Abstracts of issue 3/1985 (3)

Evi Nika-Sampson

Music Dramatization in Händels Theatrical Work

The article shows specific compositional techniques used by Händel mainly in his oratorios, considered the most individual creations of his artistic inspiration. Händels English oratorios, an outspring of the theatrical dramatic idiom, is a kind of music drama on biblical and mythological subjects. Despite their religious context, Händels oratorios are not intended as more expositions of biblical events clothed in music; they require theatrical representation.
The core of Händels oratorios formal structure is the special prominence given to the choir, which is effectively functional in the musical drama, through its close correlation to the aria. Influenced by ancient Greek drama, Händel attributes to the choir the first role. At the same time, he develops the standard ternary form of the da capo aria into a free dramatic form, combining elements of dramatic expression of both the recitativo and the aria. The free dramatic form of Händels arias is obviously present in his musical dramas Semele and Hercules, in which the composer attempted to reform the musical theater, expanding the dramatic expression beyond the conventional boundaries of the baroque.

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