Die Israeliten in der Wüste by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach(1714-1788)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German musician and composer, who was a crucial composer in the transition between the Baroque and Classical periods, and one of the founders of the Classical style, composing in both Rococo and Classical periods. During his time, musical culture was caught at a in between two different styles, the professionals of older style had the technique and skill, but the general population wanted something new. This is one of the reasons why C.P.E Bach was did so well in his time, he knew how to present his older style in a new way, thus enhancing the music he produced. The piece i chose to discuss is an oratorio he produced titled Die Israeliten in der Wuste( The Israelites in the Desert), which he started in 1768 in Hamburg, Germany. This oratorio is based on the Old Testament story of the pain and suffering of the Israelites in the Desert. This piece abandons Bach’s typical styles, using different styles of movement to promote drama and sounds, to more fully engage the listener. Each separate section of this piece has a mood, which if you listen to has a feeling of its own emotions, but together form a true uniformed sound. Thought-out the oratorio each piece creates its own mood, the first part creates a feeling of sadness and depression, as the Israelites seem hopelessly lost in the desert. They are depressed over their misfortune and begin to lose faith as their situation becomes more grim. As the oratorio goes one though the mood becomes more brightened and up beat as the Israelites find a spring to drink from in the desert. In this time this piece allowed for a more enhanced type of entertainment which the middle class could enjoy, other than just music in one style or another. The fact that a story was being told and one could feel the emotions though the music, allowed this type of music to be enjoyed by the middle class, as well as appeal to the aristocratic population as well.

Sections of this piece can be streamed at the URL: http://www.amazon.com/C-P-E-Bach-Die-Israeliten-Wuste/dp/B000027OD0

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