Glittering festivities and balls, an architecture that is opulent and enchants the eye, grand works of art, painting as a total work of art that creates illusions by emphasizing light and shadow, music at church or at court as a dramatically passionate way of divesting oneself in great clarity, literature and poetry, horticulture and landscaping, science, natural philosophy, as well as the emerging social philosophy, the beginning of new forms of courtly and civil fashion as an acutely exuberant form of art of the absolutism and the counter reformation – this is how the Baroque style spread from Italy to the rest of Europe and even to the colonies of the so-called New World.
Boundaries between the different genres became blurred; the clear structure of the Renaissance Art was replaced by absolute opulence. It was the main objective to enchant the eye with unknown glory and beauty. Versailles, the gigantic splendor castle of the so-called Sun King, Louis XIV of France, became the role model for many new castle constructions on Europe. St. Peter’s Basilica is considered the perfect realization of Baroque ideals for church construction. London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Vienna, Copenhagen, Stockholm, or Venice – everywhere ‘Baroque’ can be found as a means of expression for self-staging. The Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, August the Strong, is considered the high point of self-adulation (inspired by the Sun King of France).
The list of artists of Baroque is long: Bernini, Borromini, Poeppelmann, as well as Balthasar Neumann are all representatives of extraordinary architecture; Permoser and the Asam brothers are considered masters of the Baroque sculptures. The art of painting was taken to new heights by Caravaggio, Tiepolo, El Greco, Velásquez, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Men, such as Cervantes, Racine, Molière, and v.Grimmelshausen created literary works that redefined world literature; and, based on Monteverdi, Vivaldi, and Lully, Bach and Handel influenced this grand era greatly with their musical works: committed to entertaining the worldly power while giving praise to God. Bach’s great Passions, his Mass in B Minor, as well as the Christmas Oratorio are considered unrivaled works in the genre of church music. Handel and his unique stage entertainment on the other hand, manage to create an interaction of the arts of the Baroque opera (with their unity of music, words, plot, and stage design) in a truly magnificent way.
Georg Friedrich Händel
- Messiah | Four Coronation Anthems
- Solomon | Saul | Israel in Egypt | Judas Maccabaeus
- Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day | Dixit Dominus
- Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music
Johann Sebastian Bach
- Mass in B Minor | Christmas Oratorio
- St. John’s, St. Matthew’s, St. Markus’ Passion
- Magnificat | Cantatas | Motets
- Orchestral Suites | Six Brandenburg Concertos
- “Clavier Übung” | Goldberg Variations
- La Quattro Stagioni
- Gloria | Dixit Dominus
- Concerti con molti strumenti
Georg Philipp Telemann
- Brockes Passion
- German Magnificat
- Orchestral Suites
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
- The Israelites in the Wilderness
- Magnificat | Holy