Queen Anne of Austria Cardinal Mazarin Louis XIV The Palace at Versailles Hall of Mirrors Extravagance Versailles Landscaping Opera in France Tragedie lyrique : combo of dance scenes, lyrical music and plot based upon courtly love. Jean Bapiste Lully (1632-1687)
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father of French opera
a French critic, late 1600s:
Opera is a bizarre affair made up of poetry and music, in which the poet and the musician, each equally obstructed by the other, give themselves no end of trouble to produce a wretched work.
Opera was illegal in Rome in the early 1700s.
an English critic, 1872:
Opera is to be regarded “musically, philosophically, and ethically, as an almost unmixed evil.”
Harpsichord, ca. 1675Made by Michele TodiniRome, Italy
Overture (Optional)Allemande Germany 4/4 time Moderate Courante French 3/4 time Moderate Sarabande Spain 3/4 time Slow Other Dances (Optional)Minuet Gavotte BourreeGigue England 6/8 time Fast
tutti (all) ripieno (full)
music too difficult
J.S.Bach (musical) cross. Bach signed himself with a single note
(using 4 different pitches)
B: Left staff (treble clef)
A: Upper staff (tenor clef)
C: Right staff (alto clef)
H: Lower staff (treble clef)
In 1707, he married his cousin, Maria Barbara.
They went on to have 7 children, before she died in 1721.
-Leipzig town council member commenting on the hiring of Bach
BWV is an abbreviation for Bach Werke Verzeichniss, which is a catalog of Bach's works. The catalog is organized by genre, not in the order the pieces were composed.
During the earlier years at Leipzig, Bach’s work demonstrated his ability of storytelling using dramatic melodies or chords to represent different events of life.
Example of this style include:
The Passion of St. John (1723)
The Passion According to St. Matthew (1729)
Christmas Oratoro (1734)
Bach composed many pieces of music and they are often listed with the letters BWV followed by a number. Such as: BWV #212 or such.
In 1721, Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilken, who was a professional singer. They ended up having 13 more children during their marriage.
Bach made a final move to Leipzig in 1723. There he became the Director of Music at the St.Thomas School and the Cantor for the St. Thomas Church. He was responsible for all music in all 4 churches in the town.
It is interesting to see that Bach did not travel much during his lifetime and stayed within a small area of Germany.
Bach’s life and work
Bach shares his birth year with G.F.Handel. Handel also had cataract surgery performed by oculist John Taylor.
American composer, Edward MacDowell said,
"Bach and Handel were in every way quite different, except that both were born in the same year and killed by the same doctor”.