An Analysis of Palestrina's 'Missa Papae Marcelli' and Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'

890 Words Jan 9th, 2018 4 Pages
His Missa Papae Marcelli was composed in 1562 during the final session of the Council of Trent, wherein the Catholic Church outlined its catechism in opposition to the Protestant errors in Europe. This Mass fell in the middle of Palestrina's career but is considered to be one of his most popular works. Antonio Vivaldi, on the other hand, was an Italian Baroque composer born in 1678 and dead in 1741. One of his most famous pieces is The Four Seasons, which unlike Palestrina's sacred Mass composition is a secular set of four violin concertos. It was composed in 1723, midway through his career, and is meant to represent as its title suggests the seasons of the year. This paper will compare and contrast Palestrina's Renaissance work Missa Papae Marcelli with Vivaldi's Baroque work Four Seasons according to form, harmony, tempo, meter, texture, style period, text (if any), absolute or programmatic meaning, and sacred or secular orientation.
Palestrina was appointed head of St. Peter's choir by Pope Julius III. The Renaissance was, indeed, a time when the secular was being exalted. Palestrina showed that not all that was considered secular was bad. For example, he convinced some churchmen that polyphony in music was a good thing. Of course, from there secular music took off on a grand course…

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