Listening to Bach and Handel: A Comparative Critique

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[This] is a work of traditional music criticism. It asks why these two German composers, born less than one month and 125 kilometers apart--cultural twins--could compose so differently from each other as well as their colleagues and yet both achieve universal acclaim as the greatest exponents of the Baroque. Finding even partial answers to this question naturally deepens readers' knowledge and appreciation of their art, and thereby amplifies the experience of listening to it. I wrote the book especially for those who love the music of Bach and Handel of course, but because their work underlies in so many ways all the music that came after them." -Joseph P. Swain (Preface)

This book was originally published by Pendragon Press in 2018.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: A Marvelous Synchronicity
Chapter 2: Recovering the Critical Ear
Part II: The Baroque Musical Language
Chapter 3: Phonology, Syntax, and Semantics
Chapter 4: Gifts of the Seicento: the Aesthetic of Music Drama
Chapter 5: Gifts of the Seicento: Instrumental Drama
Part III: Bach, Handel, and Six Essential Concepts
Chapter 6: Cantus Firmus
Chapter 7: Dance
Chapter 8: Ostinato
Chapter 9: Cantilena
Chapter 10: Fugue
Chapter 11: Ritornello
Part IV: Music and Drama
Chapter 12: Opera Seria
Chapter 13: Passion
Chapter 14: English Oratorio
Chapter 15: Solo Sonata and Solo Concerto
Part V: Conclusion
Chapter 16: Bach and Handel: Synchronicity and Freedom
List of Musical Examples
List of Figures

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