Segments in this Video

Introduction: Eras of Music History: Baroque (04:01)


Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi composed classical music during the Baroque period. The period began in 1600 in Italy and lasted until the mid-18th century. People were shocked by the change in music.

Difficult to Define (03:11)

Francesco Tristano grew up listening to the music of Bach, Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti, George Phillipp Telemann, Pink Floyd, and Richard Wagner. Composers tried to define a theoretical system using musical instruments.

Priest, Businessman, and Composer (04:01)

The Catholic Church in Italy created Baroque music. Vivaldi, nicknamed the "Red Priest," revolutionized music; Venice opened the first public opera house in 1637. After leaving the priesthood, Vivaldi conducted an orchestra comprised of orphan girls.

Violin Solos (03:07)

Antonio Stradivari built violins able to withstand Vivaldi's technique in Cremona. "The Four Seasons" was a huge hit during the Baroque Period. Louis Kauffman reignited interest in his compositions during the 20th Century.

Recomposing "The Four Seasons" (04:06)

Max Richter re-imagined the classical music piece for the 21st Century. Vivaldi added a written explanation for listeners.

Opera Composer (01:39)

Vivaldi wrote several arias including "alma operessa" from "La Fida Ninfa."

Opera Origins (04:49)

The Florentine Camerata met at the house of Giovanni De' Bardi. Jacopo Peri composed "L'Euridice" in honor of the marriage between King Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici. Monteverdi united late Renaissance with early Baroque music; lyrics dominate music.

Monteverdi's Operas (05:21)

"L' Orfeo," based upon the mythological story between Euridice and Orpheus, premiered in Mantua in 1607. "The Coronation of Poppea" was composed forty years later about the destructive love between Poppea and Nero.

War of Arts (02:31)

The Council of Trent met to defend their position of power against Protestantism. Music, architecture, and paintings influenced Catholics.

Baroque Paintings (03:12)

The 19th Century named Baroque after the Portuguese word for "uneven lopsided pearl." Guil Zekri incorporated the contrasts into his tattoo designs. Caravaggio played with light and shadow in his artwork.

30 Years War (03:36)

During the Bohemian Revolt, Protestants threw royal governors out of the window. Sweden, Denmark, France, Austria, Spain, Netherlands fought in bloody wars; 7 million people die from plague and famine in the German territories. Heinrich Schütz incorporated Bible prose and Baroque music from Italy.

Continuo Basso (02:13)

Numbers in scores determined harmonies that accompany the bass. "The Goldberg Variations" by Bach provided an excellent example. The Thirty Years War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia; Louis IV built the Palace of Versailles.

Louis the XIV (04:51)

Lully composed music for the sun king at the Palace of Versailles. Lully bought privileges and secured monopolies to ensure that no musical performance occurred without his participation. By writing an opera in French and incorporating ballet, music reflected the country's political power.

Successful Partnership (04:59)

Lully collaborated with Moliere for seven years founding the comedie-ballet. After their rivalry exploded, Lully kept the rights to all their joint compositions. Madame de Maintenon exposed Lully's homosexual encounters to King Louis XIV.

Musical Instruments (05:39)

The rackett, the oboe, and cornett disappeared. The Viola de Gamba was a predecessor to the modern cello. The Baroque trumpet did not have any valves.

"Coronation Anthem" (08:13)

Both George Frideric Handel and Bach were born in 1685. Handel refused to return the conductor baton to Johann Mattheson in his debut at the German public opera house. The composer moved to London and created independent music.

Parable Arias (02:43)

Baroque composers searched for a formula to express emotion and contain it. Trouble began after Handel brought Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni to the opera house.

Castrato Singers (04:56)

Handel was homosexual and composed beautiful arias for men. Parents castrated their sons if they found themselves in financial difficulties. Farinelli, born Carlo Broschi, was a celebrated singer.

Greatest Composer (05:41)

Bach worked for 27 years at Leipzig St. Thomas Church and rarely traveled. The composer created 1126 cantatas, preludes, masses, and chorales. The fugue was a complex musical form where a short melody or phrase is introduced and successively taken up by others.

Thomaskantor (03:57)

Bach instructed the choir of children at the boarding school in Leipzig and could not compose opera because he served the church.

Changes to Baroque (06:19)

Handel's Italian opera company faltered after productions became too expensive. London citizens wanted music in English. The composer begins to write oratories. Frederick the Great came into power in 1740 and challenged Bach to write a new fugue for six voices.

Credits: Eras of Music History: Baroque (00:24)

Credits: Eras of Music History: Baroque

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Eras of Music History: Baroque

Part of the Series : Eras of Music History
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This program covers the music of the Baroque period, which ran from 1600 to 1750. Characterized by elaborate compositions, the decreasing influence of the church meant that composers had a greater degree of freedom to work on other music (beyond that for religious occasions). This period also saw the rise of instrumentalist suites and concertos, which created the basis for the classical forms to come. We also see the rise of opera during this period. Key composers from this period include Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Vivaldi.

Length: 90 minutes

Item#: BVL188681

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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