A History of Western Choral Music: Volume 1

ISBN : 9780195177428

Chester L. Alwes
506 Pages
185 x 257 mm
Pub date
Aug 2015
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A History of Western Choral Music explores the various genres, key composers, and influential works essential to the development of the western choral tradition. Author Chester L. Alwes divides this exploration into two volumes which move from Medieval music and the Renaissance era up to the 21st century. Volume I surveys the choral music of composers including Josquin, Palestrina, Purcell, Handel, and J.S. Bach while detailing the stylistic, textual, and extramusical considerations unique to the topics covered. Consideration of Renaissance music includes both sacred and secular works, specifically addressing the growth of sacred music, the rise of secular music, and the proliferation of sacred polyphony from Josquin to Palestrina. Discussion of the Baroque era is organized by geographic location, exploring the spread of Baroque style from Italy to German, France, and England. Volume I concludes by examining the aesthetic underpinnings of the early Classical and Romantic eras. Framing discussion within the political, religious, cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, and technological contexts of each era, A History of Western Choral Music offers readers specialized insight into major composers and works while providing a cohesive understanding of choral music's place in Western history.


Table of Contents
1. Western Choral Music-Medieval Foundations
a. The Liturgical Year and the Monastic Hours
b. The Mass
c. Modality
d. Modality in Polyphonic Music
e. The Origins of Polyphony
f. The Ars Nova
g. Isorhythm
h. Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377)
i. Conclusion
j. End Notes
2. Sacred Choral Music of the Renaissance, I (1425-1525)
a. Early Fifteenth Century Motet
b. Origins of the Cyclic Mass
c. Masses of Guillaume DuFay
d. The Ockeghem Generation
e. Josquin des Prez: Masses
f. Josquin's Motets
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
3. Secular Choral Music of the Renaissance (1440-1625)
a. French Chanson
b. The Psalter
c. The German Lied
d. Italian Secular Music
1. Verdelot and Arcadelt
2. Cypriano de Rore (1516-1565)
3. Marenzio, Wert and Gesualdo
4. Gastoldi and the Balletto
e. Musica Transalpina: The English "
f. Madrigal Comedy and Intermedium
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
4. Sacred Choral Music of the Renaissance, II (1525-1600)
a. Josquin's Contemporaries
b. The post-Josquin Generation
c. Parody Mass
d. Palestrina, Lassus and Victoria
1. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (ca. 1525-1594)
2. Orlandus Lassus (1532-1594)
3. Tomas Luis da Victoria (ca. 1548-1611)
f. Other Choral Genres
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
5. Sacred Choral Music in England (1450-1650)
a. The Choral Music of English Catholicism (1450-1530)
b. John Taverner (ca. 1495-1545)
c. Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505-1585)
d. William Byrd (1543-1623)
e. Other Composers of Latin Church Music
f. Music for the Anglican Church
g. Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
h. Tompkins and Weelkes
i. Conclusion
j. End Notes
k. The English Reformation-A Time Line
6. Choral Music of the Italian Baroque (1600-1725)
a. Giovanni Gabrieli and the Polychoral Concerto
b. Monody
c. Oratorio: Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674)
d. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): Sacred Music
e. Monteverdi and the Madrigal
f. Sacred Choral Music after Monteverdi
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
7. Choral Music in Germany from Hassler to Buxtehude
a. Lassus: The Foundation of German Baroque Music
b. Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672)
c. Schutz's Contemporaries
d. Angst der Hellen und Friede der Seelen (1623)
e. From Schutz to Buxtehude
f. Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
8. French Baroque Music (1650-1750)
a. Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
b. Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1635-1704)
c. Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726)
e. Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683-1764)
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
9. Choral Music in England from the Restoration (1660) to Handel
a. Pelham Humfrey (1647-1674)
b. John Blow (1649-1708)
c. Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
d. Purcell's Sacred Music
e. George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
f. Handel and the Oratorio
g. Conclusion
h. End Notes
10. The Choral Music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
a. Motets
b. Cantatas
c. Oratorios
d. Masses
e. Mass in b minor (BWV 232)
f. Magnificat (BWV 243)
g. Johannespassion (BWV 245)
h. Matthauspassion (BWV 244)
h. Conclusion
i. End Notes
11. Aspects of Classicism and Romanticism in Choral Music
a. Vocal Music
b. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
c. Romanticism
d. Conclusion
e. Appendix: Choral Composers in Eighteenth-Century Italy
f. End Notes
12. The Mass (1750-1900)
a. Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
b. Franz-Josef Haydn (1732-1809)
c. Haydn's " (1796-1802)
d. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
e. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
f. Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
g. Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
h. Franz Liszt (1811-1887)
i. Other Romantic Mass Composers
j. Conclusion
k. End Notes
13. Romanticism and the Requiems of Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi and Brahms
a. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-Requiem in d minor, K. 626
b. Hector Berlioz-Grande Messe des Morts, op. 5
c. Giuseppe Verdi-Manzoni Requiem
d. Summary of the Latin Requiems
e. Johannes Brahms-Ein deutsches Requiem, op. 45
f. End Notes
14. Sacred Choral Music from Mozart to Liszt
a. Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
b. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
c. Max Reger (1873-1916)
d. Nineteenth-Century Catholic Music
e. Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
f. Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Quattro Pezzi sacri
g. Franz Liszt (1811-1887)
h. Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901)
i. Victorian England
j. End Notes

About the author: 

A native of Louisville, KY, Chester Alwes has served the music faculties of the College of Wooster, the University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music and, from 1982-2011, the University of Illinois as Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, Alwes developed a national reputation as a specialist in the history and performance practice of choral literature. Alwes has authored numerous articles in a variety of journals and is a composer, editor, and arranger with works published by Oxford University Press, Roger Dean Music, Mark Foster Music, et al. At Illinois, Alwes has overseen the successful completion of over thirty dissertations on the choral music of various periods and styles.

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