Alessandro Scarlatti and the cantata

The cantata A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment and often contains more than one movement. Two types Cantata da camera (chamber cantata) Lutheran Cantatas compositions for churches Scarlatti is known not only as the most profilic and greatest writer of cantatas but also as the composer who brought the Italian cantata of the 17th century to its musical perfection. .

General Characteristics of Scarlatti s Cantatas Most only have one voice. Repetition of individual words or short phrases is a recurrent and original feature of Scarlatti's recitative style. Some of the topics are taken from classic mythology. mostly between Arcadian (Ancient Greek) figures. creating animation and emphasis. usually a soprano continuo accompaniment. He uses conventional poetry more often describing the pains rather than the joys of love. roman history and contemporary events (at the time) and others have humorous or sacred subjects. .

Developments in Scarlatti s Cantata s Scarlatti is known to have had three significant periods in his life where he created the majority of his cantatas. 1) Rome before 1684 2) Return to Rome from Naples (1703-1708) 3) His last years spent mostly in Naples from 1722 .

particularly Carissimi! Included strophic arias composed on ground bases and textural and musical refrains. Several arias or ariosos may not be separated by recitatives. .1) Earliest Cantatas Tended to have the mid century forms used by the major Roman cantata composers.

became quite stereotyped in form. with exceptions of course. . These cantatas. Limited to two recitatives and two da capo arias.2) (1703-1708) After spending time in Naples and Florence focusing mainly on opera Scarlatti returned to Rome in 1703 where he composed many cantatas. Frequently the opening basso continuo is taken up at the entrance of the voice as the thematic basis of section A. More limited in scope of poetic content and musical duration.

Showed more chromatic harmonies. Kapellmeister of the Dresden court who said that the extravagant harmonies he used in his music style could please only bizarre amateurs. These cantatas had unusually complex harmonic language. Show his efforts to find stronger means to express powerful textural emotion.3) Scarlatti s final cantata s Scarlatti began composing a number of experimental cantatas in Naples. This experimentation left Scarlatti criticized by men such as Johann David Heinichen. .

Other works by Scarlatti Opera: Opera: Commedia in Musica Sinifonia Opera Il Pirro e Demetrio Il Tigrane Il trionfo dell onore Sinfonie di concerto grosso La Griselda .

his cantatas began losing their popularity. they were resurrected in the 20th century and still have not been thoroughly examined. He also composed many operas.Conclusion Alessandro Scarlatti s influence was immense both through his pupils and his son Domenico Scarlatti. musical dramas and oratorios After his death. Scarlatti composed more than 600 cantatas which were enjoyed by many during his lifetime. however. He was of the generation which preceded composers such as Bach and Handel. . both of who were to become profilic composers.

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