas begin with an elaborate chorus followed by a couple of arias and recitatives, and end with a plain chorale. This has often been commented upon as an example of Bach's indifference to artistic climax in the work as a whole. But no one will maintain this who realizes the place which the church cantata occupied in the Lutheran church service. The text was carefully based upon the gospel or lessons for the day; unless the cantata was short the sermon probably took place after the first chorus or one of the arias, and the congregation joined in the final chorale. Thus the unity of the service was the unity of the music; and, in the cases where all the movements of the cantata were founded on one and the same chorale-tune, this unity has never been equalled, except by those 16th-century masses and motets which are founded upon the Gregorian tones of the festival for which they are written. A chorale was originally a hymn of the Lutheran church sung by the entire congregation. ... In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions. ... For information on the calendar, see: Gregorian Calendar For the music style, see: Gregorian chant For medieval usage see: Gregorian reform For the music group see: Gregorian (music group) For the University in Rome: Gregorian University This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise...


In modern times the term cantata is applied almost exclusively to choral, as distinguished from solo vocal music. It is just possible to recognize as a distinct artistic type that kind of early 19th-century cantata in which the chorus is the vehicle for music more lyric and songlike than the oratorio style, though at the same time not excluding the possibility of a brilliant climax in the shape of a light order of fugue. Ludwig van Beethoven's Glorreiche Augenblick is a brilliant pot-boiler in this style; Carl Maria von Weber's Jubel Cantata is a typical specimen, and Felix Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht is the classic. Mendelssohn's Symphony Cantata, the Lobgesang, is a hybrid work, partly in the oratorio style. It is preceded by three symphonic movements, a device avowedly suggested by Beethoven's ninth symphony; but the analogy is not accurate, as Beethoven's work is a symphony of which the fourth movement is a choral finale of essentially single design, whereas Mendelssohn's Symphony Cantata is a cantata with three symphonic preludes. The full lyric possibilities of a string of choral songs were realized by Johannes Brahms in his Rinaldo, that- like the Walpurgisnacht- was set to a text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The remaining types of cantata (beginning with Beethoven's Meeres-stille, and including most of those by Brahms's and many notable small English choral works) demonstrate the many ways a poem may be set to choral music. In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition or technique of composition for a fixed number of parts or voices (referred to as voices, regardless of whether the work is vocal or instrumental). ... A portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820 Ludwig van Beethoven (IPA: ), (baptized December 17, 1770[1] – March 26, 1827) was a German composer. ... Carl Maria von Weber Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst, Freiherr von Weber (November 18, 1786 in Eutin, Holstein – June 5, 1826 in London, England) was a German composer, conductor, pianist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school. ... Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and known generally as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer and conductor of the early Romantic period. ... Die erste Walpurgisnacht (The First Walpurgis Night) is a cantata for choir and orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn. ... The Symphony No. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Rinaldo, a cantata for tenor solo, four-part male chorus and orchestra, was begun by Johannes Brahms in 1863 as an entry for a choral competition announced in Aachen. ...  , IPA: , (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German polymath. ...


Media

  • "Dialogus inter Christum et fidelem animam" ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
    • Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, by J. S. Bach
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links Wo_ist_doch. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... The only surviving portrait of Buxtehude, from a 1674 painting by Johannes Voorhout. ... Image File history File links Jesu,_Joy_of_Mans_Desiring2. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... For other people named Bach and other meanings of the word, see Bach (disambiguation). ...

References

See also


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From the middle of the r 7th till late in the 18th century a favourite form of Italian chamber music was the cantata for one or two solo voices, with accompaniment of harpsichord and perhaps a few other solo instruments.
In the same way the church cantata, solo or choral, is indistinguishable from a small oratorio or portion of an oratorio.
The text was carefully based upon the gospel or lessons for the day; unless the cantata was short the sermon probably took place after the first chorus or one of the arias, and the congregation joined in the final chorale.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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