Essays on the Performance of Baroque Music: Opera and Chamber Music in France and England

1st Edition

Mary Cyr

Published May 28, 2008
Reference - 344 Pages
ISBN 9780754659266 - CAT# Y236366
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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In this collection of essays Mary Cyr explores some of the written and unwritten performance conventions that applied to French and English music of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Using composers' own notations, marks added by 18th-century performers, historical treatises, and pictorial evidence, she investigates both vocal and instrumental genres, including opera, cantatas, instrumental chamber music, and solo music for the viol and violin. Some of the performance conventions remain controversial, such as the use of gesture by the French opera chorus, and others are still little-known, such as the use of the double bass for rhythmic and harmonic support in early 18th-century French opera. As many of these essays demonstrate, French Baroque music allowed performers a wider latitude of nuance and expression than is often assumed today. The essays in this volume will be of particular interest to scholars and performers who are interested in adopting a historically-informed approach to performing music by Henry Purcell, Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and their contemporaries. Several studies also deal with attributions, sources, and the discovery of a cantata by Rameau.

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