The da capo aria (Italian pronunciation: [da kˈkaːpo ˈaːrja] ) is a musical form for arias that was prevalent in the Baroque era. It is sung by a soloist with the accompaniment of instruments, often a small orchestra. The da capo aria is very common in the musical genres of opera and oratorio. According to Randel, a number of Baroque composers (he lists Hasse, Handel, Porpora, Leo, and Vinci) composed more than a thousand da capo arias during their careers.
A da capo aria is in ternary form, meaning it is composed of three sections. The first section is a complete musical entity, ending in the tonic key, and could in principle be sung alone. The second section contrasts with the first in its musical key, texture, mood,and sometimes also tempo. The third section was usually not written out by the composer, who rather simply specified the direction "da capo" (Italian for "from the head") - meaning from the beginning, which meant that the first section should be repeated in full.
The text for a da capo aria was typically a poem or other verse sequence written in two strophes, the first for the A section (hence repeated later) and the second for B. Each strophe consisted of from three to six lines, and terminated in a line containing a masculine ending.
The singer was often expected to improvise variations and ornaments during the third section, to keep it from being a mere repetition of the first.This was especially so for da capo arias written in slower tempos, where the opportunity to improvise, as well as the risk of dullness, were greater. The ability to improvise variations and ornaments was a skill learned by, and expected of, all solo singers. The decline in this ability following the Baroque era is perhaps the reason why the da capo aria ultimately acquired a reputation as a musically dull form. The authentic performance movement, starting in the mid twentieth century, restored improvisation to the performance of da capo arias, although the practice has yet to become universal even among authentic performance artists.
Handel's oratorio Messiah (1742) includes two well-known da capo arias, "He Was Despised" (for alto voice) and "The Trumpet Shall Sound" (for bass). J. S. Bach's cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 (1730) begins with a flamboyant da capo aria for soprano, trumpet soloist, and strings.
Da capo is an Italian musical term that means "from the beginning". It is often abbreviated as D.C. The term is a directive to repeat the previous part of music, often used to save space, and thus is an easier way of saying to repeat the music from the beginning.
A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various forms, such as those including the repetition and variation of sections.
In music, a cadenza is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing virtuosic display. During this time the accompaniment will rest, or sustain a note or chord. Thus an improvised cadenza is indicated in written notation by a fermata in all parts. A cadenza will usually occur over the final or penultimate note in a piece, the lead-in or over the final or penultimate note in an important subsection of a piece. It can also be found before a final coda or ritornello.
In music, an aria is a self-contained piece for one voice, with or without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment, normally part of a larger work. An aria is a formal musical composition unlike its counterpart, the recitative.
An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, choir, and soloists. Like most operas, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an instrumental ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias. However, opera is musical theatre, while oratorio is strictly a concert piece – though oratorios are sometimes staged as operas, and operas are sometimes presented in concert form. In an oratorio the choir often plays a central role, and there is generally little or no interaction between the characters, and no props or elaborate costumes. A particularly important difference is in the typical subject matter of the text. Opera tends to deal with history and mythology, including age-old devices of romance, deception, and murder, whereas the plot of an oratorio often deals with sacred topics, making it appropriate for performance in the church. Protestant composers took their stories from the Bible, while Catholic composers looked to the lives of saints, as well as to Biblical topics. Oratorios became extremely popular in early 17th-century Italy partly because of the success of opera and the Catholic Church's prohibition of spectacles during Lent. Oratorios became the main choice of music during that period for opera audiences.
Ternary form, sometimes called song form, is a three-part musical form consisting of an opening section (A), a following section (B) and then a repetition of the first section (A). It is usually schematized as A–B–A. Examples include the da capo aria "The trumpet shall sound" from Handel's Messiah, Chopin's Prelude in D-Flat Major and the opening chorus of Bach's St John Passion.
Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
The Trecento Madrigal is an Italian musical form of the 14th century. It is quite distinct from the madrigal of the Renaissance and early Baroque, with which it shares only the name. The madrigal of the Trecento flourished ca. 1300–1370 with a short revival near 1400. It was a composition for two voices, sometimes on a pastoral subject. In its earliest development it was simple construction: Francesco da Barberino in 1300 called it a "raw and chaotic singalong".
This is a list of musical terms that are likely to be encountered in printed scores, music reviews, and program notes. Most of the terms are Italian, in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions. Sometimes, the special musical meanings of these phrases differ from the original or current Italian meanings. Most of the other terms are taken from French and German, indicated by "Fr." and "Ger.", respectively.
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.
Cavatina is a musical term, originally meaning a short song of simple character, without a second strain or any repetition of the air. It is now frequently applied to any simple, melodious air, as distinguished from brilliant arias or recitatives, many of which are part of a larger movement or scena in oratorio or opera.
Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!, BWV 214, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, composed in 1733 for the birthday of Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland and Electress of Saxony. Classified in published editions as a dramma per musica, it is based on a libretto by an unknown author. The piece has the dedicatee addressed by allegorical figures representing Roman and Greek goddesses of war and peace. It is structured as nine movements, and scored for four vocal parts and a festive Baroque orchestra with trumpets, timpani, flutes, oboes and strings. Choral movements frame a series of alternating recitatives and arias. Bach led the first performance with the Collegium Musicum at the Zimmermannsches Caffeehaus on 8 December 1733.
La resurrezione is a sacred oratorio by George Frideric Handel, set to a libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece (1652–1728). Capece was court poet to Queen Marie Casimire of Poland, who was living in exile in Rome. It was first performed on Easter Sunday, 8 April 1708 at Rome, with the backing of the Marchese Francesco Ruspoli, Handel's patron at this time. The work details the events between — and during — Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with the action carried forward in recitative, and exploration of character and delineation of mood taking place in the arias. The characters of the liturgical drama that appear in the oratorio are Lucifer (bass), Mary Magdalene (soprano), an angel (soprano), St John the Evangelist (tenor), and St Mary Cleophas (alto).
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato is a pastoral ode by George Frideric Handel based on the poetry of John Milton.
Baroque music is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era, with the galant style marking the transition between Baroque and Classical eras. The Baroque period is divided into three major phases: early, middle, and late. Overlapping in time, they are conventionally dated from 1580 to 1650, from 1630 to 1700, and from 1680 to 1750. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Dieterich Buxtehude, and others.
The Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, or Twelve Grand Concertos, HWV 319–330, are 12 concerti grossi by George Frideric Handel for a concertino trio of two violins and violoncello and a ripieno four-part string orchestra with harpsichord continuo. First published by subscription in London by John Walsh in 1739, in the second edition of 1741 they became Handel's Opus 6. Taking the older concerto da chiesa and concerto da camera of Arcangelo Corelli as models, rather than the later three-movement Venetian concerto of Antonio Vivaldi favoured by Johann Sebastian Bach, they were written to be played during performances of Handel's oratorios and odes. Despite the conventional model, Handel incorporated in the movements the full range of his compositional styles, including trio sonatas, operatic arias, French overtures, Italian sinfonias, airs, fugues, themes and variations and a variety of dances. The concertos were largely composed of new material: they are amongst the finest examples in the genre of baroque concerto grosso.
The Musette, or rather chaconne, in this Concerto, was always in favour with the composer himself, as well as the public; for I well remember that HANDEL frequently introduced it between the parts of his Oratorios, both before and after publication. Indeed no instrumental composition that I have ever heard during the long favour of this, seemed to me more grateful and pleasing, particularly, in subject.
Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. The wordbook was supplied by Charles Jennens. This article covers Part I and describes the relation of the musical setting to the text. Part I begins with the prophecy of the Messiah and his virgin birth by several prophets, namely Isaiah. His birth is still rendered in words by Isaiah, followed by the annunciation to the shepherds as the only scene from a Gospel in the oratorio, and reflections on the Messiah's deeds. Part II covers the Passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the later spreading of the Gospel. Part III concentrates on Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven.
Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. This listing covers Part II in a table and comments on individual movements, reflecting the relation of the musical setting to the text. Part I begins with the prophecy of the Messiah and his birth, shows the annunciation to the shepherds and reflects the Messiah's deeds on earth. Part II covers the Passion in nine movements including the oratorio's longest movement, an air for alto He was despised, then mentions death, resurrection, ascension, and reflects the spreading of the Gospel and its rejection. The part is concluded by a scene called "God's Triumph" that culminates in the Hallelujah Chorus. Part III of the oratorio concentrates on Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven.
Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts. This listing covers Part III in a table and comments on individual movements, reflecting the relation of the musical setting to the text. Part I begins with the prophecy of the Messiah and his birth, shows the annunciation to the shepherds as a scene from the Gospel of Luke, and reflects the Messiah's deeds on Earth. Part II covers the Passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the later spreading of the Gospel. Part III concentrates on Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven.
Der Messias, K. 572, is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 1789 German-language version of Messiah, George Frideric Handel's 1741 oratorio. On the initiative of Gottfried van Swieten, Mozart adapted Handel's work for performances in Vienna.