baroque : In Portugal, Santa Engracia church was the first church to be constructed by use of Baroque style. - debbiebissett.com

In Portugal, Santa Engracia church was the first church to be constructed by use of Baroque style. This church was found in Lisbon and was designed by architect Joao Antunes. By 18th century architects from the northern part of Portugal had adopted the concept of the Italian Baroque to take full advantage of the plasticity of the granite that was used in building tall buildings.

When the first public opera houses opened in Venice in 1637, the genre was altered to suit the preferences of the audience. Solo singers took on a sort of celebrity status, and greater emphasis was placed on the aria as a result. Recitative grew less important, and choruses and dances virtually disappeared from Italian opera. The financial realities of staging frequent opera productions also had an effect. The spectacular stage effects associated with opera at court were greatly downplayed, and librettos were constructed to take advantage of stock scenic devices. By the early 18th century (particularly in Naples), two subgenres of opera became evident: opera seria, in which the focus was on serious subject matter and the da capo aria, and opera buffa, which had a lighter, even comic tone and sometimes used duets, trios and larger ensembles. The Italian tradition of opera gradually dominated most European countries. In late 17th century France, however, the Italian-born Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault created a uniquely French version of opera known as tragédie-lyrique.

Художники Барокко: Караваджо, Карраччи, Рубенс, Рембрант

In addition to energetic compositions, Rubens captured drama through his rich and radiant color palette. “Rubens avoided painting in such a way that the color sank in. The luminous clarity of his work was proof of the excellence of his technique,” artist Max Doerner explains in The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting. “His colors had so much brilliance and binding medium within themselves, that, like Van Eyck‘s pictures, they had a gloss without needing to be varnished.”

Baroque came to English from a French word meaning "irregularly shaped." At first, the word in French was used mostly to refer to pearls. Eventually, it came to describe an extravagant style of art characterized by curving lines, gilt, and gold. This type of art, which was prevalent especially in the 17th century, was sometimes considered to be excessively decorated and overly complicated. It makes sense, therefore, that the meaning of the word baroque has broadened to include anything that seems excessively ornate or elaborate.

Along with the emphasis on a single melody and bass line came the practice of basso continuo, a method of musical notation in which the melody and bass line are written out and the harmonic filler indicated in a type of shorthand. As the Italian musician Agostino Agazzari explained in 1607:

Rome in Italy is well known for its history as the home of churches. One of the first structures to be built in Rome was the Santa Susanna church that used the Baroque architectural style. Caserta Palace was the largest building to have been erected in the 18th century in Europe, and it was the last of Baroque architecture in Italy.

Later in the seventeenth century, the concerto began to assume its modern definition: a multimovement work for instrumental soloist (or group of soloists) and orchestra. Taking its cue from the canzonas and sonatas of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which used contrasting groups of instruments to great effect, the concerto grosso alternates a small group of soloists with a larger ensemble. The works of Corelli, particularly his Op. 6 collection, provide perhaps the best known examples of the late 17th century concerto grosso. While Corelli’s works were emulated in the 18th century, most notably in Handel’s Op. 6 collection, many 18th century examples of the concerto grosso show the increasing influence of the solo concerto (for example, the Brandenburg Concertos of J. S. Bach).

The advent of the public concert made the growing middle class an important source of income for musicians. By the end of the baroque, this social subset had become a musical patron almost as powerful as the church or court.

Derived from the Portuguese barroco, or “oddly shaped pearl,” the term “baroque” has been widely used since the nineteenth century to describe the period in Western European art music from about 1600 to 1750. Comparing some of music history’s greatest masterpieces to a misshapen pearl might seem strange to us today, but to the nineteenth century critics who applied the term, the music of Bach and Handel’s era sounded overly ornamented and exaggerated. Having long since shed its derogatory connotations, “baroque” is now simply a convenient catch-all for one of the richest and most diverse periods in music history.