Introduction to Bach and Handel

This section contains materials on the two composers considered by many to be the greatest composers of the Baroque and among the greatest composers of all time. Both these composers are known for applying their considerable genius to existing genres rather than establishing a genre as Monteverdi and Corelli did. In some cases, such as with Bach’s church cantatas, their compositions elevated the genre to a level of technical and artistic mastery that has been rarely duplicated since. Our readings will focus on the biographies of these two composers and their contributions to particular musical genres.

This section includes the following pages:

  • Slideshow: The Late Baroque
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Chorale
    • Bach’s Cantatas
    • Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
    • Cello Suites
    • Fugue
    • Fugue in G minor, “Little” BWV 578
    • Brandenburg Concertos
  • George Frideric Handel
    • Messiah
    • Water Music