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A Birth of Classical 2

A YouTube History of Music


Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Composers are listed chronologically. Tracks are listed alphabetically.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni
Johann Christoph Bach    Johann Ludwig Bach    Johann Michael Bach    Johann Sebastian Bach    Franz Benda    John Blow    Dietrich Buxtehude
Francesca Caccini    Giacomo Carissimi    Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský    Marc-Antoine Charpentier    Arcangelo Corelli    François Couperin    Louis Couperin
Johann Jakob Froberger    Johann Joseph Fux
Carl Heinrich Graun    Johann Gottlieb Graun    Christoph Graupner
George Frideric Handel    Johann Adolph Hasse    Johann David Heinichen
Johann Kuhnau
William Lawes    Giovanni Legrenzi    Antonio Lotti    Jean-Baptiste Lully
Francesco Onofrio Manfredini    Louis Marchand    Johann Mattheson   Claudio Monteverdi
Johann Pachelbel    Bernardo Pasquini    Johann Georg Pisendel    Niccolò Porpora    Henry Purcell
Johann Joachim Quantz
Jean-Philippe Rameau    Johann Rosenmüller
Alessandro Scarlatti    Domenico Scarlatti    Alessandro Stradella
Georg Philipp Telemann    Giuseppe Torelli    František Tůma    Franz Tunder
Francesco Antonio Vallotti    Francesco Maria Veracini    Antonio Vivaldi
Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow    Jan Dismas Zelenka



Featured on this page in order of the composer's birth date.

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1567 Claudio Monteverdi
1587 Francesca Caccini
1602 William Lawes
1605 Giacomo Carissimi
1614 Franz Tunder
1616 Johann Jakob Froberger
1619 Johann Rosenmüller
1626 Louis Couperin    Giovanni Legrenzi
1632 Jean-Baptiste Lully
1638 Dietrich Buxtehude
1639 Alessandro Stradella
1642 Johann Christoph Bach
1643 Marc-Antoine Charpentier
1648 Johann Michael Bach
1649 John Blow
1653 Arcangelo Corelli    Johann Pachelbel
1655 Bernardo Pasquini
1658 Giuseppe Torelli
1659 Henry Purcell
1660 Johann Joseph Fux    Johann Kuhnau    Alessandro Scarlatti
1663 Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow
1667 Antonio Lotti
1668 François Couperin
1669 Louis Marchand
1671 Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni
1677 Johann Ludwig Bach
1678 Antonio Vivaldi
1671 Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni    Jan Dismas Zelenka
1681 Johann Mattheson    Georg Philipp Telemann
1683 Christoph Graupner    Johann David Heinichen    Jean-Philippe Rameau
1684 Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský    Francesco Onofrio Manfredini
1685 Johann Sebastian Bach    George Frideric Handel    Domenico Scarlatti
1686 Niccolò Porpora
1687 Johann Georg Pisendel
1690 Francesco Maria Veracini
1697 Johann Joachim Quantz    Francesco Antonio Vallotti
1699 Johann Adolph Hasse
1703 Johann Gottlieb Graun
1704 Carl Heinrich Graun    František Tůma
1709 Franz Benda


  The roots of Baroque reach back to late Renaissance composers, such as the development of monody by such as Giulio Caccini in association with the Florentine Camarata, a group of humanist intellectuals, about the cusp of the 16th century. We begin Baroque with Claudio Monteverdi, a contemporary of Caccini's generally credited as the major contributor to early Baroque. This page is structured differently from the other YouTube histories. Due that specific dates are largely impossible with early classical music we keep the convention of indexing songs by alphabetical order only. That is, they are not in chronological order. Dates are noted by appendage and refer the year of publication if not composition. Posthumous publishing dates are generally not noted. Years at listing headers attempt to date years during which the musician was (possibly) actively composing in some manner. They are broadly circa and largely, though not exclusively, disregard childhood (juvenilia), but may account for unknown works, published or not, in early adulthood, college or study. End dates assume most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths excepting unique cases known otherwise. As for brackets (: [Part 1]), they indicate sections made by YouTube channels. If the composer you're seeking isn't on this page he may be in Renaissance or Classical. Several late Baroque composers are in Classical if they bridged at all. As for opus numbers, those are given by composers themselves, the practice beginning about the time of Joseph Haydn. Publishers also assigned opus numbers. But opus numbers were generally so disorganized that various cataloguing systems developed to gain some clarity as to sequence.)


  The Baroque period is generally given as 1600 to 1760. Born in 1567 in Cremona, Italy, Claudio Monteverdi serves as early seed to the Baroque period. Others were, of course, important to the development of Baroque, such as Giulio Caccini, Monteverdi's contemporary, but Monteverdi's career even more significantly bridges the late Renaissance with Baroque due the flush splendor of his compositions. Monteverdi was a gamba (viol) player who studied at the University of Cremona, his first employment as a musician at the Cathedral Of Cremona in the choir. 'Sacrae cantiunculae' was his first published volume of songs in 1582, an assemblage of motets and madrigals. In 1590 he was hired by Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, with whom he moved up from singer and violist to court composer. In 1607 Monteverdi composed 'L'Orpheo', among the earliest operas (see late Renaissance Jacopo Peri). 1613 found Monteverdi composing as choir master at the basilica in San Marco. By 1632 Monteverdi had become a priest. Among his last works before his death in 1643 was the opera, 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' ('The Coronation of Poppea') in 1642. Though Monteverdi composed sacred music he is more noted for his nine books of madrigals, the fifth in 1605 ('Il quinto libro de madrigali a cinque voci') considered his most significant in the development of Baroque. He wrote some eighteen operas, but only 'L'Orfeo', 'Lamento' (an aria from 'L'Arianna'), 'Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria' ('The Return of Ulysses') and 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' have survived.

Claudio Monteverdi   1580 - 1643

 Ch'io t'ami e t'ami più de la mia vita

   1605   From Madrigals: Book 5

    La Venexiana

 Ecco mormorar l’onde

    1590   From Madrigals: Book 5

    La Venexiana

 Il quarto libro dei madrigali

   1603   Madrigals: Book 4

     Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini

 Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria


    Concerto Vocale

 Il sesto libro dei madrigali

    1614   Madrigals: Book 6

    Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini

 Lamento della Ninfa


    Conductor: Michel Corboz

 L'incoronazione di Poppea

   1642   Opera

    Teatro Comunale di Bologna

    Conductor: Ivor Bolton Director: Graham Vick


   1607   Opera

     La Capella Reial de Catalunya Barcelona

     Director: Jordi Savall


   1607   Opera

     Ensemble des Opernhauses Zürich

     Director: Nikolaus Harnoncour

 Vespro della Beata Vergine


     The Monteverdi Choir

      Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner


Birth of Classical Music: Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi

Source: Wikipedia
  Born in 1587 in Florence, Francesca Caccini, daughter of composer, Giulio Caccini, finds the Baroque period coming into full bloom. Caccini's first known performance as a singer was in 1600 at the wedding of Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici. She is thought to have begun composing shortly thereafter, a piece called 'La Stiava', written for Carnival in 1607, among her earliest works. By the time she published 'La Tancia' in 1613, Caccini was in her element, working for the Medici's as a singer, teacher and composer much of scores for stage (opera, she a young woman while opera was being developed [with assistance from her father, Giulio Caccini] and beginning to catch). She followed 'La Tancia' with 'Il Passatempo' in 1614, 'Il primo libro delle musiche' in 1618 and 'La Fiera' in 1619. 'La liberazione di Ruggiero' was published in 1625, written for Prince Ladislaus Sigismondo visiting from Poland. Caccini is documented to have left the Medicis (permanently) in 1641, at which point she disappears from history, perhaps dying that year. Few works by Caccini have survived. Though her operas hadn't the magnificence of Monteverdi, she otherwise left behind an admirable anthology of vocal pieces, especially solos and duets. What scores of hers survive indicate she was notably more the perfectionist with ink and paper than the average composer.

Francesca Caccini   1607 - 1641

 Aure Volanti

   1625   Opera

    From 'La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina'

     Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus/Florence Jowers

 Che t'ho fatt’io

    Mezzosoprano: Natalia Kawalek

    Cello: Tilly Cernitori   Laute: Ulrike Flörré


    Violino: Andrea Benucci

 Dov'io Credea

     Clavicembalo: Alfonso Fedi

     Soprano: Elena Cecchi Fedi

     Viola da gamba: Francesco Tomei

 Io mi distruggo, et ardo

     Soprano: Shannon Mercer

 Lasciatemi Qui Solo

   Soprano: Maria Cristina Kiehr

 Nube Gentil


    Soprano: Henriette Feith

     Theorbo: David van Ooijen

 O Che Nuovo Stupor


     Soprano: Henriette Feith

      Theorbo: David van Ooijen


Birth of Classical Music: William Lawes

William Lawes

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1602 in Salisbury, England, William Lawes was brother to composer, Henry Lawes. Lawes found early patronage in Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, who found a teacher for him in composer, John Coprario. In 1635 he was appointed a lute player and singer to the court of King Charles I. Lawes remained with Charles until his early death in 1645. Lawes was a victim of the English Civil War between Charles, etc., and Parliament (1642-1651, monarchial England the loser). Having joined the Royalist cause as among the king's Guard, Lawes was shot during the Battle of Rowton Heath. In the list below are a couple airs, fantasias and pavans. The air (aria, ayre) was a relatively new development which enjoyed a brief period of popularity of only a few decades while Lawes was young. (John Dowland had published 'First Booke of Songs or Ayres' in 1597.) 'Consort Set a 6 in G minor', below, is an air. The fantasia had been around for three quarters of a century by the time Lawes was born. It was originally composed to accommodate improvisation but developed various forms over time. The pavan (pavane) was a stately slow-tempo dance, such as 'Consort Set a 5 in F' below, which had originated in Venice about a decade before the fantasy.

William Lawes   1630 - 1645

 Consort Set a 5 in F

   Phantasm   Organ: Daniel Hyde

 Consort Set a 6 in B flat major

    Jordi Savall

 Consort Set a 6 in G minor

    Phantasm   Organ: Daniel Hyde

 Divisions on a Pavan in G Minor

    Rose Consort of Viols

     Organ: Timothy Roberts

 Fantasia for 6 viols

    The Orpheon Consort

 Gather ye rosebudsa

    Soprano: Suzie LeBlanc

 Harp Consort n 8

    Il Caleidoscopio

  Baptized in Marino in 1604/05, Giacomo Carissimi had a barrel maker for a father. At age 20 Carissimi headed for Assisi where he became a chapel master. He assumed the same position at the church of Sant'Apollinare in Rome in 1628 and remained there the rest of his life. He became a priest in 1637. Among Carissimi's contributions to early Baroque was the development of the oratorio. The oratorio is basically an opera without theatrical drama. An oratorio could fashioned into an opera, or if you removed theatre from opera you could get an oratorio. Their subject matter was generally sacred, versus opera which concern was usually historical or mythological. The oratorio was so called due that they were initially performed at the Oratory of Santissimo Crocifisso in Rome. Carissimi died in 1674. All works listed below are oratorios.

Giacomo Carissimi   1625 - 1674



     Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ

      Florida State University


   Coro della Radio Svizzera

    Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca

    Diego Fasolis

 Judicium Salomonis [Part 1]

   Ensemble San Felice/Federico Bardazzi

 Judicium Salomonis [Part 2]

    Ensemble San Felice/Federico Bardazz

 Judicium Salomonis [Part 3]

   Ensemble San Felice/Federico Bardazzi


Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Carissimi

Giacomo Carissimi

Source: Naxos
Birth of Classical Music: St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church/Lubeck, Germany

Source: Memrise
Born in 1614 in Lübeck, Franz Tunder witnesses the early development of Baroque in Germany. Tunder became court organist to Duke Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp in 1632, age eighteen. He had studied a few years earlier in Italy. in 1641 he became head organist at St. Mary's Lutheran church in Lübeck. (The Lutheran Church figured as large to the Baroque in Germany as had Catholicism to the Renaissance.) In 1647 his position was enlarged to administrator and treasurer as well. Tunder worked in that capacity for the next twenty years until his death in 1667. Although Tunder was considered among the more important composers during his time little of his work has survived. To the right is the interior of St. Mary's Lutheran Church in Lübeck, originally erected about 1300. That architecturally important structure was rebuilt upon nigh obliteration during World War II, there not a lot of the original left.

Franz Tunder   1657 - 1707

 An Wasserflüßen Babylon

    Teares of the Muses

 Christ Lag in Todesbanden

    Organ: Paul Fritts

 Hosianna dem Sohne David

    Crescendo Chorus

    Crescendo Period Instrument Orchestra

 In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr

    Organ: Pieter Dirksen

 Jesus Christus, unser Heiland

    Organ: Marcus Hufnagl

 O Jesu Dulcissime

    Barokensemble Consort of Voices

 Praeludium in G minor

    Organ: Friedhelm Flamme

Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Carissimi

St. Mary's Church/Lubeck, Germany
Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Carissimi

Johann Froberger

Source: Paladino Music
Born in 1616 in Stuttgart, Johann Jakob Froberger importantly witnesses the Baroque come flush in Germany. Medieval music had reached its peak in France, then traveled to the Low Countries, of which the Renaissance burgeoned to discover its greatest muscle in the Roman and Venetian schools. Germany was far from second fiddle to Italy during the cultural Renaissance. Though it was distance which made such as Poland and Russia largely passengers rather than drivers of the Renaissance, it was the especially intense Reformation in Germany (and England) which presented challenges that made for more than one Renaissance: the Catholic in southern Europe stretching from Spain to Venice, and the embattled (contrapuntal, say) Protestant in northern Europe, particularly in England and Germany. Froberger's arrival, however, was contemporaneous with among Europe's greatest nightmares, the Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War had begun when Froberger was two years old. Stuttgart (where he had been born) was situated midway between two of that war's main belligerents, Bavaria and France, perhaps contributing to the want of certain information concerning his childhood. The Thirty Years War, among the deadliest in Europe's history, was less between Catholics and Protestants than between monarchical rivals: France and its allies (principally the Dutch and Swedish) versus the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire that included, especially, Bavaria and Spain, and was allied with the Roman papacy. Stuttgart was located in present day Baden-Württemberg (belonging to Hapsburg Spain) with France its western border and Bavaria (belonging to Hapsburg Austria) its eastern. So Froberger would have ineluctably experienced, and composed during, the countless miseries wrought by that war. (From three to more than eleven million were killed during the three decades of that struggle. The population in Germany was reduced by 25 to 40 percent.) His father was kapellmeister to the Württemberg court and had a library which included above a hundred books of music. His education as a child is otherwise speculative. Little is certain concerning Froberger until 1637, when he and his brother, Isaac, sold that library upon the death of their father, mother and a sister of plague that year. He was also employed as an organist in Vienna in 1637. Granted a stipend to study under Frescobaldi in Rome, Froberger spent the next three years in Italy before returning to Vienna in 1641, a Catholic now if not before. He there worked as an organist and chamber musician before returning to Italy in 1645 to study music under the Jesuit polymath, Athanasius Kircher, in Rome. He returned to Vienna in 1649, but the death of Holy Roman Empress, Maria Leopoldine (she seventeen), left a cold pall on things there, such that Froberger spent the next few years traveling Europe (Germany, the Low Countries and London), perhaps in the employ, as well, of Emperor Ferdinand III as a diplomat or spy. 1652 found him in Paris where he likely became acquainted with composer, Louis Couperin, before returning to Vienna yet again in 1653. He made the transition to Leopold I upon Ferdinand's death in 1657, but the complexity of that situation found him released from service to the court that year. Though known to have made a brief trip to Mainz in 1665 he spent the majority of his last ten years in Château d’Héricourt in the employ of the dowager Duchess of Montbéliard. Unlike many composers of his era, Froberger published none of his work, and only two of his compositions were printed in his lifetime. He addressed a variety of forms: toccatas, fantasias, capricios, canzonas, ricercars, a couple motets and a large number of suites for harpsichord in various styles. Howsoever, Froberger is something of a pivot point, for with the Baroque classical music begins its shift from Italian prominence during the Renaissance toward German composition.

Johann Froberger   1640 - 1667

 Capriccio in G


     Organ: Markus Märkl

 Fantasia in A minor

     DTÖ Fantasia No. 2   FbWV 202

     Harpsichord: Andreas Zappe

 Plainte faite à Londres

      Complaint Made In London'   1656

      Clavicembalo: Stefano Lorenzetti

 Suite in G minor


    Lute: Andreas Martin

 Toccata in D minor

    1649   DTÖ Toccata No. 2   FbWV 102

     Organ: Jim Kosnik

 Toccata in G major

    1649   DTÖ Toccata No. 3   FbWV 103

     Harpsichord: Marius Bartoccini

 Tombeau in C minor

     Sur la mort de Monsieur Blancrocher'  

      FbWV 632

      Clavecin: Skip Sempé

  Born in 1619 in Oelsnitz, Saxony, Baroque composer, Johann Rosenmüller supplied another spark that would ignite the engine of German composition. Graduating from the University of Leipzig in 1640, Rosenmüller became an organist at St. Nicholas Church in 1651. Becoming musical director in absentia to the Altenburg court some 25 miles south of Leipzig in 1654, he was imprisoned the next year for homosexual activity. Yet 1658 found him enviably employed at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, he having escaped. Between 1678 and 1682 he taught music at the Ospedale della Pietà, an esteemed music school and orphanage. He next served the court of Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, as choirmaster until his death in Wolfenbüttel in 1684.

Johann Rosenmüller   1640 - 1684

 Hebet eure Augen auf gen Himmel


    Soprano: Olga Nazaykinskaya

    Tenor: Ivliy Semenenok

 In te, Domine, speravi


    Soprano: Ellen Hargis

    The King's Noyse/David Douglass

 Lieber Herre Gott


    Cantus Cölln

 O felicissimus paradysi aspectus

    Soprano: Sonja Adam

 Guerre et Paix: Siehe an die Werke Gottes

    'War and Peace: Consider the Work of God'


    Jordi Savall

 Sonata Seconda


     El Concierto Ylustrado

 Welt ade, ich bin dein müde

    Windsbacher Boys Choir

    Karl-Friedrich Beringer

  Born about 1626 in Chaumes-en-Brie, Louis Couperin serves as the initial example of French Baroque on this page, and the first instance of several major musicians bearing the Couperin name. (The first record of a Couperin is from 1356. The first musical Couperin is thought be one Mathurin Couperin, an amateur who was a trader by profession.) Though Couperin played viol the majority of his compositions were for harpsichord and organ. In 1650/51 he traded Chaumes-en-Brie for Paris, thirty miles or so northeast, where he became an organist at the Church of St. Gervais. He also worked for Marquis Abel Servien from 1656 to 1658. Couperin died in 1661, only age thirty-five, causes unknown. But during his brief career he enjoyed the high esteem of his peers as an especially talented craftsman, both as a composer and performer.

Louis Couperin   1645 - 1661

 Fugue 61

    Organ: Warren Steel

 Minuet in C

    Harpsichord: Ernst Stolz

 Prelude a l'imitation de Mr. Froberger

    Harpsichord: Peter Kramer

 Prelude in G minor

    Lana Krakovskiy

 Sarabande in A minor

    Harpsichord: Alberto Bagnai

 Suite in C

    Harpsichord: Richard Egarr

 Suite in F major

    Klawesyn: Monika Forys

 Tombeau de Mr de Blancrocher

    Harpsichord: Gustav Leonhardt

Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Carissimi

Louis Couperin

Source: Pedro Beltrán Abogados
Birth of Classical Music: Giovanni Legrenzi

Giovanni Legrenzi

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1626 in Clusone, Republic of Venice, Giovanni Legrenzi had a violinist and composer for a father. His earliest employment known was as organist at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. Ordained as a priest in 1651, he first published in 1654, a book of music for Mass and Vespers. In 1656 Legrenzi became maestro di cappella at the Academy of the Holy Spirit, a fraternity of musicians who supplied music in Ferrara. His first opera was performed in 1664 in Venice. By 1670 Legrenzi was making a comfortable living in Venice on the several books he had published, in addition to land he owned in Clusone. In 1685 he finally won the prestigious position of maestro di cappella at St. Mark's Basilica. But by that time his health had begun to falter, he becoming less and less able to perform. He is thought to have died in the horrible pain of kidney stones in 1690.

Giovanni Legrenzi   1650 - 1690

  Dixit Dominus Domino Meo

    Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ/Jeffery Kite-Powell

 Dies Irae

    Ricercar Consort/Philippe Pierlot

 Non Susurate

    Musica Antique Prague

 Sonata quinta a due

    Pallade Musica

Though born in Florence, Italy, in 1632, Jean-Baptiste Lully fairly represents French Baroque in full bloom. Lully learned guitar and violin as a child, taught by a Franciscan monk. In 1646 Charles, Duke of Guise, saw Lully play violin at Mardi Gras and took him to Paris to teach Italian to his niece, also serving her as chamber boy. He left that position in 1652 (not wishing to follow his matron into exile). In 1653 Lully met fifteen year-old Louis XIV, the pair dancing together in a ballet, upon which he became court composer of instrumental music. When Louis began governing in 1661 Lully officially became a French subject and musical director for the royal family, at which point his compositions were automatically published. Lully also began an eleven-year collaboration with the playwright, Molière, in 1661, they producing 'Les Fâcheux' that year, and 'Le Mariage Forcé' in 1664. In 1672 he became director of the Académie Royale de Musique, that is, royal opera, thereafter producing nigh an opera per year until his passing in 1687. (The development of Baroque styles in composition had became inextricably tied to the rise of opera.) Lully was a queer, perhaps the cause he began to fall from Louis' favor in the early eighties. In 1687 he managed to accidentally puncture his foot with a conducting wand, during a performance celebrating Louis' recovery from recent surgery, and died of gangrene in Paris. Among Lully's contributions to Baroque beyond ballets and operas were the comédie-ballet (with Molière) and the French overture. One thing we like about Lully is the minuet, which first appears with him, the famous disciplined dance to follow, as Lully's minuets were originally pieces to theatrical works (an example below). Lully composed some 92 such minuets. (Johann Sebastian Bach and George Handel later included minuets in suites. Mozart's first composition at age 6 was a minuet.) But more importantly, could one say that the Baroque arose that not all things be Italian, with quick-tempo Lully it was a matter of nothing being Italian, he an original French composer who made a point of "Italy? Never heard of it."

Jean-Baptiste Lully   1650 - 1687


   1685/86    LWV 71

    Musica Antiqua Köln

    From soundtrack to 'Le Roi Danse'


    1676   LWV 53

   Les Arts Florissants

 Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

    1670   LWV 43

    Theatre Le Trianon a Paris

 Domine salvum fac regem

    LWV 74/4

     Les Dames du Port-royal

      Director: Martin Robidoux

 Idylle sur le Paix

     1685   LWV 68

       Musica Antiqua Köln

      From soundtrack to 'Le Roi Danse'


     1676   LWV 54

       Musica Antiqua Köln

       From soundtrack to 'Le Roi Danse'

  Menuet pour trompettes

    Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall


    1678   LWV 56

     Soprano: Carolyn Sampson

 Te Deum

    Musica Florea/Marek Štryncl

Birth of Classical Music: Jean-Baptiste Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully

Source: Rhapsody
Birth of Classical Music: Alessandro Stradella

Alessandro Stradella

Source: Classic News
Born in 1639, Alessandro Stradella was an aristocrat educated in Bologna. He began composing for Queen Christina of Sweden, living in Rome at the time, in 1667. He fled to the safety of Venice in 1677. First it was a failed attempt to embezzle money from the Church. Then it was his affairs with women. Stradella's interest in Venice wasn't St. Mark's Basilica, where to work had long been a major prize to a number of major composers. Stradella had been hired by Alvise Contarini to tutor his mistress, Agnese Van Uffele. Instead, Allesandro and Agnese ran off to Turin together. To make the story brief, he fled to Genoa in 1678, Agnese stuck in a convent, and he having unexpectedly survived an attempted assassination by Contarini thugs that nigh killed him. In Genoa Stradella composed for the Teatro Falconi and local nobility until stabbed to death in 1782 at the Piazza Banchi. Once again concerning an affair, this time the cuckold was a member of Lomellini family, his hitmen more successful than had been Catarini's. The attempt to be unseen whilst at once a successful composer is a good trick. Between poking where he oughtn't and living otherwise dangerously Stradella managed more than 300 works, including a minimum of six operas, 170 cantatas and 27 instrumental pieces. All works below are oratorios with the exception of 'La forza delle stelle'.

Alessandro Stradella   1655 - 1682

 Ester Liberatrice del Popolo Hebreo


    Il Concento & Il Concento Chorus

     Ester : Silvia Piccollo

     Director: Luca Franco Ferrari

 La forza delle stelle


    Ensemble Mare Nostrum/Andrea De Carlo

 San Giovanni Battista


    Orcehstra Sinfonica/Coro di Milano della Rai

     Ruggero Maghini

 La Susanna [Part 1 1-15]

    Ensemble Aurora/Enrico Gatti

 La Susanna [Part 1 16-27]

    Ensemble Aurora/Enrico Gatti

 La Susanna [Part 2 1-9]

    Ensemble Aurora/Enrico Gatti

 La Susanna [Part 2 10-21]

    Ensemble Aurora/Enrico Gatti

  Born in Arnstadt, Germany, in 1642, Johann Christoph Bach was 1st cousin once removed of more famous Johann Sebastian Bach. He's not to be confused with Sebastian's uncle or brother, both composers, all three sharing the same name. This Cristoph Bach was elder brother to composer, Johann Michael Bach, with whom German Baroque came into full bloom. Like the musical dynasty of which Louis Couperin was a member, there were enough musicians popping out of Bach ovens to run a Nabisco plant. The Couperin name was perhaps a couple centuries older than Bach's. It's thought that at the start of the 16th century there existed four branches of the Bach family, though the first records of a Bach don't occur until Veit (Vitus) Bach about 1550, a baker in Wechmar who had fled Hungary for being Lutheran. The first known musically professional Bach was Johannes Hans, born about 1580, who preferred playing pipe to baking. But with Johann Cristoph and his brother, Johann Michael, the Bach name began to loom large. Albeit Johann Christoph Bach was a successful composer and organist he didn't have a head for finance, dying heavily in debt in Eisenach in 1703. The list below begins and ends with a lamento. 'Es erhub sich ein Streit' is a cantata. From its beginnings as a solo voice madrigal prior to Bach's birth, the cantata quickly swelled into greater forms involving choruses and orchestras, as Bach is witness.

Johann Christoph Bach   1660 - 1703

 Ach, daß ich Wassers g'nug hätt

    Tallahassee Bach Parley

 Es erhub sich ein Streit

    Wiener Sängerknaben & Chorus Viennensis

     Hans Gillesberger

     Concentus Musicus Wien

     Nikolaus Harnoncourt

 Fürchte dich nicht

    Quire Cleveland

     Conductor: Scott Metcalfe

 Meine Freundin, du bist schön


     Zsuzsi Toth: Sopran

     Violine: Susanna Ogata

     The Bach Ensemble/Josua Rifkin


    Clavecin: Gustav Leonhardt

 Was betrübst du dich, mein Herz

    Organ: Jörn Boysen

 Wie bist du denn, O Gott

    Accademia Hermans

  Born in the Paris vicinity 1643, Marc-Antoine Charpentier was a law student at age eighteen. He completed only one semester before quitting, not seeming to show up again until studying under Giacomo Carissimi in Rome, likely between 1667 and 69. Returning to France, he became courtier to Duchesses Marie de Lorraine de Guise, for whom he composed for the next seventeen years. Another significant patron of his during those years was Élisabeth Marguerite d'Orléans. In 1687 Charpentier became maître de musique to the Jesuits, first at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, then at the Church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis. Assuming the same position at the Sainte-Chapelle in 1698, he died in 1704.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier   1665 - 1704

 Ave regina coelorum

    H 19

     Les Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr

     Emmanuel Mandrin

 Domine quinque talenta

    H 33

     Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles

     Olivier Schneebeli


     H 73

     Les Arts Florissants

      Conductor: William

     Christie Bass: Philippe Cantor

       Countertenor: Dominique Visse

       Tenor: Michel Laplénie


     Libretto: Psalm 51   H 157

    Ensemble Baroque Les Voyageurs

 Les Plaisirs de Versailles

    1682   H 480

     Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

 Precatio Pro Filio Regis

     H 166

    Ensemble Pierre Robert

    Direction & organ: Frédéric Desenclos

 Regina coeli, antienne

     H 32

     Les Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr

     Emmanuel Mandrin

 Te Deum in D major

     1690?   H 146

     Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

    Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung

Birth of Classical Music: Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Source: Wikipedia
  Born in 1648 in Arnstadt, Germany, Johann Michael Bach was younger brother to Johann Christoph above. The pair never worked together, but historically they together brought German baroque into its own. In 1673 Johann Michael was employed as an organist and town clerk in Gehren where he remained until his death. Like Johann Cristoph, more is known about his music than his life. He is thought to have been a craftsman of musical instruments such as the harpsichord, dying in 1694.

Johann Michael Bach   1670 - 1694

 Ach, wie sehnlich wart ich der Zeit

    Cantus Cölln/Konrad Junghänel

 Der du bist drei in Einigkeit

    Organ: Franciscus Volckland

 Fürchtet euch nicht

     Vox Luminis

 Halt was du hast

     Vox Luminis

 Ich weiβ, dass mein Erlöser lebt

     The Academic Choir/Ivan Goran Kovacic

 Sei, lieber Tag, willkommen

     Vilnius State Choir

     Conducting: Linas Balandis

 Sei, lieber Tag, willkommen

     Riverside City College Chamber Singers

     Conducting: John Byun

 Unser Leben währet siebenzig Jahr

     Vox Luminis


Birth of Classical Music: Dietrich Buxtehude

Dietrich Buxtehude

Source: Baroque Music
Born about 1638, Dietrich Buxtehude hailed from Helsingborg when it was part of Denmark rather than Sweden. Others think he was born in Holstein when it was part of Denmark instead of Germany. Either way he was Dane with a name Germanized by himself (Diderich to Dietrich). Buxtehude's father was a church organist in Helsingør. Buxtehude is thought to have been employed as an organist in 1657 in Helsingborg, then at Helsingør in 1660. In 1668 he succeeded Franz Tunder as organist at St. Mary's Church in Lübeck. Buxtehude composed largely for organ, harpsichord and voice in a broad variety of forms, though he preferred cantatas, preludes, sonatas and fugues. The librettos to his oratorios survive, but the scores do not. Buxtehude enjoyed an enviable position at St. Mary's, though apparently not that good. Wishing to retire in 1703, he offered his station to both Johann Mattheson and George Handel (the pair traveling to visit him together) on condition that it come with betrothal to his daughter. Both declined (leaving the next day). But it was difficult to be more popular than father's music: in 1705 Johann Sebastian Bach was twenty years old when he walked more than 250 miles to study under Buxtehude, stayed three months, but left yet a bachelor. Buxtehude died two years later in 1707.

Dietrich Buxtehude   1657 - 1707

 Chaconne in E minor

     BuxWV 160

    Orquesta Sinfonica

     Direction: Dietrich Paredes

     Orquestacion: Carlos Chavez

 Das neugebor'ne Kindelein


     Lyrics: Cyriacus Schneegass

      The Purcell Quartet

 Der Herr is mit mir: Alleluia

    BuxWV 15

     Orchestra Anima Eterna

 Jesu, Meines Lebens Leben

    BuxWV 62

     Collegium Vocale

     Orchestra Anima Eterna & The Royal Consort

     Jos Van Immerseel

 Jubilate Domino, Omnis Terra

    1690   BuxWV 64

     Aradia Ensemble

 Membra Jesu Nostri

    1680   BuxWV 75

     The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra

 Passacaglia in D minor

    BuxWV 161

     Organ: Pierre Thimus

  Born in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1637, Bernardo Pasquini kept people going to church in Italy while the Baroque was developing mainly in northern Europe. But it's not like Pasquini wasn't hip to Baroque, he composing largely cantatas, operas and oratorios, each vehicle in its way a contribution to Baroque, arising largely simultaneously and a portion of what Baroque was about. Pasquini also composed keyboard music. In 1650 Pasquini followed his uncle to Ferrara where he became a university organist at Accademia della Morte in 1654. 1657 found him an organist at Santa Maria in Vallicella. In 1664 he began doing double duty as organist at both the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Maria in Aracoeli. He found patronage in Prince Borghese in 1667. In 1706 Pasquini became a member of the Accademia degli Arcadi, an influential literary and musical circle formed in 1690 by Queen Christina (who had abdicated the Swedish throne in 1654, converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome). Pasquini was buried in the Church of St Lawrence in 1710.

Bernardo Pasquini   1655 - 1710

 Canzona Francese in F

    Organ: Marju Riisikamp

 Cantata: Hor ch'il ciel fra densi horrori


    Capella Tiberina

 Non più lagrime

    Soprano: S. Tomasello

 Partite diverse di Follia

    Organ: Edoardo Bellotti

 La Folia da Espagna

    Harpsichord: Claudio Di Veroli

 La sete di Christo


    Performance unknown

 Toccata con lo scherzo del Cuccù

    Organ: Federico Teti

Birth of Classical Music: Dietrich Buxtehude

Bernardo Pasquini

Source: Bernard Gordillo
  Born in 1649 in Westminster, London, John Blow is this history's first look at an English composer since Renaissance musician, Thomas Weelkes (Classical 1), some seventy years prior. Though Blow wasn't a major composer he was teacher to Henry Purcell below. Blow studied music as a child as a chorister with the Chapel Royal, placing him in the employ of King Charles II. He was made gentleman at the Chapel Royal in 1673 and by 1678 he had earned a doctorate. (The degree of doctor ["teacher"] had been around for centuries, ever since the Catholic Church needed academicians to translate Latin.) He is thought to have composed his masque, 'Venis and Adonis' in 1683. (The masque was something the predecessor to opera, developed in Italy in the 16th century out of a folk tradition in which masked dancers brought gifts to nobles on notable occasions. It eventually split into two types, the intermedio, a great theatrical production exclusive to the court, and the pageant, the public version.) In 1685 Blow was appointed a private musician to James II. 1687 found him choirmaster at St Paul's Cathedral. Blow composed fourteen Anglican services, but the anthem was the rabbit in his hat, writing more than a hundred of them. He was buried in 1708 in Westminster Abbey.

John Blow
   1657 - 1707

 Chaconey in F major


     Harpsichord: Patrick Chevalier

 God spake sometime in visions

    Bach Collegium San Diego/Ruben Valenzuela

 Lift Up Your Heads


     L'Harmonie des Saisons/Eric Milnes

 An Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell


 O pray for the peace of Jerusalem

    The Cappella Nicolai/Michael Hedley

 Salvator Mundi

    Le chœur du King's College de Cambridge

 Venus and Adonis

     Masque    1683

     Theatre of the Ayre/Elizabeth Kenny

Birth of Classical Music: John Blow

John Blow

Painting: Sir Peter Lely

Source: Saturday Chorale
Birth of Classical Music: Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1653 in Fusignano in the Duchy of Ferrara, with Arcangelo Corelli the Renaissance may have had its day in Italy but the Baroque period was presenting other ways to show off, in Corelli's case, with violin. Corelli came from a family that had been purchasing land since the early 16th century so, though not of nobility, the clan was prosperous. Corelli is thought to have studied in Faenza and Luga before turning up in Bologna in 1666 at age thirteen to pursue the violin. He may have traveled in Germany before arriving in Rome in 1675. From that point onward Corelli enjoyed a stellar career composing and performing for queens, cardinals, popes and dukes. He also taught music, and was influential to Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, both who studied his work. Corelli died in Rome in 1713 with considerable wealth, worth about 120,000 marks, with collections of art and fine violins. Leaving behind about sixty sonatas, Correlii is noted for his chamber music and twelve concerti grossi. Corelli's concerti grossi, first published the year after his death, were an early phase of what would later become the symphony.

Arcangelo Corelli   1675 - 1713

  12 Violin Sonatas Opus 5   [Part 1]


     The Trio Sonnerie

 12 Violin Sonatas Opus 5   [Part 2]


     The Trio Sonnerie

 Concerti Grossi

    Musica Amphion

 Sarabande in D minor


 Trio Sonatas Opus 4


Birth of Classical Music: Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel

Source: Ukulele Club
Born in 1653 in Nuremberg, with Johann Pachelbel Germany was approaching a monopoly on the Baroque period. Pachelbel received training in his youth from composer, Heinrich Schwemmer. He matriculated into the University of Altdorf in 1669, the same year he took a position as organist at St. Lorenz Church. 1670 found Pachelbel at the Gymnasium Poeticum at Regensburg with a scholarship. In 1673 he was in Vienna working as a deputy organist at Saint Stephen's Cathedral. Nice as Hapsburg Vienna was at the time, he left for Eisenach in Hapsburg Germany in 1677, there appointed court organist to Duke Johann Georg I, also making acquaintance of some of the Bach family). In 1678 he was employed at the Predigerkirche in Erfurt where his association with the Bach family continued. During his twelve years in Erfurt, where he made his name, he taught Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721) and had Johann Christian Bach for a landlord. In 1690 Pachelbel found patronage in Duchess Magdalena Sibylla as musician and organist to the court of Württemberg in Stuttgart. Unfortunately, he had to flee that position two years later. Stuttgart had already been subjected to the horrendous Thirty Years War between France and the Hapsburgs which Johann Froberger had survived. That misery ending in 1648, now it was the Nine Years War between France and the Grand Alliance begun in 1688. Removing himself to Gotha, Pachelbel became town organist there for a couple years, publishing the liturgical collection, 'Acht Chorale zum Praeambulieren', in 1693. In 1695 he was invited to become organist at St. Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg. He there published 'Musicalische Ergötzung', a collection of chamber music, as early as 1699. He also published 'Hexachordum Apollinis' in 1699, a set of six keyboard arias. Quite active during his latter years, Pachelbel also completed above ninety Magnificat fugues before his death in 1706. Of Pachelbel's surviving works nigh half are chorales. (Simply put, a chorale is the melody of a hymn. Chorales had been being composed since the early 16th century, their impetus being the removal of the Latin language from church music. One very famous instance of an early chorale is Martin Luther's, 'A Mighty Fortress', written about 1528, to which he also supplied the lyrics.) A prolific composer, Pachelbel also wrote toccatas, fantasias and suites amidst more than 530 compositions. Though well esteemed during his lifetime, Pachelbel largely fell into neglect thereafter, his great fame during these times occurring of renewed interest in the 20th century. Of the several Pachelbel catalogues that have been indexed we list only Kathryn Welter's as of 1998 (PC) and Hideo Tsukamoto's as of 2002 (T).

Johann Pachelbel   1670 - 1706

 Canon and gigue in D major

     1680?   PC 358   T 337

     Kanon Orchestre de Chambre

       Jean-Francois Paillard

 Chaconne in F minor

     PC 149   T 206

      Organ: Helmut Wlacha

 Christ lag in Todesbanden

    PC 393   T 371

     Johann Rosenmuller Ensemble

 Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ

     Organ: Wolfgang Rubsam

 Hexachordum Apollinis

    PC 236   T 211–16

     Organ: John Butt

 Toccata in C minor  

      1699   PC 131–36   T 211–16

       Organ: John Butt

 Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her

      Organ: Daniele Tessaro

  Born in Verona in 1658, violinist and violist  Giuseppe Torelli studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti before joining the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna (a musical association) in 1684. He became Concert Master at the court of George Frederick II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, in 1698. Well-noted for his trumpet concertos, composing more than thirty of them, Torelli died in 1709. G numbers are per Franz Giegling, 1949.

Giuseppe Torelli   1680 - 1709

  Concerto for Violin in E minor

     Op 8:9

     Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage

  Concerto Grosso in C major

      Op 8:1

      Koncert Orchestru Bona Nota

  Concerto Grosso in G minor

     'Christmas Concerto'   Op 8:6

      Collegium Musicum 90

  Concerto Grosso for Violin in F major

     Op 8:11

      Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage

  Sinfonia in D Major

     G 23

      European Chamber Soloists/Nicol Matt

      Trumpet: Thomas Hammes

Birth of Classical Music: Giuseppe Torelli

Giuseppe Torelli

Source: Alchetron
Birth of Classical Music: Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1659 in Westminster, London, Henry Purcell was England's first and only major composer of the Baroque period. Due largely to the Reformation and situations peculiar to being an island something segregated from continental Europe, music in England had ever kept pace (they weren't uncivilized, but in war, as on the continent), yet ever with approach that was distinctly English, and exceeding all notion of status quo with Purcell. Purcell's father (Henry Sr.) was a musician, indeed, a gentleman of the Chapel Royal of King Charles II. His father dying in 1664, Purcell was entered into the care of an uncle, also a gentleman, who had Purcell admitted as a chorister. He thereat began to study music and is thought to have begun composing at about age nine. In 1673 Purcell became assistant to an organ builder. He had studied under multiple music teachers (one of them John Blow), but now he was attending Westminster School, such that he became a copyist at Westminster Abbey in 1676. In 1679 he replaced John Blow as organist at Westminster Abbey. 1682 found him appointed to the Chapel Royal as organist, and it was in that capacity that most his works were created until hi his death in 1695. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. It is likely that Purcell was among those composers who heard music. Not only was he among the most highly regarded musicians among of his contemporaries, but he has ever since enjoyed a place beside such as Johann Sebastian Bach as among the most phenomenal composers of the Baroque period. A prolific composer, Purcell wrote a host of anthems, hymns, catches, odes, songs, suites, movements, fantasies and sonatas in addition to not a little else.

Henry Purcell   1670 - 1695

 10 Sonatas in Four Parts

     1697   Z 802-811

      London Baroque

 Dido and Aeneas

     Opera   1688   Z 626

      Ricercar Consort & Collegium Vocale Gent

      Philippe Pierlot

 The Fairy Queen

     First Performance 1692 London: Dorset Garden

      Z 629

      Les Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall

 Hear My Prayer, O Lord

     1682?   Z 15

      Choir of Clare College Cambridge

 The Indian Queen

     Opera   1695   Z 630

      Academy of Ancient Music

 King Arthur

     Opera   1691   Z 628

      Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

  Born in 1660 in Austria, Johann Joseph Fux very likely received musical instruction as a child like most composers. At age twenty he enrolled at the Jesuit university in Graz. From 1685 to 1688 Fux was organist at St. Moritz in Ingolstadt, Germany. He traveled to Italy for a time before stationing himself in Vienna during the early nineties. He was there appointed to the the court of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He is known to have traveled to Rome in 1700 to study, but remained in service to Leopold I and his two Hapsburg successors, Joseph I and Charles VI, until his death in 1741. Fux was a popular and solid composer during the peak of the Baroque in Austria. Though his music wasn't much an influence to future composers among his claims to fame was his theoretical and pedagogical tome, 'The Gradus Ad Parnassus' ('Steps to Mount Parnassus'). Written in Latin, it was published in 1725. Ludwig von Köchel catalogue as of 1872 below.

Johann Joseph Fux   1680 - 1741

 Alma redemptoris mater

     1728?   K 186

      Capricornus Ensemble Stuttgart

      Conductor & trombone: Henning Wiegräbe

      Soprano: Lydia Teuscher

 Concentus Musicum

     K 331   'Turcaria'

      Armonico Tributo Austria/Lorenz Duftschmidt

 Missa Purificationis

     K 28

     Vorau Augustine Church Choir/Johann Pichler


    Musica Fiata/La Capella Ducale/Roland Wilson

 Overture in G minor

    1701   K 355

     Armonico Tributo Austria/Lorenz Duftschmidt

 Serenade in C major

    K 352

    Armonico Tributo Austria/Lorenz Duftschmid

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Joseph Fux

Johann Joseph Fux

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Johann Kuhnau

Johann Kuhnau

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1660 in Geising in present-day Saxony, Johann Kuhnau sang at the School of the Cross and the Church of the Holy Cross in Dresden as a child. He fled the plague in Dresden at age twenty, leaving for Zittau. While there he studied foreign languages, translated foreign texts and pursued a career in law. Together with composing nigh entirely sacred music, Kuhnau was an author, including poetry. From 1701 to 1722 he was Cantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. He was also musical director at the Paulinerkirche. It was upon his death in 1722 that Johann Sebastian Bach succeeded him at St. Thomas.

Johann Kuhnau   1670 - 1695

 Ach Herr, mich armer Sünder

     Harpsichord: Ernst Stolz

 Biblical Sonatas

     Organ: John Butt

 Ciacona in B

      Gabriel Isenberg

 Gott sei mir gnädig


     Currende/Erik van Nevel

 Magnificat in C Major

     Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Choir

     Organ/Conducting: Ton Koopmann

     Soprano: Deborah York

 Tristis est anima mea

     Dresden Kreuzchor/Rudolf Mauersberger

  Born in 1660 in Palermo in the island kingdom of Sicily, Alessandro Scarlatti was father of both composer, Pietro Filippo Scarlatti, and Domenico Scarlatti, with whom he vies in importance to the Baroque period. He is said to have studied under Giacomo Carissimi in Rome. His 1679 opera, 'Gli Equivoci nell sembiante', won him the patronage of Queen Christina of Sweden, living at the time in Rome. That position as maestro di cappella was followed with another to the viceroy of Naples in 1684. He was quite productive composing operas in that capacity until 1702 when he was employed at Ferdinando de' Medici's private theatre near Florence. He also wrote operas while serving as maestro di cappella for Cardinal Ottoboni, as well as at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. He visited Venice and Urbino before returning to Naples in 1708. 1718 found him producing operas in Rome again, until his death back in Naples in 1725. Of the three major centers of opera in baroque Italy, Scarlatti put Naples on the map with Rome and Venice.

Alessandro Scarlatti   1675 - 1725

 Carlo, rè d'Alemagna

    Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Fabio Biondi

 Concerti Grossi

     Accademia Bizantina/Otavio Dantone

 Dixit Dominus

    English Concert Choir/Trevor Pinnock

 Exultate Deo

    Bahamas National Youth Choir


    Harpsicord: Beatrice Martin

 Stabat Mater

    Soprano: Gemma Bertagnolli


Birth of Classical Music: Alessandro Scarlatti

Alessandro Scarlatti

Source: Baroque Music
  Born in Leipzig in 1663, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow was the son of a piper among Leipzig's town musicians. Relocating with his family to Eilenburg, he became Cantor and organist at the Marktkirche in 1685. Zachow wasn't a particularly stupendous composer relevant to others, but he was initial teacher to one who was, George Frideric Handel, until the latter became employed at age 18 in 1702. Zachow died in Halle in 1712.

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow   1685 - 1712

  In dulci jubilo

    LV 34

     Organ: Einer von Weitem


    Hab ich nur dich, mein Gott

     Ich mag den Himmel nicht

     Der Erden Stolz und Pracht hab ich schon

     Mein Gott, du bist mein Teil

     Accademia Amsterdam/Cappella Frisiae

     Soprano: Constanze Backes

 Preiset mit mir den Herren

     Berlin Capella Cantorum

 Siehe, ich bin bei euch alle Tage

     Das Kleine Konzert/Rheinische Kantorei

     Hermann Max

Birth of Classical Music: Antonio Lotti

Antonio Lotti

Source: The Boypoet Remembers
Antonio Lotti was born in Venice in 1667, though his father was Kapellmeister at a church in Hanover, Germany. He began studying music under Giovanni Legrenzi in 1682, first employed as an alto singer at St. Mark's Basilica in 1689. He very gradually moved upward through organ positions until finally becoming maestro di cappella in 1736, to die four years later. With the exception of a couple years producing operas in Dresden (1717-19) Lotti remained in Venice his entire career. Together with sacred music, Lotti composed some thirty operas.

Antonio Lotti   1682 - 1740

  Concerto for Oboe d'amore

     I Musici   Oboe d'amore: Heinz Holliger

  Crucifixus a 6 voci

     Marta Guassardo

  Crucifixus a 8 voci

     Matthew Curtis

  Crucifixus a 10 voci

     Le Macadam Ensemble

  Giuramento amorosa

     Madrigal   Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis

     Sopranos: Elena Cecchi Fedi & Roberta Invernizzi

  Missa sapientiae in G minor

     Balthasar Neumann Ensamble

     Thomas Hengelbrock

  Missa del sesto tuono

     Lotti Chamber Choir

  Born in Paris in 1668 François Couperin takes up the Baroque in France a generation or so after Jean-Baptiste Lully. Couperin became organist of the church of Saint-Gervais in 1685-86 when he was 17-18 years old, a position his father, Charles, had held until his death when Couperin was age ten. In 1693 Couperin became organist of the Chapelle Royale under King Louis XIV. (Among the duties of the Chapelle Royale was to give weekly concerts to the court, oft on Sundays, Couperin said to be virtuosic on such occasions with several instruments.) Publishing several books of harpsichord music between 1713 and 1730, he is best known for his manual, 'The Art of Harpsichord Playing', issued in 1716. He is the first to have named a piece a bagatelle, (brief and light, basically, example below). Among the more influential composers to later musicians, Couperin had also written music for organ. He died in Paris in 1733.

François Couperin   1690 - 1733

  Les Concerts Royaux


     Le Concert Des Nations/Jordi Savall

  Domine, salvum fac regem

     Monique Zanetti/Michael Laplénie

     Direction: Bernard Coudurier

  First Book for Harpsichord

     1713   Ordres 1-5

     Harpsichord: Olivier Baumont

  Fourth Book for Harpsichord

    1730   Ordres 20-27

      Harpsichord: Kenneth Gilbert

  Les Nations


      Les Talens Lyriques

      Conductor: Christophe Rousset

  Second Book for Harpsichord

      1717   Ordres 6-12

       Harpsichord: Olivier Baumont

  Second Book for Harpsichord

     1717   Ordre 10:7   'Les Bagatelles'

     Rondeau   Considered the first bagatelle

       Harpsichord: Olivier Baumont

  Third Book for Harpsichord

      1722   Ordres 13-19

       Harpsichord: Kenneth Gilbert

Birth of Classical Music: Antonio Lotti

Francois Couperin

Source: Baroque Music
Birth of Classical Music: Louis Marchand

Louis Marchand

Source: Gallica
Born in Lyon, in 1669, Louis Marchand became organist at Nevers Cathedral at age fourteen. He was living in Paris by the time he was twenty, working in various churches until appointed to the court of King Louis XIV as an organist in 1707 or 08. Marchand took his work on a concert tour of Germany between 1713 and 1717. Returning to Paris, he completed his life as an organist at Église des Cordeliers, also teaching. He died in 1732, the unfortunate thing that little of his work long survived him, he having had no interest in publishing. The loss is worse in that Marchand was a highly applauded harpsichord and organ virtuoso. In the portrait to the left Marchand hides a wig in the most obvious place. The powdered wig (peruke, periwig) came into fashion about 1655 when King Louis XIV (Sun King, a king baroque if ever one was, Louis XV the poster child of rococo) began the fad to hide hair loss. It quickly became the thing to do whether you were bald or not. The wig began to fade from fashion by the nineteenth century.

Louis Marchand   1685 - 1732

 Pièces de Clavecin

    Book 1: Suite in D Minor   1702

    Harpsichord: Ketil Haugsand

 Pièces de Clavecin

     Book 2: Suite in G Minor   1702

     Harpsichord: Ketil Haugsand

 Pièces d'Orgue

    Book 1   1732/1740

    Organ: Michel Chapuis

 Pièces d'Orgue

     Book 2: Fond d'Orgue

     Organ: Luca Raggi

 Pièces d'Orgue

    Book 3: Grand Dialogue

    Organista: Davide Paleari

  Born in Thal near Eisenach, Germany, in 1677, Johann Ludwig Bach is among the reasons that "Baroque" and "Bach" are nigh synonymous. Johann Ludwig was second cousin to Johann Sebastian Bach. He left for Meiningen at age 22 where where he became a court musician to Prince Bernhard I, he gradually became a kapellmeister until his death in 1731.

Johann Ludwig Bach   1710 - 1731

 Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

     Ex Tempore/Florian Heyerick

 Camerata Düren/Peter-JC Eich

    Budafoki William Byrd Énekegyüttes

 Das ist meine Freude

     Choir of Clare College/Timothy Brown

 Mache dich auf, werde Licht (Arise, Shine)

     Camerata Düren/Peter-JC Eich

 Unsere Trübsal die zeitlich und leicht ist

     JLB 33   Budafoki William Byrd Énekegyüttes

Born in 1678 in Venice (then a republic apart from Italy), Antonio Vivaldi was Italy's Baroque supernova. He composed a galaxy of concertos, as well as sinfonias, sonatas and nigh 50 identifiable operas. Giovanni's father had been a barber turned professional musician with whom Vivaldi publicly performed as a child. Early records find Vivaldi the maestro di violino at the Ospedale della Pietà at age 25, an esteemed orphanage and music school where Johann Rosenmüller had taught about twenty years earlier. He was ordained a priest the next year in 1703, acquiring the nickname of "The Red Priest" due that he (and his family) was a flaming redhead. Though Vivaldi remained a priest, it's thought he withdrew from the duties of that station due to severe asthma. Vivaldi remained at the Ospedale della Pietà more than thirty years, eventually being appointed maestro de concerti in 1716. But he exchanged Venice for Mantua in 1717 or 18, employed as maestro di cappella by Mantua's governor, Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt. Between 1721 and 1725 he worked in Milan and Rome before returning to Venice. By that time Vivaldi's reputation throughout Europe was shimmering. He had performed for Pope Benedict XIII in Rome and now, 1728, he was knighted by Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI. In 1730 Vivaldi journeyed to Prague with his father. Soon returned to Venice, he there spent nigh the next decade until moving to Vienna for unclear reasons in 1740. Unfortunately, shortly upon arriving to Vienna his protector, Charles, died, leaving him both broke and among that unique group of humans whose genius wasn't financial savvy, as Vivaldi died in poverty in 1741. Vivaldi had composed 46 operas, written for both court and public. (The first opera is generally credited to Jacopo Peri as of 1597. Opera moved from entertainment exclusively for aristocrats forty years later, the first public opera house, the Teatro San Cassiano, opening for business in 1637 in Venice.) Of Vivaldi's more than 500 concertos, 230 were for violin, the remainder other instruments. His sonatas number around ninety. Vivaldi's famous concertos known as 'The Four Seasons' ('Le quattro stagioni') were the first four of twelve concertos titled 'The Contest between Harmony and Invention' ('Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'). They are indexed under 'The Contest' below.

Antonio Vivaldi   1700 - 1741


     Opera RV 703

     Europa Galant/Fabio Biondi

 The Contest

     Concerto No. 1: La primavera

     1720?   RV 269

      Montana Chamber Orchestra

 The Contest

      Concerto No. 2: L'estate

       1720?   RV 315

       Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

 The Contest

      Concerto No. 3: L'autunno

      1720?   RV 293

      Baroque Festival Orchestra

 The Contest

      Concerto No. 4: L'inverno

      1720?   RV 297

      Musici Di San Marco

 The Contest

      Concerto No. 9

      1720?   RV 236

       Ensemble Zefiro

  La Stravaganza

      Concerto in E minor   RV 279

      Rachel Podger

Birth of Classical Music: Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

Engraving: François Morellon la Cave

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

Tomaso Albinoni

Source: Edition HH
Born in 1671 in Venice, Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was born to a rich paper merchant. He likely studied singing and violin while young, but not a lot is known about him until 1694, dedicating his Opus 1 to Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. He produced his first opera in 1694 as well: 'Zenobia', becoming popular throughout Italy as he traveled to stage his productions. He also directed a couple operas in Munich for Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Albinoni died in Venice in 1751 of diabetes. Albinoni highlights the importance of Venice during the Baroque due largely to opera and other Venetian composers on this page, such as Lotti and  Vivaldi. Though he made his name in opera during his day his other works are much more liked in modern times. Albinoni wrote a good number of cantatas in addition to operas and instrumental music. The serenata, below, is a kind of cantata.

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni   1690 - 1751

  8 Concerti a cinque

     Op 10

     Simon Standage

  12 Concerti a cinque

     1715   Op 7

      Berlin Chamber Orchestra

  12 Concerti a cinque

     1722   Op 9

      The Academy of Ancient Music

      Christopher Hogwood

  Il Concilio de' Pianeti

     First performed 1729   Serenata a tre voci

      Ensemble Strumentale Albalonga

       Annibale Centrangolo

  Sinfonie e Concerti a cinque

     1700   Op 2

      Rome Instrumental Ensemble/Giorgio Sasso

  Born in 1679 Louňovice pod Blaníkem, Bohemia (now Czech Republic), Jan Dismas Zelenka was among the more extraordinary of Baroque composers, hailing from an area of Europe hit especially hard during the Thirty Years War that ceased in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. Born thirty years into the rebuilding of Prague, Zelenka was to let Europe know that Czech music was not only arriving, but in an especially powerful way. His father was an organist and school teacher. Zelenka was later taught music at the Clementinum, a Jesuit college in Prague. His instrument the bass viol, Zelenka's first compositions were oratorios written while attending that school. He was employed by one Baron von Hartig in Prague before joining the Dresden royal orchestra in 1710. He played the double bass and earned 300 thalers a year, a solid middle class income at the time. With the exception of a trip to Italy, and later Prague, Zelenka remained in Dresden throughout his life. He passed in 1745 of dropsy. Notable Czech composing during the Baroque was largely sacred. Opera hadn't been the phenomenon in Bohemia as it had been in the rest of Europe. Zelenka was no different, his contribution to the Baroque arising out of the parameters of Catholic deployment, yet hardly unaware of his more secular contemporaries while challenging the limits of church music. Zelenka was and remains an indisputable master of counterpoint and harmony. He was Bohemia's version of his close contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach, in Germany. His known works number 249, including thirteen litanies and more then twenty masses. ZWV numbers are per Wolfgang Reich, 1985.

Jan Dismas Zelenka   1700 - 1745

  Litaniae Lauretanae

     ZWV 152   'Salus Infirmorum'   1744

     Tafelmusik Choir/Kammerchor Stuttgart

  Litaniae Xaverianae

     ZWV 155   1727

      Ensemble Inégal/Adam Viktora

  Missa Dei Fili

     ZWV 20   1740-41

      Collegium Vocale Ghent

       Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

  Missa Omnium Sanctorum

       ZWV 21

       Collegium 1704/Václav Luks

  Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis

      ZWV 17   1736

      Musica Florea/Marek Štryncl

      Soprano: Anna Hlavenková

  Missa Votiva

      ZWV 18   1739

      Kamerchor Stuttgart/Barockorchester Stuttgart

        Frieder Bernius

  Te Deum in D major for two choirs

      ZWV 146   1731

      Collegium 1704/Václav Luks

      Sopranos: Hana Blazikova & Dora Pavlikova

  Il Serpente di Bronzo

     ZWV 61   Sacred cantata   1730

     Ensemble Inégal

Birth of Classical Music: Cristofori Grand Piano 1720

Cristofori Grand Piano   1720

Source: The Met

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Mattheso

Florence, Italy   Circa 1700

Birthplace of the Pianoforte
Born in 1681 in Hamburg, Johann Mattheson was a multi-faceted talent whose father was a tax collector. Mattheson began appearing in female opera roles in 1696. He began singing tenor upon his voice changing. He eventually began conducting rehearsals and composing until becoming cantor at St. Mary's Cathedral in 1718. He left that position in 1728 due to increasing deafness. Fluent in English, Mattheson then served as a diplomat, often sailing abroad. He combined that with tutoring for the duration of his life, though not without writing 88 books (biographies, music theoryy, treatises, etc.) relevant to which Mattheson is considered by some to be the original music critic, a distinction he shares with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Like other composers he was buried in a church, St. Michael's in Hamburg, in 1764. 'Der Brauchbare Virtuoso' (below) is a group of 12 sonatas with three movements each, of which the second sonata is listed. 'Sarabande in E minor' and 'Suite No.9' (below) were composed for harpsichord. Though they are played on piano we list them because it was during Mattheson's lifetime that the piano was invented. At first called the fortepiano, Medici documents indicate the existence of such in 1700. That would be due to a harpsichord builder named Bartolomeo Cristofori who was Keeper of the Instruments for Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici of Tuscany. Three pianos that Cristofori made in the 1720s yet exist, such as the one in the image to the left.

Johann Mattheson   1700 - 1764

 Arie des Ivan

     Berlin Philharmonic

    Tenor: Manfred Schmidt

 Mein Leben ist hin

     Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

     Soprano: Isabel Bayrakdarian

 Der Brauchbare Virtuoso


     Trio Corelli

 Minuet for 3 recorders

    Recorders: Ernst Stolz

 Sarabande in E minor


 Schlafe Wohl (Sleep Well)

     Matthew Leese

 Suite 9 for Harpsichord


     Piano: Fabiomassimo Castelluzzo

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Mattheson

Johann Mattheson

Engraving: Johann Jacob Haid

Source: Academic
  Born in 1681 in Magdeburg, Germany, Georg Philipp Telemann was proof that the explosion of Baroque in Germany wasn't a history of the Bach family alone. With Telemann the Baroque was reaching its apex. Telemann is thought to have begun singing, playing organ and composing at age ten. He'd written an opera, 'Sigismundus', at twelve. He also studied music theory and notation about that time, in addition to composing for choirs and town musicians. Telemann had been a law student at the University of Leipzig when he decided to switch to music. This is said to be due that a fellow student discovered a composition by Telemann, a setting for 'Palm 6', which was then performed. The impressed mayor of Leipzig then commissioned Telemann to compose for the city's two main churches, St. Nicholas and St. Thomas. Now with a career, Telemann formed a collegium musicum (college musical society) of about forty members with which he gave public performances. In 1702 Telemann was appointed director of the Opernhaus auf dem Brühl where he also employed college musicians for opera. In 1705 Telemann became kapellmeister for the court of Count Erdmann II of Promnitz in Sorau (now Żary, in Poland). He wrote more than 200 overtures during this period even as it was disrupted by the Great Northern War. In 1707 or 08 Teleman entered into the service of Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach, whence he became kapellmeister in 1709. In 1712 Telemann became musical director for the city of Frankfurt and kapellmeister at the Barfüsserkirche, also composing for St. Catherine's. Telemann started publishing his works in 1715, two years prior to becoming kapellmeister for the city of Eisenach. In 1721 he is found working at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg, also appointed musical director of that city's five main churches. Between 1725 and 1740 Telemann published more than forty books which found their way throughout Europe. Unfortunately, Telemann's second wife, Catherine, as of 1714 (his first, Amalie, had died in 1711), was a gambler who nearly drove him to bankruptcy but for the financial assistance of friends. The couple finally separated in 1736. The next year he left Hamburg for Paris where he concentrated on publishing the 'Nouveaux quatuors' that year. Returning to Hamburg in 1738, Telemann's great burst of the last few decades began losing fuel. Though he continued composing until his death in Hamburg in 1767 (outliving the death of his eldest son by twelve years), as Telemann aged, his last couple decades or so were spent more at relaxation than driving. Telemann composed an astronomical amount of work, more than 3000 pieces despite the relative complexity of much. His was a household name throughout high Baroque Europe alike Louis Armstrong in 20th century America. His early grooming for law may have contributed to Telemann being an early instance of intellectual rights, he pursuing exclusivity of rights to publish his work upon discovering unauthorized books of his music being published in Paris during his stay there in 1737. Though Telemann composed more than fifty operas, his more significant work may be his concertos, overtures and passions. (The passion dates back to the Passion, the reading of the account of the Crucifixion in one of the Gospels during Holy Week, occurring as early as the fourth century. It began to be intoned by at least the eighth century. By the 16th century the passion had become an important musical element of church services, eventually coalescing with the oratorio.) The chalumeaux (below) was predecessor to the clarinet.

Georg Telemann   1695 - 1767


     TWV 52:C1

       For 2 Chalumeaux and 2 Bassoons

      La Stagione Orchestra

 Concerto for 2 violins & bassoon

     1740?   TWV 53:D4   D major

      Collegium Musicum 90

 Concerto for 3 violins in F major

     1733   TWV 53:F1

     Musica Amphion/Pieter-Jan Belder

  Concerto for 4 Violins in D major

     TWV 40:202

      Musica Antiqua Koln/Reinhard Goebel

  Concerto for 4 Violins in G major

     TWV 40:201

      Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg

       Director: Lev Shinder

  Concerto for Oboe d'amore

     TWV 51:G3

       English Chamber Orchestra

      Oboe: Thomas Indermühle

 Concerto for Recorder and Flute

      TWV 52:E1

       Flute: Karl-Heinz Passin

       Recorder: Reiner Gebauer

 Concerto in F major

    TWV 54:F1

     Trumpet: Ludwig Güttler

 Divertimento in B flat major

     1767   TWV 50:23

     Música Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel

 Oboe Concerto in E minor

     TWV 51:E1

     Oboe: Heinz Holliger

Birth of Classical Music: Georg Telemann

Georg Telemann

Aquatint: Valentin Daniel Preisler

Source: Wikimedia Commons
  Christoph Graupner was born in 1683 in Hartmannsdorf, Germany. He attended the University of Leipzig to study law first, then music, before joining the orchestra of the Hamburg Opera in 1705 to play harpsichord. Young Georg Handel played violin in that orchestra at that time as well. In 1709 Graupner left for the court of Hesse-Darmstadt, becoming hofkapellmeister in 1711. He there worked until going blind in 1754, dying six years later. Graupner was an exceedingly prolific composer, leaving about 2000 pieces of surviving work, nigh three quarters of which are spiritual cantatas. There are no known portraits of Graupner due that, being a modest Lutheran, he'd not sit for such the vanity, such likely relevant to the glow of his work in general, he the ghost of high Baroque.

Christoph Graupner   1695 - 1767

  Gott sei uns gnädig

     1741   GWV 1109/41

      Chorus: Ex Tempore

     Orchestra: Mannheim Hofkapelle

      Conductor: Florian Heyerick

 Merk auf mein Herz und sieh dorthin

     1743   GWV 1111/44

      Chorus: Ex Tempore

      Orchestra: Mannheim Hofkapelle

      Conductor: Florian Heyerick

 Partita in A major

     GWV 149

      Harpsichord: Fernando De Luca

 Sinfonia in F major

    1752?   GWV 571

     Siegbert Rampe

Birth of Classical Music: Johann David Heinichen

Johann Heinichin

Source: Discogs
Born in 1683 in Crössuln (now Krauschwitz), Johann David Heinichen was no big deal, but another Baroque composer to lend credibility to the notion that Germany fairly owned the period, despite opera in Italy, France and England, albeit with Heinichen an important vein between Germany and Venice flows. Heinechen's father was a cantor and pastor. After graduating from Thomasschule in Leipzig, where he studied music, Heinichen matriculated into the University of Leipzig in 1702. Qualified to practice law in 1705-06, that he did in Weissenfels (meanwhile marrying) until 1709 when his first known opera, 'Der angenehme Betrug oder der Carneval von Venedig', was performed. In 1710 he began publishing treatises in music theory and might easily have continued his career in Germany when he was compelled toward destinations south, traveling in Italy with Venice especially gravitational. While in Italy he was employed as of 1712 by Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen in Rome. In 1716 Heinichen became Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Venice, then followed that one to the Dresden court in 1717. Heinichen died in 1729 in Dresden of tuberculosis at age forty-six. He had been a prolific composer during his relatively brief career. wrote for orchestra (: concerti), chamber (: sonatas), keyboard solos, cantatas, liturgical woks, psalms in the Latin and vernacular, responsories, masses, arias for operas, ad infinitum. S numbers below are Gustav Adolph Seibel, 1913.

Johann David Heinichen   1705 - 1729

  Concerto grosso in G major

     S 213

   Concerto grosso in G major

      S 214

      Il Fondamento/Paul Dombrecht

   Concerto grosso in G major

      S 215

      Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel

   Mass 11 in D major

      S 6

      Dresdner Barockorchester

      Hans-Christoph Rademann

      Soprano: Christine Wolff

   La Pace di Kamberga

      S 19   Oratorio

      Batzdorfer Hofkapelle/Daniel Deuter

   Requiem in E flat major

      S 18

      Das Kleine Conzerte/Herman Maxx

     Soprano: Maria Zadori

   Violin Concerto in A minor

      International Baroque Players

      Violin: Johannes Pramsohler

  Warum toben die Heiden in D major

      S 39   Vernacular psalm

      Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel

      Bass: Raimund Nolte

  Born in 1683 in Dijon, Jean-Philippe Rameau was to high Baroque in France what Johann Sebastian Bach (born two years later) was in Germany, that is, a major composer of high significance in the history of European music. Rameau's father worked as an organist at churches around town. He was otherwise Jesuit-educated and likely studied music for a brief period in Milan before becoming an itinerant organist and violinist. In 1706 Rameau published his first known compositions, 'Pièces de clavecin', in Paris. Between 1709 and 1722 he worked as an organist at churches in Dijon, Lyon and Clermont, also composing a good number sacred motets and secular cantatas. Back in Paris in 1722, he there published his 'Treatise on Harmony' the same year. Rameau published more music theory and harpsichord collections until composing for stage for the first time in 1723 ('L'endriague'). Rameau is fifty years of age now. He's as ready as ever, but opera was a challenge, new frontier that took him ten years to get the equations right with 'Hippolyte et Aricie' in 1733. He had by that time found patronage in Alexandre Le Riche de La Poupelinière as well, which he enjoyed for the next twenty years, thus to become as important a composer of opera as he was of harpsichord. Rameau passed away in 1764. With the exception of 'La Dauphine', all selections below are from Rameau's operas.

Jean-Philippe Rameau   1705 - 1764

 La Dauphine


    Harpsichord: Andre Alberto Gomez

  Les Indes galantes (The Gallant Indies)


 La Naissance d'Osiris

     [Part 1]

     [Part 2]

     [Part 3]


      Capella Savaria/Mary Terey-Smith

 Les Paladins

    Ouverture    1760

    Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

    Conducting: Nicholas McGegan


     Prologue/Act I

     1745   Revised 1749

      Les Musiciens du Louvre

 Les Surprises de L'amour

     1748   Revised 1757

      Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski


     Overture   1748

      Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski

      Album: 'Rameau: Une Symphonie Imaginaire'

Birth of Classical Music: Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau   1728

Painting: Jacques Aved

Source: Baroque Music
Birth of Classical Music: Bohuslav Matej Cernohorsky

Bohuslav Cernohorsky

Source: Sheet Music DB
Christened in 1684 in Nymburk, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský was a baroque composer of largely choral and organ pieces. From 1700 to 1702 he studied philosophy in Prague, then became a Franciscan in 1704, a priest in 1708. In 1710 he was banned from Czech domains for traveling to Rome, invited by the Franciscan order there, without Franciscan consent in Prague. In 1715 he was in Assisi as an organist at the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, also studying counterpoint with Giuseppe Tartini while in Assisi. Once it was legal he went to Prague and taught music, Josef Seger and František Tůma among his pupils. He was banned yet again upon dispute with the Friars Minor (Franciscans, Minorites) in 1731, this time because he denied them his family inheritance. Which found Cernohorský back in Italy, now as an organist in Padua. He died in Graz, Austria, in 1742. Due much to the Thirty Years War, which assailed Bohemia and Prague especially hard, Czech music had been something set aback decades before Cernohorský arrived on the scene. Prague had lost an estimated two thirds of its population as a result of the Thirty Years War, concerning which the Peace of Westphalia found Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III moving his court to Vienna, with a large portion of Prague following him. Thus emptied, redevelopment required decades. Therefore, if Cernohorský wasn't a major composer, he was nevertheless a major Czech link to the Baroque during a period when Prague was beginning to prosper again. He joins Zelenka at the vanguard of a long list of Bohemian composers that would altogether rival the rest of Europe's. As well, though Catholic influence was especially strong in Vienna and Venice, both major centers of baroque music, with Cernohorský came Catholic expansion into the baroque, further letting Protestant Germany to know that theirs wasn't the only act on the continent. Cernohorský wrote largely fugues and toccatas for organ, as well as motets and other choral works.

Bohuslav Černohorský   1715 - 1750

 Fugue in D major

     Organ: Neva Krysteva

 Fugue in F major

     Organ: Jaroslav Vodrážka

 Precatus Est Moyzes

     Brixiho Chamber Ensemble/Marek Müller

  Born in 1684 Pistoia, Tuscany, Francesco Onofrio Manfredini studied violin in Bologna under Giuseppe Torelli and composition under Giacomo Perti at the Basilica of San Petronio. About 1700 Manfredini joined the orchestra of the Church of San Spirito in Ferrara, returning to San Petronio in 1704, He joined the Accademia Filarmonica (a musical society) in Bologna in 1709, the year he published his first compositions, a set of twelve chamber sonatas titled 'Concertini' (Op 1). 1711 found him in the employ of Prince Antonio I of Monaco. In 1727 he became maestro di capella at St. Phillip's Cathedral in Pistola, where he kept until his death in 1762. Much of Manfredini's oeuvre is thought to have been destroyed, there little more than 43 published works and manuscripts surviving.

Francesco Manfredini   1705 - 1762

  12 Concerti   Op 3


     1718   Concerto grosso in D minor

      Orquestra Ars Musicae de Mallorca

      Les Amis de Philippe/Ludger Rémy

  12 Sinfonie da chiesa   Op 2:1

     1709   Sinfonia in F major

     Capricornus Consort Basel

  12 Sinfonie da chiesa   Op 2:2

     1709   Sinfonia in D minor

     Capricornus Consort Basel

  12 Sinfonie da chiesa   Op 2:10

     1709   Sinfonia in C major

     Capella Istropolitana/Jaroslav Krcek

  12 Sinfonie da chiesa   Op 2:12

     1709   Sinfonia in D major

     Capricornus Consort Basel

Birth of Classical Music: St. Thomas Church

St. Thomas Church

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Born in Eisenach, in 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach represents the height of Baroque not only in Germany but the whole of Europe. The development of Baroque and its gradual transition to classical fairly coincides with the rise of the Bach family of composers. He was a cousin once removed of earlier Johann Christoph Bach and Johann Michael Bach, they preceding him by a couple generations. Bach's father, Johann Ambrosius, was director of Eisenach's town musicians, he raising Bach in the study of violin, harpsichord. He learned clavichord from his elder brother, Johann Christoph. As all his uncles were musicians, he learned organ from one of them, also named Johann Christoph. At age fourteen he attended St. Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. Upon graduating in 1703 he was appointed court musician to the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III in Weimar for several months, then became organist at St. Boniface's Church in Arnstadt. 1707 found him organist at St. Blasius's Church in Mühlhausen where Bach married. He wasn't to work there long though, for 1708 he responded to an invitation from the Duke of Weimar to become court organist. It's during this period in Weimar that Bach began making his name, appointed konzertmeister (music director) in 1714. In 1717 a situation arose too complex for this condensed history. Suffice it to say that it resulted in Bach's detention in jail for nigh a month and a new position as kapellmeister to the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen. In 1723, Bach was appointed Cantor of Thomasschule (boarding house and school) at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, a position he kept for the next twenty-seven years until his passing in 1750. His last major work, 'Mass in B minor', had been composed in 1748-49. Bach wasn't one of those artists who died without a dime. He had a library of 52 books, including Martin Luther and Josephus. (Books were far from cheap in Bach's time. A book could cost the average laborer the majority of a week's salary, roughly the equivalent of a McDonald's employee purchasing a Chromebook today. Public libraries were established so that people too poor to purchase books, yet largely an item for the well-to-do, could read.) He also owned at least seven harpsichords and several other string instruments. With emphasis on sacred rather than secular music, Bach has been most greatly hailed as a harpsichord and organ composer, his contrapuntal fugues in particular. He gave stellar performances as a keyboardist, virtuosic improvisation elemental to much of his work. Sean Jackson plays 'Toccata and Fugue' (below) as Bach originally intended it (composed for organ). The entry below it is Leopold Stokowski's string arrangement for the 1940 Disney film, 'Fantasia'. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos may also be heard as interpreted by Pau Casals in Early Modern.

Johann Sebastian Bach   1705 - 1750   

   Brandenburg Concertos 1-6

     1721   BWV 1046-1051

       Münchener Bach-Orchester/Karl Richter

   Cello Suites 1-6

      1720?   BWV 1007-1012

      Cello: Ralph Kirshbaum

   Cello Suites 1-6

      1720?   BWV 1007-1012

      Cello: Jaap Ter Linden

  Harpsichord Concerto No.4 in A major

       1738   BWV 1055

      The English Chamber Orchestra/Raymond Leppard

  Jesu, der du meine Seele

      1724   BWV 78

      Soprano: Ingrid Schmithüsen

      Collegium Vocale/Philippe Herreweghe


      Magnificat in D major   1728–31   BWV 243

      Magnificat in E-flat major   1723   BWV 243a


      Part 2   First performance: 1727   BWV 244

      Amsterdam Baroque Choir/Cappella Breda Boys

       Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra

      Ton Koopman

   Minuet in A minor

       1725   BWV Anh:120


      Ton Koopman

  Orchestral Suites 1-4

       No.1 in C major   1718?   BWV 1066

      No.2 in B minor   1738–39   BWV 1067

       No.3 in D major   1731   BWV 1068

      No.4 in D major   1725   BWV 1069

       Les Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall

   Toccata and Fugue in D minor

       Organ: Sean Jackson

   Toccata and Fugue in D minor

       From the film 'Fantasia' 1940

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski


Birth of Classical Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Painting: Elias Haussmann

Source: Barokin Musiikki
  Born in Halle, Germany, in 1685, George Frideric Handel joins Johann Sebastian Bach as a preeminent composer at the height of Baroque. Handel's father was a barber-surgeon to the courts of both Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Despite being groomed for a career in law and being forbidden to tinker with musical instruments, Handel is said to have learned to play harpsichord and organ as a child in secret. An early performance for Duke Johann Adolf I of Saxe-Weissenfels was thus surprising: he wasn't supposed to be able to play at all, much less well enough for his father to relent and agree that Handel study under Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow at the Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen in Halle. By age 13 Handel was skilled enough to perform for Frederick I of Prussia. He began to study law at the University of Halle in 1702 while working as an organist, but quit in 1703 to play harpsichord and violin in the orchestra at the Oper am Gänsemarkt theatre in Hamburg. Handel wrote his first two operas, 'Almira' and 'Nero', in 1705, followed in 1706 by a trip to Italy to compose for the Medicis, especially opera. He composed his first oratorio 1707: 'Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno', followed by 'La Resurrezione' the next year. In 1710 he became kapellmeister to German Prince George, Elector of Hanover (to become King George I of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714). But he got ants in his pants that same year, forcing him to take his opera, 'Rinaldo', to London. In 1712 he was earning £200 (about $300) a year from Queen Anne. He also found patronage in Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington and Cork. In 1717 Handel became composer to the Duke of Chandos at his Cannons estate. (The Cannons was a project begun by the Duke in 1713 to the purpose of architectural, artistic and landscaping splendor at a cost of £200,000, equivalent to £27,220,000 today [nigh 41 million dollars]. Forty years later it ceased to exist, being demolished and even its bricks sold, due to twists of fortune with the South Sea Company that left its owner, the Duke's son, Henry, in ruins as well.) Handel founded the Royal Academy of Music in 1719. It was 1723 when he became an English subject and began renting his place at 25 Brock Street in Mayfair, London, where he stayed the remainder of his life. Handel performed his last opera, 'Deidamia', in 1741, the year he went to Dublin to perform hospital benefits for Duke William Cavendish of Devonshire, where his first performance of 'Messiah' occurred. His first performance of 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' in 1749 was among his last hurrahs before his burial in Westminster Abbey in 1759 (more than 3000 attending), his last ten years spent something incapacitated by a carriage accident in 1750, then cataract surgery which may have done more harm than good. Handel had run three commercial opera houses until 1741. He'd never married, though left behind seventy paintings rather than seventy children. He had composed 120 cantatas, 42 operas and 29 oratorios amidst a host of elsewise. His trips had made him the most important musical link between England, Ireland, Germany and Italy during high Baroque. Handel's fame today is due much to the esteem of major composers during his time, thereafter never permitted to fade away. It is his 'Zadok the Priest', composed in 1727, that has been played at every British coronation since George II. 'Almira', below was Handel's first opera. 'Messiah' and 'Solomon' were oratorios.

George Frideric Handel   1705 - 1750


    Sanerà la piaga un dì   1705   HWV 1

    Fiori Musicali   Soprano: Ann Monoyios  

 Concerti Grossi Op 6 1-12

    1739-40   HWV 319-330

    The Avision Ensemble

  Minuet in G minor

      HWV 434:4

      Piano: Cubus


     1742   HWV 56

     Arnold Schoenberg Choir/Erwin Ortner

     Ensemble Matheus /Jean-Christophe Spinosi

 Music for the Royal Fireworks

     1749   HWV 351

     English Chamber Orchestra/Raymond Leppard


    Arrival of the Queen of Sheba   1748   HWV 67

     Budapest Strings

 Water Music Suites 1-3

     1717   HWV 348-350

     Paul Kuentz Orchestra

 Zadok the Priest

     Coronation anthem   1727   HWV 258

      BBC Symphony Orchestra & Symphony Chorus

      Sir Andrew Davis


Birth of Classical Music: George Handel

George Handel

Painting: Balthasar Denner

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti

Source: Opi Wiki
Born in 1685 in Naples, Domenico Scarlatti was an influential late Baroque composer who wrought deep root to the classical period. As the son of Alessandro Scarlatti, he had a hard act to follow, and excelled. One cause of Scarlatti's significance is his connection to Spain. Spain had produced a few important composers during the Renaissance (Tomás Luis de Victoria), but it was something in the suburbs like Poland. The core of activity was in France and Italy, and to great degree England, until the Baroque put Germany on the map. With Scarlatti it's late Baroque and a hundred years since these histories have visited Spain, which was and remains more than a thousand miles from Germany. Despite the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire, Germany and Spain were two different worlds. Scarlatti's arrival in Portugal in 1719, then, was of event. Scarlatti worked as a composer and organist in Naples as early as 1701. A few years later his father sent him to Venice, he not raising his head again until 1709 in Rome, in service to Queen Marie Casimire, she in exile from Poland. In 1719 he took his opera, 'Narciso', to the King's Theatre in London, followed the same year by an appointment as tutor to Barbara of Portugal in Lisbon. He left all sweetness for Rome in 1727 where he married sweetness otherwise the next year, then moved to Seville in 1729. 1733 found him in service to Barbara again, this time in Madrid, she now married into the Spanish royal house, to become Queen. Such the agreeable situation, Scarlatti found little argument with it for a quarter of a century, until his death in 1757. Scarlatti is the first composer in these histories to compose specifically for the new instrument that was the fortepiano (piano). The first fortepiano was built circa 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence for Ferdinando de' Medici. He called it the gravicembalo col piano e forte (harpsichord with soft and loud). ('Essercizi per Gravicembalo', below, are nevertheless played on harpsichord. The harpsichord was also called a gravicembalo.) It is largely Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas produced in Madrid that illuminated Spain during the (late) Baroque period and wrought novel approaches contributing to the golden period of the classical just a breath ahead. With the exception of 'Essercizi per Gravicembalo', the entire list of sonatas below are played by harpsichord master, Scott Ross. Of the several catalogues of Scarlatti we use Ralph Kirkpatrick's as of 1953.

Domenico Scarlatti   1700 - 1757

 Essercizi per Gravicembalo

     K 1-30   Published 1738 in London

     Harpsichord: Pieter-Jan Belder

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 49-66

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 94-112

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 113-125

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 126-139

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 140-155

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 156-172

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 173-188

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 189-203

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 217-229

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 230-243

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 244-257

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 258-267

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 268-286

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 289-301

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 302-317

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 356-371

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 372-391

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 392-409

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 410-427

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 428-448

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 449-467

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 468-484

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 485-500

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 501-519  

  Harpsichord Sonatas K 520-539  

 Harpsichord Sonatas K 540-555

Birth of Classical Music: Bartolomeo Cristofori

Bartolomeo Cristofori

Inventor of the Piano

Source: Musica En El Mateo
  Born in 1686 in Naples, Niccolò Porpora (Nicola Antoine) was a graduate of the Naples Conservatory of Music, Poveri di Gesù Cristo. His first opera, 'Agrippina', was produced in 1708 for the royal court in Naples. His second, 'Berenice', was soon after performed in Rome. Though Porpora came by a number of opera patrons in his early years, and collaborated with the famed librettist, Metastasio, he remains better regarded as a voice teacher at the Naples Conservatory of music, training several big names. Perhaps in 1725 Porpora arrived in Venice, composing and teaching until 1748 when he became kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden. In 1752 he left for Vienna where he taught young Franz Joseph Haydn, who remembered him as an "ass" and "rascal" (not a term of affection in Porpora's time) but a master musician, especially as to composition and song. Naples received Porpora's return in 1759. He there died too poor to pay for his funeral in 1768, a concert given to raise the funds. The prima donnas he had trained, however, lived like, well, prima donnas. (The soprano, especially, was the rock star of Porpora's day, and there was much ado about opera singers accumulating more wealth than was commensurate with their relative worth, much like baseball players today.) What one hears with Porpora is the dying of the Baroque, its last flickering before the douter descends. Porpora wrote cantatas, instrumentals and a few oratorios in addition to about four dozen operas. He was known to be highly literary, as well as a poet, reading and speaking a few languages. Per above, Porpora is one of the many composers with whom Metastasio, worked. He's the librettist for 'Semiramide Riconosciuta', below.

Niccolò Porpora   1705 - 1768

  Cello Concerto in G major

      Movements 1-2 of 4

      L'Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini

      Cello: Gaetano Nasillo

  Cello Concerto in G major

      Movements 3-4 of 4

      L'Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini

      Cello: Gaetano Nasillo


     Opera   Act 2 Aria 3   Dolci fresche aurette

     First Performance 1735 London

     Coloratura mezzo-soprano: Vivica Genaux

 Salve regina in F major

     Accademia Bizantina

 Semiramide Riconosciuta

     Opera   First Performance 1729 Venice

     Musical Ensemble Arcadia in Musica

     Massimiliano Carraro

Birth of Classical Music: Niccolo Porpora

Niccolo Porpora

Source: Into Classics
Birth of Classical Music: Johann Georg Pisendel

Johann Pisendel

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1687 Cadolzburg near Nuremberg, Johann Georg Pisendel is but one more reason Germany dominated the Baroque period of music. His father was a cantor and organist. At age nine he became a choirboy in Ansbach where he probably studied violin under Giuseppe Torelli. He was hired to play violin in the court orchestra in Dresden, but left for Leibniz in 1709 where he became a member of Georg Telemann's Collegium musicum (a musical society). Returning to Dresden in 1712, Pisendel joined the court orchestra once again and remained with it the rest of his life. Studying composition under Johann Heinichen in 1718, he became Concert Master in 1728 until his death in 1755. Pisendel's oeuvre wasn't extensive, but had strong influence on other composers. A violin master, he composed largely for that instrument.

Johann Georg Pisendel   1715 - 1755

  Sinfonia in B flat major

      Batzdorfer Hofkapelle/Daniel Deuter

  Sonata for Violin Solo in A minor

     Baroque violin: Anton Steck

  Violin Concerto in D major

     Freiburger Barockorchester

     Gottfried von der Goltz

  Violin Concerto in G Minor

     Violin: Roman Totenberg

  Violin Sonata in D major

     Baroque violin: Martina Graulich

  Violin Sonata in E minor

     Harpsichord: Christian Rieger

     Baroque violin: Anton Steck

  Born in 1690 in Florence, Francesco Maria Veracini was taught violin mostly by his uncle, Antonio Veracini. His father ran a music school established by his grandfather. His family also ran a painting studio, owning several expensive works as art collectors. (During the Baroque music had come to rely less on nobility for patronage, as during the Renaissance, and more on commercial enterprise.) A contemporary of composer and violinist, Carlo Ambrogio Lonati, Veracini's first known solo violin performance was a Christmas mass at San Marco in 1711. The first known performance of one of his own compositions was a violin concerto the following year in Venice. In 1714 Veracini left for London where he performed during opera intermissions at the Queen's Theatre (the major venue in England). In 1718 he acquired the patronage of Prince Friedrich August of Poland, as a result of dedicating a set of sonatas to him, whence he began composing chamber music, his salary said to be unusually high. Becoming engaged in the project of building an new opera theatre for August at the Zwinger palace in Dresden, Veracini went to Venice to recruit vocalists 1719. Though the incident wants clarity, in 1722 Veracini leapt from a second-story window in Dresden, due some enmity between him and other musicians (Veracini said to own arrogant personality), and broke either a foot, leg or hip that left him with a limp. That incident found him seeking less stressful employment in a church in Florence the next year. In 1733 he returned to London to perform and compose opera. His last opera,'Rosalinda', was there performed in 1744. Upon his return to the continent in 1745 he was involved in a shipwreck that claimed his affects and two Stainer violins. (Among the earliest prominent luthiers had been the Amati family, making violins in Cremona, Italy, since the mid 16th century. The Guaneris began producing violins in the mid 17th century, also in Cremona. Stainer [1617–1683] had been an Austrian luthier whose violin was the treasure to own before Stradivari's more powerful design. Stradivari's main competition during Veracini's time was Carlo Bergonzi.) Veracini died in Florence in 1768, working as maestro di capella at both San Pancrazio and San Gaetano.

Francesco Maria Veracini   1710 - 1768

 6 Ouvertures

     1716   No 1 in B flat major

      Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel

 12 Sonate accademiche

     1744   Op 2   No 5 in G minor

      Clavicembalo: Marco Mencoboni

     Violin: Luigi Mangiocavallo

      Violincello: Claudio Ronco

 12 Sonate Accademiche

     1744   Op 2   No 12 in D Minor

     Harpsichord: Lars Urlik Mortensen

     Violin: John Holloway

     Violoncello: Jaap Ter Linden

 12 Sonate a violino o flauto solo e basso

     1716   Op 1   No 1-7

     Violin: Enrico Casazza

Birth of Classical Music: Francesco Veracini

Francesco Veracini

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Joachim Quantz

Johann Quantz

Source: Expedition Audio
Born in 1697 in Oberscheden, Germany, flautist Johann Joachim Quantz was a major composer of the late Baroque, another jewel in the musical dominion that was largely Germany's throughout the Baroque. Quantz' father was a blacksmith who wanted him to follow in his profession, but died when Quantz was young. Having played oboe and violin, Quantz switched to flute while studying at Dresden, in the employ of Augustus III of Poland. He also traveled to Vienna, France and England during his career, enjoying great popularity whilst considered among the finest musicians in Europe, gaining him a position with Frederick the Great of Prussia in 1740. Howsoever, it was his book, 'Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen' ('On Playing the Flute'), published in 1752, that music scholars and historians have more appreciated. Quantz died in Potsdam Germany, in 1773. Quantz composed arias, lied and orchestral works, but his flute concertos number above three hundred, and his flute sonatas more than two. The list below is alphabetical as always, then by QV. QV numbers are Horst Augsbach 1997.

Johann Joachim Quantz   1715 - 1750

  Flute Concerto in A minor

     QV 5:238 Vivace

     Baroque Flute: Mary Oleskiewicz

     Budapest Concerto Armonico/Miklós Spányi

  Flute Concerto in D minor

     QV 5:81

     Budapest Concerto Armonico/Miklós Spányi

     Baroque Flute: Mary Oleskiewicz

  Flute Concerto in G minor

     QV 5:196

     Les Buffardins

  Flute Sonata in B flat major

     QV 1:162

     Flute: Dorothee Kunst   Lute: Susanne Peuker

  Flute Sonata in D major

     QV 1:33

     Flute: Mary Oleskiewicz

  Born in Vercelli in 1697, Francesco Antonio Vallotti wasn't a major composer, writing sacred music in Italy at a time (late Baroque) when opera had long since been the main venue of musicians who aspired to fame. He was, however, a well-regarded theorist as well, focusing on counterpoint, harmony and well temperament (a system of tuning). Vallotti became a Franciscan in 1716, a priest in 1720. He became an organist at St. Antonio's in Padua in 1722, then maestro in 1730, which position he kept for the next half century until his death in 1780. Vallotti composed largely psalms, hymns, responsorials and other liturgical works. (Responsorial singing between a cantor and congregation well precedes Christ, a Jewish development to sing the psalms of David.)

Francesco Antonio Vallotti   1730 - 1780

  Le Lamentazioni del Profeta


     Ensemble Festa Rustica/Giorgio Matteoli

      Soprano: Rosita Frisani

  O Vos Omnes

     Responsorial sung as a motet

     Concierto Coro Institucional Pontificia Universidad

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Adolph Hasse

Johann Adolph Hasse

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Born in Bergedorf, Germany, in 1699, Johann Adolph Hasse joined the Hamburg Opera in 1718. He took a singing position at the court of Brunswick the next year. While there he produced his first opera, 'Antioco', in 1721. Hasse left Germany for Naples in 1722. He there married the soprano, Faustina Bordoni. Leaving Naples to work in Vienna briefly in 1731, Hasse arrived to the court of Dresden to be its kapellmeister later that year. From that time onward Hasse's operas were in demand, dividing his time between Dresden and theatres in Turin, Rome, Venice, Naples and Pesaro. The new position of Oberkapellmeister was created for him in 1747 (Nicola Porpora becoming kapellmeister). In 1750 Hasse visited Paris where his 'Didone abbandonata' saw stage. (From the troubadour to this day it's been largely travel that makes a musician's career and travel that wears one out.) Due to the Seven Years War the court in Dresden was relocated to Warsaw, Poland, in 1756. Hasse's patron, Augustus III of Poland, died in 1763. His successor, Frederick Christian, found himself faced with financial ruin as a result of the Seven Years War which ended that year. Choosing between frivolity and frugality, he released Hasse, with Faustina, from service, each with two years pay. Hasse moved to Vienna the next year, as popular as ever there, as well as in Naples. However, Hasse met with the same problem as Niccolo Piccinni: Christoph Willibald Gluck was changing the way opera was done and Hasse couldn't compete (Piccinni faring far better). He left Vienna to teach and compose sacred music in Venice in 1773, dying two years later than Faustina in 1783. Metastasio among the librettists with whom Hasse had worked, he left behind 69 operas together with oratorios, cantatas, ballads, instrumentals and church music. As opera went the way of Gluck he had little posthumous influence.

Johann Adolph Hasse   1720 - 1783


     Cantata   1769

     Concilium Musicum Vienna/Paul Angerer

      Soprano: Ursula Fiedler

 Alcide al Bivio

     Opera   First performance 1760 Vienna

     Ensemble La Stagione Frankfurt

      Favorit-und Capellchor Leipzig

      Michael Schneider

 L'Eroe Cinese

    Opera   First performance 1753 Hubertusburg

     Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman

 Harpsichord sonata in G major

    Harpsichord: Luca Guglielmi

 Miserere in D minor

    Coro Femminile Euridice/Architorti

     Massimo Lombardi

 Recorder Sonata in B flat major

    Harpsichord: Luca Quintavalle

    Recorder: Daniel Rothert


     Opera   First performance 1761 Warsaw

      Warsaw Chamber Opera

  Born in 1703 in Wahrenbrück, Germany, Johann Gottlieb Graun was brother to Carl Heinrich Graun. He studied under Johann Pisendel in Dresden and Giuseppe Tartini in Padua before becoming a konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726. He hired on with Frederick II in 1732 and became Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740. A violinist, Graun wrote numerous concerti and sonatas for that instrument, as well as not a few overtures and symphonies. Graun's brother was perhaps a bit more popular, but the pair led similar careers and each was a highly regarded musician. Graun's trio sonatas below are thought to have been published between 1725 and '35. GWV numbers below are short for GraunWV per Christopher Henzel, 2006.

Johann Gottlieb Graun   1715 - 1750

  Concerto for 2 Violins in G major

     GWV C:XIII:84


  Concerto for Violin and Viola da Gamba

     GWV A:XIII:3   C minor   Allegro

     Frankfurt Capella Academica

  Trio Sonata in A major

     GWV A:XV:13   Allegro

     Les Amis de Philippe

  Trio Sonata in C minor

     GWV A:XV:19   Allegro ma non molto

     Les Amis de Philippe

  Trio Sonata in D major

     GWV A:XV:100   Allegro

     Les Amis de Philippe

  Trio Sonata in E major

     GWV A:XV:27   Allegro

     Les Amis de Philippe

  Violin Concerto in C minor

     GWV C:XIII:68


  Born in 1704 in Wahrenbrück, Carl Heinrich Graun was brother to Johann Gottlieb Graun, with whom he went to Dresden in 1714 where they received a Lutheran education and sang in both the choir of the Dresden Kreuzkirche and the chorus of the Opernhaus am Zwinger. Between sacred music and opera Graun went the latter, He became a konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726, then hired on with Frederick II in 1732. He became Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740. He died in 1771. As Graun was a violinist he composed a large number of works for that instrument. He also wrote a good number of works for the viola da gamba. GWV numbers below are short for GraunWV per Christopher Henzel 2006.

Carl Heinrich Graun   1725 - 1771


     1746   'Misero pargoletto'

      GWV B:1:13   Opera

      Librettist: Metastasio

      Cecilia Bartoli   Album: 'Sacrificium'


     1752   'Mio bel nieme'

      GWV B:1:25   Opera

      Le Concert d'Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm

      Counter tenor: Philippe Jaroussky

   Te Deum

      Basler Madrigalisten/L'Arpa Festante

       Friitz Naf

   Der Tod Jesu

       1755   Passions-oratorium

       Die Durlacher Kantorei

       Das Karlsruher Barockorchester

  Born in Kostelec nad Orlicí, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic near Poland), in 1704, Baroque composer František Tůma had a parish organist for a father. He likely studied at the Jesuit seminary, the Clementinum, before studying under Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský in Prague as a chorister. He is thought to have become a vice-kapellmeister in Vienna in 1722. In 1731 he became Compositor und Capellen-Meister to Count Franz Ferdinand Kinsky, High Chancellor of Bohemia. He soon after also studied counterpoint in Vienna with Johann Joseph Fux. In 1741 Tůma accepted the position of Kapellmeister to the widow of Emperorr Karl VI, granting him a pension upon her death in 1650. He thereafter composed in Vienna, also performing with the bass viol and theorbo (basically an exceedingly developed lute). Upon the death of his wife in 1768 he changed his scenery to the Premonstratensian monastery of Geras in southern Austria. He returned to Vienna in time to die in the convent of the Merciful Brethren at Leopoldstadt in 1774. Tůma reinforced the entrance of the Czech region as a major player in the history of European music. Among his sacred works he left about 65 masses, 29 psalms and 5 settings of the Stabat Mater (Sorrowful Mother).

František Tuma   1720 - 1774

 Partita in D minor

    Prague Chamber Orchestra

 Sinfonia in A major

    Prague Chamber Orchestra

 Sinfonia in B flat major

    Dance Suite in A major

     Prague Chamber Orchestra

 Sonata in E for 2 Trombones

    Bratislava Chamber Soloists

    Trombones: Albert Hrubovcak & Jan Hrubovcak

 Stabat Mater

    Currende Vocal Ensemble

 Te Deum

    Musica Figurata/Martin Lily

 Trio Sonata in A minor

    Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini

Birth of Classical Music: Frantisek Tuma

Frantisek Tuma

Source: Expedition Audio
Birth of Classical Music: Franz Benda

Franz Benda

Source: Radio Swiss Classic

Born in 1709 in Benátky nad Jizerou, Bohemia, Czech violinist Franz Benda was elder brother to Jiří Antonín Benda. Benda was a chorister as a child in Prague and Dresden. Upon starting to play violin he joined a group of strolling musicians until 1730, going to Vienna to study under Carl Graun. In 1732 he entered into the service of Frederick II, with whom he remained until his death in 1786. The 'New International Encyclopedia' of 1905 states that Benda performed some 50,000 "concertos" during a forty year period with Frederick. That's above 1,200 a year, 100 per month, three per day, thus a figure we find dubitable. Benda was, nevertheless, retained by Frederick because he was among the finest violinists in Europe at the time. We also find Benda reinforcing Bohemia's bid to the Baroque begun a generation earlier by Jan Dismas Zelenka. Czech music was arising upon some delay due largely to war in the Bohemian vicinity of Europe, arriving to Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III taking a good portion of Prague's population to Vienna with him upon the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. All combined, Prague had lost two thirds of its population to either sword or attrition. (Albeit Frederick II invaded Prague in 1744, it was but a three-day siege only as destructive as needful, life going on much as before. Frederick was a minimalist commander in that regard, his interests ever in building rather than razing: among the better enemies to have even if you were a Pole, Frederick, a German, owning a considerable bias and disgust concerning the unenlightened Polish.) But the rebuilding of Prague brought with it rivalry with the rest of Europe. Benda died in 1786, having composed largely concertos, sonatas, symphonies, duets and solos for violin. L numbers below are per Douglas Lee, 1984. All symphonies below are performed by Ars Rediviva, conducted by that ensemble's founder, Milan Munclinger.

Franz Benda   1730 - 1786

  Flute Concerto in A minor

    L 2:16

    Ars Rediviva Ensemble/Prague

    Conducting: Milan Munclinger

    Flute: András Adjordán

  Flute Concerto in E minor

   L 2:4

    Ars Rediviva Ensemble/Prague

    Conducting: Milan Munclinger

    Flute: András Adjordán

  Flute Concerto in E Minor

    L 2:4

    Slovak Chamber Orchestra

    Conducting/violin: Bohdan Warchal

    Flute: Eugenia Zukerman

  Flute Concerto in G major

    L 2:11

    Savaria Baroque Orchestra

    Directior: Pál Németh

    Traverso: Vera Balogh

  Sinfonia in C major

    L 1:1

    Tříkrálový Koncert Orchestru


We temporarily suspend this section of the history of Baroque music with Franz Benda. We may be making additions as such occur.





Early Blues 1: Guitar

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Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

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