By Robert Gjerdingen
Track within the Galant type is an authoritative and without difficulty comprehensible research of the middle compositional type of the eighteenth century. Gjerdingen adopts a distinct procedure, in response to an important yet little-known corpus of pedagogical workbooks utilized by the main influential lecturers of the century, the Italian partimenti. He has introduced this very important repository of compositional equipment into war of words with a suite of schemata distilled from a tremendous physique of eighteenth-century song, a lot of it identified in basic terms to experts, formative of the "galant style."
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Extra info for Music in the Galant Style
His interpretation was directed at the tangible—at the rebuilding of instruments and the performance of melodic ornaments. My interpretation of eighteenthcentury music will focus on the intangible—on the mental constructs used by court musicians to create and perform their art. My "contemporary evidence" will be gleaned not only from the artifacts of musical phrases but also from the traces of how professional musicians learned their craft. Though today Haydn and Mozart are as distant in time as Purcell and Corelli were to Dolmetsch, I believe it is still possible to recover something of a galant musical mentalite through a close analysis and comparison of galant musical behaviors.
The Czech musician Wenceslaus Wodiczka (ca. 1715/20-1774) dedicated his Opus i violin sonatas (Paris, 1739) to the Duke of Bavaria, in whose orchestra he served as primo violino. " In Italy a young musician from the north could apprentice himself to one of the great masters of the galant style, and the diligent student could commit to memory the entire repertory of currently fashionable schemata. An examination of Wodiczka's compositions suggests that he was that sort of student, and I view his Opus i as a public presentation of the fruits of his Italian studies.
Bass of the Romanesca was described as prima di tono, quinta di tono, sesta di tono, and so on. Thus my scale-degree markings are less a modern gloss than a graphic depiction of indigenous galant concepts. In eighteenth-century terms, the above basses represent partimenti semplici or basic patterns shorn of ornament. Florid basses, with the underlying longer notes "diminished" into shorter notes, were far more common. Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) served as music tutor and hence maestro to Anne, daughter of George II, from 1724 until her marriage in 1734.
Music in the Galant Style by Robert Gjerdingen