Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 September 2019
Two case studies, one broad and one more specific, feature in this chapter. The pastoral is more than a musical topic; it is an encompassing orientation that intersects with the taste for reduction that I considered in Chapter 3 and those elements of affective sociability mentioned in Chapter 4. Indeed, the galant style altogether could be said to have aspired to the condition of the pastoral. As well as continuing the traditional idyllic pastoral representations, our style also introduces a more vigorous brand of folk imagery. The tempo di menuetto finale, a neglected movement type, can be understood as a countergeneric construct, increasingly written in pointed contrast to the fast final movement of instrumental works. It helps us to unlock some of the neglected aspects of the style altogether by modelling an intimate sensibility, full of feeling but disciplined by a minuet gait that promotes continuity of motion. With its undemonstrative depth, it provides some clue as to what has been missing or misunderstood in the reception of musical sociability.