Changes in Music On Handel´s Messiah and Smetana´s The Moldau

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It is nearly impossible to go a day and not hear a piece of music. Music has been around for many many years and greatly impacts our world. It has not been the same forever though. Just as times change, so does the style and characteristics of the music written within those times. This can be perceived by observing two different works from two different periods of time. The two works I chose to compare and contrast are Handel’s Messiah and Smetana’s The Moldau. Along with the similarities and differences between the works themselves, there are also some between their composer’s styles and of the periods they were written in.

The first work, the Messiah, was composed by German born George Frideric Handel. Handel wrote suites, organ concertos, concerti grossi, but he is known mainly for his Italian operas and his English oratorios. An oratorio is similar to an opera in the sense that they both feature a chorus, orchestra, and have a plot. However, an oratorio does not have sets or costumes. Handel’s most famous oratorio, Messiah, is actually void of a plot and, like many of his other oratorios, is based off of the Bible (Kamien 141-143).

The Messiah premiered in 1742 in Dublin, Ireland. It was so popular there that men were not allowed to bring swords and women could not wear hoopskirts to the concert hall. This was in order to make room for more people to attend. However, its first performance in London was not nearly as popular due to religious disagreements on showing a Christian based work in a theater. It took about ten years, but eventually Messiah became popular in London (Kamien 143).

The Messiah has three parts. The first part is about the prophecy and birth of Jesus. Part II expresses the salvation through Jesus’ death ...

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...-212).

Music is heard by almost all every single day. It has been around for ages and has a substantially impact on our world and society. As times change the music composed during those times change as well. This can be perceived by observing two different works from two different periods of time. By looking at Handel’s Messiah and Smetana’s The Moldau, one is able to get just a small glimpse of these changes. There are many similarities and differences between the Messiah and The Moldau. Likewise, there are also some similarities and differences between their composer’s styles and of the periods they were written in.

Works Cited

Kamien, Roger. Music: An Appreciation. 7th brief ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.

Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. "The Textures of Music." Connexions. N.p., 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 May 2011. .

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