Chapter 16. France, England, Spain, and the New World in the Seventeen..

Chapter Outline



The last two chapters focused largely on genre: how new and old ideas combined in opera, and how theatrical styles affected chamber, sacred, and instrumental music, fostering new genres such as cantata, sacred concerto, oratorio, and solo sonata. Without neglecting genre as a way of focusing our historical narrative, it becomes more useful in the middle and late Baroque period to highlight the distinctive national styles that developed, including trends within a nation뭩 music and borrowings across borders. 

National style was influenced by politics as well as by culture. Italy remained the leading musical region, but France, a centralized monarchy whose king used the arts for propaganda and social control, emerged as Italy뭩 chief competitor. Under the king뭩 sponsorship, musicians forged a new French idiom marked by elegance and restraint, a counterbalance to the virtuosic, expressive music of Italy. England and Germany then absorbed elements from both French and Italian styles, combining them with native traditions. The English monarch was an important musical patron but did not dominate the scene as in France, leaving room for direct support of music by the public and the invention of the public concert. Rulers of the many small German states adopted French fashions in music as in literature, art, architecture, and manners, but Italian musicians and genres remained influential. Spain largely followed its own path, including a thriving musical life in its American colonies. 

In this chapter, we will explore the impact of politics on music in France and England, the adaptation of Italian genres in France, the emergence of a distinctive French style, English assimilation of both French and Italian elements together with native traditions, and the distinctive traditions of Spain at home and in the New World. We will follow the samecategories as in the previous two chapters, in the same order: theatrical music, vocal chamber music, church music, and instrumental music. 

Chapter Outline: 

  1. National Styles
    1. National styles become distinct in the middle and late baroque period.
    2. Politics and national style
      1. France had a centralized monarchy.
        1. The king sponsored musical innovation.
        2. The French idiom was more elegant and restrained than the Italian style.
      2. England’s public concerts were more influential than its monarch.
      3. Germany’s small states followed Italian taste in music.
      4. Spain followed its own path.
  2. The French Baroque
    1. Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715), see HWM Figure 16.1
      1. France was under the rule of Louis’ Austrian mother and her Italian lover, Cardinal Mazarin, until 1661.
      2. Louis used the arts to help consolidate his rule.
        1. To project an image of himself as a powerful leader (“The Sun King”), he identified himself with Apollo in visual arts (see HWM Figure 16.2).
        2. He centralized the arts and sciences, establishing royal academies for each, including one for opera (1669).
      3. The palace at Versailles (see HWM Figures 16.3 and 16.4) projected his power and kept potential rivals busy with court entertainment for much of the year.
    2. The court ballet
      1. Musical-dramatic work, with several acts, staged with costumes and scenery
      2. Members of the nobility were required to take part alongside professional dancers.
      3. Music included solo songs, choruses, and instrumental dances.
      4. Louis XIV took part, playing roles designed to reinforce his identity as the Sun King.
      5. The hierarchy of court ballet production reinforced obedience to authority.
    3. Music at the court
      1. Louis XIV employed 150 to 200 musicians in three divisions.
      2. Music of the Royal Chapel: singers, organists, and others who performed for religious services
      3. Music of the Chamber: string, harpsichord, and flute players who provided indoor entertainment
      4. Music of the Great Stable: wind, brass, and timpani players who provided military and outdoor music
        1. Jean Hotteterre (ca. 1610-ca. 1692), a member of the Great Stable, experimented with the construction of woodwind instruments.
        2. Players and instrument-makers developed the modern oboe, which replaced the shawm.
      5. Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi (Twenty-Four Violins of the King)
        1. The first large ensemble of the violin family
        2. Five-part texture, with violins on the melody, bass violins (tuned a whole tone lower than the modern cello) on the bass, and alto and tenor violins (both tuned like a modern viola) divided among three inner parts.
        3. In 1648, another group, the Petits Violons (Small Violin Ensemble) was established for Louis’ personal use.
        4. The Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi and the Petits Violons accompanied ballets and other court entertainments.
        5. By the 1670s, the term “orchestra” began to be used to describe large ensembles; the term came from the orchestra area in front of the stage in a theater.
    4. Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) and French opera
      1. Biography (see HWM biography, page 360, and HWM Figure 16.6)
        1. Born in Florence and came to Paris at age fourteen
        2. 1653: Louis XIV appointed him court composer of instrumental music and director of the Petits Violons.
        3. 1661: Appointed Superintendent of Music for the King’s Chamber, a position that included the Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi
        4. He became a French citizen, and the king and queen attended his wedding.
        5. 1672: Granted exclusive right to produce sung drama in France, and established the Académie Royale de Musique
        6. After a sexual scandal in 1684, he lost favor with the king.
        7. 1687: Hit his foot with his staff while conducting (he did not use a baton) and developed fatal gangrene from the injury
        8. As a conductor, he insisted on uniform bowing and coordination of ornaments, and established a long tradition of conductors exercising dictatorial control over orchestras.
        9. Works include fifteen operas, fourteen comédie-ballets, twenty-nine ballets, and liturgical music.
      2. Influences on French opera
        1. Cardinal Mazarin introduced Italian opera to France, but it met with opposition on political and artistic grounds.
        2. French audiences could not accept sung dialogue.
        3. Lully and playwright Jean-Baptiste Molière collaborated on comédies-ballets, which blended ballet and opera.
        4. Elements of ballet were incorporated into French opera (see below).
    5. Tragédie en musique (tragedy in music), later called tragédie lyrique, was the French version of opera.
      1. New genre established by Lully and playwright Jean-Philippe Quinault (1635- 1688) after Lully purchased the royal privilege granting him the exclusive right to produce sung drama in France.
      2. Librettos
        1. Librettos consisted of five acts.
        2. Plots were serious stories drawn from mythology or chivalric tales.
        3. Divertissements (diversions) of dancing and choral singing were interspersed throughout.
        4. Prologues praised the king, and plots reinforced parallels between his reign and ancient Greece and Rome.
        5. Stories included opportunities for spectacles to entertain the audience (see HWM Figure 16.7).
      3. French overture (French ouverture, “opening”), NAWM 77a, from Armide (1686)
        1. The form came from ballet tradition.
        2. The first section is slow and stately, with a homophonic texture, and marked by dotted rhythms.
        3. The second section is faster, with some fugal imitation.
        4. The second section sometimes closes with a return to the tempo and figuration of the first section.
      4. Divertissements
        1. Unrelated material that appeared at the center or end of every act
        2. Colorful and spectacular episodes that included opportunities for ballet and choruses
        3. Dances from Lully’s ballets were arranged into independent instrumental suites and inspired others to compose suites in similar styles.
      5. Recitative (see NAWM 77b, from Armide)
        1. The French language did not lend itself to recitative as Italian did.
        2. Lully reportedly listened to celebrated French actors in order to imitate their style of declamation.
        3. Récitatif simple (simple recitative): recitative that followed the contours of spoken French, shifting meter as necessary (HWM Example 16.1a)
        4. Récitatif mesuré (measured recitative): songlike interruptions to simple recitative (HWM Example 16.1b)
        5. Air: song with continuo accompaniment, with a rhyming text and regular phrasing, often more similar to a dance than to Italian arias (HWM Example 16.1c, which has minuet features)
      6. Performance practice
        1. Performers altered the notated rhythms in performance.
        2. Notes inégales: performing a series of eighth notes with a lilt similar to dotted rhythms
        3. Overdotting: performing a dotted note longer than its notated value and shortening the following note
        4. Agréments: brief ornaments to be added to cadences and other important notes
      7. Tonal organization
        1. Lully’s music uses major and minor keys, not modal concepts.
        2. Predictable harmonic progressions close with a dominant-tonic cadence.
        3. Lully sometimes surprised the listener with evaded cadences.
      8. Focus on drama
        1. Lully mixed recitative, air, and orchestral interludes depending on the dramatic content of the libretto.
        2. Unlike Italian opera of the period, French opera limited singers’ opportunities for vocal display.
      9. Lully’s influence
        1. Lully’s followers imitated his style and sometimes exaggerated it.
        2. His operas were performed after his death in France and other countries.
        3. His style influenced instrumental as well as vocal music.
        4. The French Overture spread throughout Europe thanks to the popularity of Lully’s overtures.
    6. Song and cantata
      1. Hundreds of collections of airs were published in Paris.
      2. The air de cour gradually gave way to new types that were defined by their topics.
      3. Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704) combined Italian lyricism with French-style embellishments in his airs.
      4. In the 1680s, Charpentier and others began to compose cantatas suited to French taste.
    7. Church music
      1. Motets on Latin texts
        1. Petit motet (small motet): sacred concerto for few voices with continuo
        2. Grand motet (large motet): multisection works corresponding to the large-scale concertos of Gabrieli and Schütz
        3. The main composers were Lully, Charpentier, and Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726).
      2. Oratorio
        1. Introduced to France by Charpentier
        2. Texts in Latin
        3. Charpentier’s oratorios combine Italian and French styles and give prominence to the chorus.
      3. Organ music
        1. Music for church services, including organ masses
        2. Pieces resembling French overtures and recitatives in French style
        3. Composers took an interest in the tonal colors of organ pipes.
    8. Lute and keyboard music
      1. Lute music influenced music for other media.
      2. Denis Gaultier (1603-1672)
        1. He was the leading composer of lute music.
        2. He published two instructional collections for amateurs.
      3. Lutenists developed a systematic approach to agréments, creating an aesthetic of refined taste that influenced other types of French music.
        1. Composers sometimes notated agréments despite their origin in improvisation.
        2. HWM Figure 16.10 shows a table of agréments from D’Anglebert’s harpsichord treatise of 1689.
      4. Lute players’ habit of breaking up melodies was picked up by harpsichord composers and called style luthé (lute style) or style brisé (broken style) (e.g., HWM Example 16.2)
  3. Dance music
    1. Stylized dance music formed the core of the lute and keyboard repertory.
    2. Binary form replaced earlier forms.
      1. Two roughly equal sections, each repeated
      2. The first section leads from tonic to dominant (or relative major).
      3. The second section returns to the tonic.
    3. Suites (example: NAWM 78, HWM Example 16.2 by Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre)
      1. French composers grouped dance movements into suites.
      2. The French order of suite movements differs from the German (see HWM Chapter 15).
      3. Movements have contrasting tempos, meters, and styles.
      4. Titles came from dance origins or were fanciful.
      5. Preludes (e.g. HWM Example 16.2a)
        1. Unmeasured
        2. In improvisatory style
      6. Allemande (French for “German”; HWM Example 16.2b)
        1. Moderately fast
        2. 4/4 meter
        3. Begins with an upbeat
        4. Continuous movement in style luthé, with frequent agréments
      7. Courante (French for “running” or “flowing”; HWM Example 16.2c)
        1. Based on a dignified dance step
        2. Triple or compound meter, or alternation between triple and compound
      8. Sarabande (HWM Example 16.2d)
        1. Originally a fast dance from Latin America
        2. Brought to France via Spain and Italy
        3. The stylized French version is in a slow tempo.
        4. Triple meter, with an emphasis on the second beat
      9. Gigue (French for “gig”; HWM Example 16.2e)
        1. Originated in the British Isles
        2. Fast tempo
        3. Compound meter
        4. Movement in continuous triplets
        5. Often begins with a section in fugal or quasi-fugal style
      10. Extra dances were often inserted.
        1. Rondeau, a refrain form with contrasting periods paired in couplets
        2. Gavotte, a duple-meter dance starting with a half-measure upbeat
        3. Minuet, a triple-meter couples’ dance
      11. The French sequence of allemande- courante-sarabande-gigue was adopted by German composers
    4. Influence of French style
      1. After the Thirty Years’ War, the refinement of French taste in all the arts was admired.
      2. Instrumental music styles spread, especially suites and overtures.
      3. After the 1660s, the French and Italian styles began to blend.
  4. The English Baroque
    1. The English monarchy was more fragile and limited in power than the French
      1. 1649: The monarchy is abolished after a seven-year civil war.
      2. 1649-1660: Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) rules England as a commonwealth and a protectorate.
      3. 1660: Parliament restores the monarchy.
      4. 1660-1689: James II enlarges the scope of the monarch’s power.
      5. 1689: Parliament controls public funds and the Bill of Rights limits the monarch’s power.
    2. Music and theater
      1. The masque continued to be a favorite genre under Henry VIII.
        1. Long collaborative spectacles similar in scope to French court ballets
        2. More than one composer contributed music to a typical masque.
        3. Aristocrats and schools produced shorter masques.
        4. Under Cromwell’s prohibition against stage plays, the addition of masque elements to spoken drama created a mixed genre that was allowable.
      2. Dramas with masque elements were the first English “operas.”
        1. 1660: The restoration of the monarchy restored staged plays as well.
        2. Masque elements continued to be part of dramatic productions.
        3. Venus and Adonis (ca. 1683), by John Blow (1649-1708), was called a masque, but it was sung throughout.
    3. Henry Purcell’s (1659-1695) dramatic music
      1. Biography (see HWM biography, page 375, and HWM Figure 16.12)
        1. Spent his entire career in service of the English monarchy
        2. Jobs included choirboy, composer, organist, keeper of the king’s instruments, and organ maker
        3. Buried in Westminster Abbey
        4. Composed in all genres but focused on vocal music
        5. Known for setting English text in natural-sounding declamation
        6. Incorporated French and Italian elements
      2. Dido and Aeneas (1689)
        1. French elements: overture, homophonic choruses, and scenes that end with dances.
        2. Italian elements: arias, including three on a ground bass (e.g., NAWM 79b), and using a descending tetrachord for a lament
        3. English elements: dramatic action within dance sections, tuneful English airs, and imitation of Locke and Blow’s choruses and style of text declamation
        4. Recitative incorporates some word-painting (e.g., martial dotted rhythms on “valour” and descending semitones to suggest sighs).
      3. Purcell’s other music for the stage
        1. Semi-opera or dramatic opera: a spoken play with an overture and substantial musical episodes (e.g., The Fairy Queen (1692), based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
        2. Incidental music for over fifty plays
    4. Other English music
      1. Though opera didn’t take root in the seventeenth century, England had a lively musical culture.
      2. Music for the royal family included Purcell’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (1692) and other large-scale works commissioned for holidays or state occasions.
      3. Music for amateur and home performance
        1. Vocal music
        2. Catch: a round or canon with a humorous, often ribald text, sung at all-male gatherings
      4. Anglican church music
        1. Anthems and services continued to be the principle genres.
        2. Verse anthems for soloists with chorus
        3. Coronation ceremonies inspired elaborate works.
        4. Purcell set nonliturgical sacred texts for one or more voices with continuo, probably for private devotion.
      5. Instrumental music
        1. Consort music for viols, played by well-to-do amateurs
        2. Locke and Purcell composed viol fantasias and In Nomines for viol consort.
        3. Dance music included harpsichord pieces and tunes for country dances, e.g. those collected in The English Dancing Master (1651), published by John Playford (see HWM Figure 16.13)
        4. Public concerts (see HWM Source Reading, page 378) began in the 1670s, with the king’s musicians making extra money in concerts attended by the middle class.
  5. Spain and the New World
    1. Spain’s power
      1. Spain was the richest country in Europe and the most powerful nation on earth.
        1. Spain’s European possessions included Portugal, half of Italy, and the Netherlands.
        2. Outside of Europe, Spain controlled the Philippine Islands and much of the Americas.
      2. Spain’s colonies created multicultural mixtures of musical styles from European traditions and those of African slaves and native populations.
    2. Opera, zarzuela, and song
      1. Two operas composed in Spain
        1. Pedro Calder? de la Barca, librettist
        2. Juan Hidalgo (1614-1685), composer
        3. Music for the first was lost.
        4. The second, Celos aun del aire matan, consists of syllabic strophic airs in Spanish styles and recitative for moments of high drama.
      2. The zarzuela was the predominant genre of musical theater in Spain for several centuries.
        1. Developed by Juan Hidalgo
        2. Light, mythological play in pastoral setting
        3. Alternation of sung and spoken portions
        4. Uses ensembles and solo song
        5. Hidalgo’s works appealed both to royalty and to the public.
      3. La púrpura de la rosa (The Blood of the Rose, NAWM 80)
        1. The first opera produced in the New World: 1701 in Lima, Peru.
        2. Staged at the court of the viceroy of Peru
        3. Music by Tomás de Torrej? y Velasco (1644-1728) to a libretto adapted from Hidalgo’s first opera
        4. Dialogue is in strophic song (see HWM Example 16.4).
        5. Syncopated rhythms, typical of Spanish style
        6. Continuo played by harps, guitars, and viols rather than keyboard or lute
        7. Chorus and dance sections close the scene
      4. Songs
        1. Few Spanish songs were printed because there were no music printers in Spain.
        2. Songs from theatrical productions circulated in manuscript.
        3. Solo songs included the romance, for one to four voices with guitar or harp, and the tonada, for solo voice.
    3. Church music: The villancico (NAWM 81)
      1. Vernacular, sacred version of the secular villancico
      2. Scored for choir, choir with soloists, or solo voice with continuo
      3. Especially for Christmas, Easter, and other important feasts
      4. A typical example is Los coflades de la estleya (NAWM 81 and HWM Example 16.5), a Christmas villancico by Juan de Araujo (1646-1712)
        1. Syncopations typical of both Spanish and African music
        2. References to poor black boys (meaning Africans and Native Americans) going to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus.
    4. Instrumental music
      1. Organ music
        1. Strong contrasts of color and texture
        2. Tiento, an improvisatory imitative piece similar to the sixteenth-century fantasia
        3. Tiento de batalla (Battle Tiento) by Juan Bautista José Cabanilles (1644-1712) imitates trumpet calls resounding from opposite sides of a battlefield.
      2. Harp and guitar music
        1. Harp and guitar were the main chamber instruments.
        2. Compositions were mainly in stylized dance forms.
        3. Most of the rest of Europe knew only these contributions of Spanish composers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s