Week 4

WEEK FOUR    G.F. Handel

 Tues 1/27 Italian opera seria      

W&T 59, “The Mature Baroque – The Doctrine of the Affections”

W & T 62, “Castrato Singers”

W & T 63, “The Conventions of the Opera Seria”

W & T 64, “Opera Audiences in 18th-century Italy”

James Webster, “Aria as drama,” Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Opera, Chapter 2, pages 24-27 [you don’t have to read the paragraphs on Italian versification]; 28-35.

Handel, “Lascia ch’io pianga,” aria from Rinaldo

 Handel, “Fammi combattere,” aria from Orlando (CourseWork)

STUDY QUESTIONS: What “types” (Webster, pg 30) do the assigned arias seem to belong to? How closely do they fit the “ideal type” of da capo form (Webster, 34-35)?  How could each aria illustrate Webster’s points about the importance of tempo, meter, instrumentation, and gesture in creating a musical-dramatic portrayal of “affect” (as also described in “The Mature Baroque – The Doctrine of Affections”)?

Thurs 1/29

W & T 69, “Handel’s First London Opera”

W & T — “Addison and Steele poke fun”

MWC 110: Handel, “V’adoro pupille,” aria from Giulio Cesare

Handel, “Va tacito e nascosto,” aria from Giulio Cesare

Handel chamber duets, “No, di voi non vo’ fidarmi” and “So per prova” (1741) on CourseWork

Webster, “Aria as Drama,” pages 37-44 (analysis of the Handel aria “Pensieri”)
STUDY QUESTIONS: How would you approach a “Webster-ian” analysis of one of the arias [not duets] assigned this week?

Fri 1/30 English oratorio

W & T 70 “Some Contemporary Documents Relating to Handel’s Oratorios”

Handel, “For unto us a child is born,” and “All we like sheep have gone astray,” from Messiah (1741) on CourseWork

MWC 111: Handel, “He shall feed his flock” and “Hallelujah” chorus, from Messiah

STUDY QUESTIONS: How did the new genre of English oratorio address complaints about Italian opera’s absurdity, frivolity, extravagance, and singer-dominated-ness? (see W&T 69, “Addison and Steele poke fun” and also W&T 63 “The Conventions of the Opera Seria”)
Compare the Italian chamber duet “No, di voi non vo’ fidarmi” with the Messiah chorus “For unto us a child is born.” How many parameters did Handel change in order to make over the secular duet as a Biblical chorus?

LOOK AROUND: Can you locate the passage in “Saul” where the “carillon” mentioned in W&T 70 is used? [how would you start looking for it?]  What was this carillon?



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