Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Sacred music in public and private during the German Baroque
During the seventeenth century, German Protestants performed sacred music not only in church but also at home and in organised gatherings such as collegia musica. Domestic performances occurred as part of the Hauskirche, the regular meeting of all the members of a household for devotional readings and music. Sacred music was also performed in the collegia musica that developed in university and merchant towns; such collegia initially performed privately, although in some cases their performances later attracted audiences.
This presentation examines pictorial evidence of sacred performances in the Hauskirchen and collegia musica. I will also survey the musical repertory used in such venues. Many books of simple strophic songs (usually for solo voice and continuo) were published for use within Hauskirchen. More complex pieces such as cantatas and vocal concertos might also be used; private performances were not constrained by the edicts that forbade the use of modern styles in church. Active traditions of private performance continued into the eighteenth century: Georg Philipp Telemann published his cycle of sacred cantatas, Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst (Hamburg, 1725–6) for use not just in church but also in private worship.
V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL
Seminar Room A, Research Department, 17.15-19.00
Nearest tube: South Kensington (link to map)
Please note that the V&A Museum closes at 17.45 on Mondays, so latecomers (after 17.30) cannot be admitted. Seminar Room A is found at the top of the Ceramics staircase, above the Silver Gallery.