Cantata - Cantata

The cantata ("cantada", from the Italian cantare ) is a piece of music written for one or more solo voices with musical accompaniment , generally in various movements and sometimes with a chorus . It is distinguished from the piece to be played or "sounded" (the sonata ). The cantata has its origin in the early seventeenth century , simultaneously with the opera and the oratorio . The oldest type of cantata, known as a cantata da camera, was composed for a solo voice over a secular text. It contained several sections in opposing vocal forms, such as recitatives and arias . Among the composers Italians who wrote these works are included Giulio Caccini , Claudio Monteverdi , and Jacopo Peri . Towards the end of the 17th century, the cantata da camera became a composition for two or three voices.

Types of cantatas

Religious cantatas

The cantatas were created for religious rites, both Catholic (sacred cantatas) and Protestant . These cantatas had a very consistent choral part, intended to be sung by the parishioners. The great teacher of the religious cantata was Johann Sebastian Bach . The cantatas of Bach generally had an initial chorus in which the sopranos began the musical theme followed by the other voices. It happened by means of arias with short recitatives , sometimes with solo instruments that played the melody prepared for the voice (this is what is called obbligato). The congregation of the faithful knew the choirs beforehand, since the religious service began with a “choral prelude” that played the organ . These Bach choirs were the basis for the choirs of the great oratorios, such as the Christmas Oratorio, and the passions , such as the Passion according to St. Matthew and the Passion according to St. John .

secular cantatas

In the Baroque , the secular or secular cantata of Italian origin was also cultivated , which appeared as a genre in 1620 and was consolidated at the end of the 17th century . Alessandro Scarlatti composed cantatas by means of a succession of recitatives with fast time and arias da capo (which repeated the initial theme in the last vocal part, according to the ABA structure). Scarlatti conceived these cantatas for a cultured and very select public, so the harmony and contrapuntal melodies were complex, and they tended not to emphasize too much the writing in Aryous to give more importance to the instrumental ritornelli . This model was masterfully adopted by Antonio Vivaldi in the sacred cantatas and by Georg Friedrich Händel . Händel composed cantatas that were like little operas. They were lyrical cantatas of high dramatic content, some conceived for voice and basso continuo , others for voice, basso continuo and orchestra . Among them, two should be noted: one is Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus ; the other is Apollo and Daphne .

Featured Composers

Among the composers who wrote this type of works are the Italians Alessandro Grandi , Barbara Strozzi , Alessandro Stradella , Alessandro Scarlatti , Antonio Vivaldi and Giacomo Carissimi , and the Germans Heinrich Schütz , Georg Philipp Telemann , Georg Friedrich Händel , Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach .

Twentieth century

In the 20th century, the cantata appeared in Latin America , linked to the author's song , where it was recognized as a popular cantata and tackled various themes, especially political and social. Its development occurs mainly in Argentina , Chile , Nicaragua , El Salvador , Uruguay and Venezuela . In Chile, the following stand out: the Cantata of Santa María de Iquique , the Extremadura Murals , the Song for a Seed by Luis Advis ; the Cantata of Human Rights ofAlejandro Guarello ; " La Fragua " by Sergio Ortega , " Américas " by Gustavo Becerra with Quilapayún ; "Recados a Gabriela Mistral " by Jaime Soto León with Barroco Andino ; the " Rose of the Winds " by Inti Illimani , among others. In Peru, academic cantata like "Apu Inka" by Francisco Pulgar Vidal or popular like "Kuntur Wachana" by Celso Garrido Lecca are written in two tendencies; Another popular and academic example is the "Cantata a Cajamarca, the meeting of two worlds" by Lino Bolaños Baldassari and Miguel Oblitas Bustamante .Cantata Criolla by Antonio Estévez composed for Tenor and Baritone, Choir and Orchestra, based on the popular theme of Florentino and the Devil, this work contains abundant examples of the sound of the Venezuelan llanero feeling. In the Canary Islands , the Cantata del Mencey Loco de Los Sabandeños (1975) and Romance del Corredera de Mestisay (1983) stand out.

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