Lesson 8: The Classical StyleIntroduction:As we have already observed (but bears repeating), it is ironic that the Baroque era, which had its founding as a reaction against the complexityof Renaissance polyphony, would eventually give rise to the most extraordinary and complex polyphony in all of Western music, as heard in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). J. S. Bach is the supreme master of counterpoint—which is the art of weaving together intricate lines to create a rich, polyphonic texture. His music is widely regarded as the epitome of the mature Baroque style.With the advent of the Classical style, then, once more a stylistic era would emerge as a reaction against the complexity of an earlier era. Even before Bach's death at mid-century, the Classical style had already taken center stage. In the second half of the eighteenth century the Classical style would be brought to artistic maturity—and near perfection—in the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. It is a style of elegance and simplicity that exhibits clarity, balance, symmetry, proportion.One of the hallmarks of the Classical style is its clarity of phrase structure. A musical phrase is a length of music that can be recognized by a point of repose at the end of it. In music, we identify such a point ofrepose as a cadence.The use of the term "phrase" implies a correlation to language that is fitting. A cadence is like a pause in speaking, whether to take a breath or to punctuate a sentence. As we have already observed, there are twotypes of cadences, inconclusive and conclusive, that correspond rather nicely to the comma and the period. We know these as the Half Cadence and the Authentic Cadence.In this lesson our focus will be on several works of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), who was the first of the great Classical composers.