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Chapter 2 - Form

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2013

Thomas Schmidt-Beste
Affiliation:
University of Wales, Bangor
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Summary

The ‘free’ sonata in the seventeenth century

The history of the sonata in the seventeenth century is primarily a history of the sonata in Italy. The composition of music specifically for instruments – canzonas, toccatas, ricercars and capriccios – had flourished here since the middle of the sixteenth century, and from c. 1600 this provided a fertile ground for sonata composition, which spread from Venice and the cities and courts of northern Italy across the entire peninsula within a few decades. Table 2.1 provides a chronological and topographical overview, showing the primary composers and centres.

The scene north of the Alps, such as it was, was also dominated by expatriate Italians: the Venetian Giovanni Valentini (1582/3–1649) and the Veronese Antonio Bertali (1605–69), for example, were employed at the Imperial court in Vienna, the Mantuan violinist Carlo Farina (c. 1600–40) at the court of the Saxon kings in Dresden. Not until c. 1640 do we encounter a native composer of note in Germany: Johann Erasmus Kindermann (1618–55), who published four sonata collections in Nuremberg between 1640 and 1643. He was followed by Johann Rosenmüller (1619–84) and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (c. 1620–80), slightly later by Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722), Dietrich Buxtehude (1637–1707) and, in Austria, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704). There was no sustained tradition of composing sonatas in England before Henry Purcell (1659–95), or in France before François Couperin (1668–1733).

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The Sonata , pp. 20 - 172
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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  • Form
  • Thomas Schmidt-Beste, University of Wales, Bangor
  • Book: The Sonata
  • Online publication: 05 April 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974298.003
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  • Form
  • Thomas Schmidt-Beste, University of Wales, Bangor
  • Book: The Sonata
  • Online publication: 05 April 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974298.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Form
  • Thomas Schmidt-Beste, University of Wales, Bangor
  • Book: The Sonata
  • Online publication: 05 April 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974298.003
Available formats
×