Unit Two: The 17th  Century  --  Baroque Period

Important Composers of the era:

Francois Couperin

Henry Purcell (1659-95)  

Jean-Baptiste LuIly (1632-1687) 

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) 

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)  

Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) 

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

Musical Examples: (excerpts)

Bach the Art of the Fugue

Bach Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring

Bach Sanctus    

Bach Well Tempered Clavier                                        

Handel Messiah For unto Us a Child is Born                                                            

Vivaldi Autumn                                                  


1.  FIVE VILLANCICOS - was a secular Spanish refrain form with a vernacular text set to relatively uncomplicated music. In performing these pieces instrumentally we follow a favorite Renaissance practice-Spanish 16th Century. 5 Songs 3 by Juan del Enciňa and 2 Anon.

2. Antonio Vivaldi (c.1675-1741)  - CONCERTO IN C MAJOR Sopranino recorder

Vivaldi wrote this concerto and two others for the "flautino" ("little flute"), but historians are not sure what "flautino" meant in Vivaldi's day. Among the possibilities are sopranino recorder, piccolo, flagealet and military fife.

3. John Bull (c.1562-1628) - "IN NOMINE" RECORDER QUINTET

The "In Nornine" is a peculiarly English species of instrumental composition (over 150 exist) based on the cantus firmus (pre-existent melody) from the "In Nomine" passage of Taverner's Mass, "Gloria tibi Trinitas." Since the cantus firmus is frequently quoted in long notes, some of the form's popularity might be due to the unique opportunity it affords the novice player to participate in music of the utmost seriousness and complexity.

4. Johann Rosenmuller (c.1620-84) -SONATA A 2 in D Minor (TRIO SONATA) Soprano recorder, bassoon, continuo (harpsichord, viola da gamba).

The term "trio sonata" 'refers to a composition with two solo lines and a bass, and not necessarily to the number of instruments involved-which is usually greater. The performance is based on Dr. Hans T. David's manuscript copy of the original which specifies violin and either bassoon or viola da gamba as solo instruments. The original title is "Sonata a 2."  The performer of old enjoyed unusual freedom, and in a general way we are beginning to know how this freedom was expressed. We can never, though, be sure of the myriad details, of the elusive and ephemeral qualities of performance that defy translation into notation. They must be supplied by intuition and experience. These qualities are shared in abundance by the members of the Baroque Ensemble. As knowledgeable and sensitive chamber players, their contribution to the performances on this record is invaluable.

5. Franz Biber (1644-1704)   SONATA PRO TABULA A 10 Five recorders, strings, continuo. The pronounced Eastern European folk flavor of parts of this interesting work can be attributed to Biber's Bohemian birth. As "table" music, the sonata was designed to accompany a meal or banquet, probably at the palace of the Prince-Bishop of Olomouc who employed Biber during the years 1666-1670.

6. Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) - FANTASIA A2 for Two alto recorders.

The late Renaissance instrumental duo seems expressly and almost diabolically designed to trip up an unwary player. The characteristically complex cross-rhythms of the genre are challenging; they add zest to the contest between composer and player. 

Entire Selections: (many more to be added)

5. Alessandro Scarlatti: La Griselda: Act II, Scene I: Mi rivedi

6. Jean-Baptiste LuIly: Le bourgeois gentilhomme: Entrée and Chaconne

7. Jean-Baptiste Lully: Armide: Ouverture;Act II, Scene 5: Enfin il est en ma puissance (Note: two different examples)

8. Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas: Act Ill, Scene 2: Thy hand, Belinda/ When I am laid in earth; Chorus: With drooping wings  (Note: two different examples)

9. Henry Purcell: The Fairy Queen: Hark! the ech'ing air a triumph sings

10. Dieterich Buxtehude: Praeludium in E Major (Note: two different examples)

11. Francois Couperin: Vingt-cinquieme ordre

12. Giovanni Legrenzi: Trio Sonata: La Raspona

13. Arcangelo Corelli: Trio Sonata, Op. 3, No. 2  


Bach B Minor Mass Sanctus                                                                                     

Handel Water Music   

Telemann Recorder Concerto