Mus121 2.9.2011 - Three large parts: Christmas, Ester,...

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Mus121 (2/9/2011) Oratorio : A musical drama on a religious subject like opera. Originated in Italy (so Ital. or Latin texts); Has recits & arias for solo voices, accpd by continuo or continuo & orchestra; Usually has dramatic plot. Unlike Opera: No staging (i.e. no scenery, costumes, action); Chorus may be important. G.F. Handel (1685-1759) est. English oratorio as concert music in 1730’s. Advantages: Cheaper to produce; could use English singers; Less bound by conventions of Ital. opera; Ital. composers couldn’t compete. Messiah : (1741) exceptional among Handel’s English oratorios because: Contemplative rather than dramatic; Libretto consists exclusively of Scripture.
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Unformatted text preview: Three large parts: Christmas, Ester, Redemption. Overture : Orchestral intro to vocal work. Affect? Has two sections: 1 st slow tempo, duple meter, dotted rhythms prominent (often repeated); 2d is faster, imitative polyphony. Called FRENCH OVERTURE, here used symbolically. Recitative : Solo song based on text declamation over static bass line, little indep. Melodic interest; little sense of meter. Used in opera/orat. For dialogue or narration, to advance plot. Called secco (dry) when accpd. Only by continuo (chordal inst. + bass inst.) BUT when other inst. Added (accompagnato) often becomes more metrical. Recitative usually leads up to...
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