The soprano voice clearly inspired both Bach and Handel, those two exact contemporaries who were otherwise so different in temperament. For Bach, the voice could embody a sort of etherial purity but also provide considerable virtuosity and rhetorical energy. For Handel the soprano could be the medium for heartbreaking passion, as in ‘Alpestre Monte’, but also supreme, almost wild, joy, as in the long-lost Gloria. Both composers also shared an interest in the instrumental concerto genre, creating conversations between bodies of different forces and profiling various forms of instrumental melody. Never before had instrumental music enjoyed such a striking role, imitating the cut and thrust of human interaction, poetry and speech.
JS Bach BWV 52 Falsche Welt
JS Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 4
Handel Alpestre Monte HWV 81
Handel Op 3 no 2 in B flat Major
Handel Gloria HWV deest