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A cantata is a vocal
Vocal music
Vocal music is a genre of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instrumental accompaniment, in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but does not feature it prominently is generally considered instrumental music Vocal music is a genre of...

 composition
Musical composition
Musical composition can refer to an original piece of music, the structure of a musical piece, or the process of creating a new piece of music. People who practice composition are called composers.- Musical compositions :...

 with an instrumental
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 accompaniment
Accompaniment
In music, accompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner...

, typically in several movement
Movement (music)
A movement is a self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form. While individual or selected movements from a composition are sometimes performed separately, a performance of the complete work requires all the movements to be performed in succession...

s, often involving a choir
Choir
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

.

The meaning of the term changed over time, from the simple single voice madrigal
Madrigal (music)
A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six....

 of the early 17th century, to the multi-voice 'cantata da camera' and the 'cantata da chiesa' of the later part of that century, from the more substantial dramatic forms of the 18th century (including the 200-odd church and secular cantata
Bach cantata
Bach cantata became a term for a cantata of the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach who was a prolific writer of the genre. Although many of his works are lost, around 200 cantatas survived....

s of Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

) to the usually sacred-texted 19th-century cantata, which was effectively a type of short oratorio
Oratorio
An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias...

.

Historical context


The term originated in the early 17th century simultaneously with opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 and oratorio
Oratorio
An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias...

. Prior to that all "cultured
High culture
High culture is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture...

" music was vocal. With the rise of instrumental music
Instrumental
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....

 the term appeared, while the instrumental art became sufficiently developed to be embodied in sonata
Sonata
Sonata , in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata , a piece sung. The term, being vague, naturally evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms prior to the Classical era...

s. From the beginning of the 17th century until late in the 18th, the cantata for one or two solo voices with accompaniment of basso continuo (and perhaps a few solo instruments) was a principal form of Italian vocal chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

.

A cantata consisted first of a declamatory narrative or scene in recitative
Recitative
Recitative , also known by its Italian name "recitativo" , is a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech...

, held together by a primitive aria
Aria
An aria in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment...

 repeated at intervals. Fine examples may be found in the church music of Giacomo Carissimi
Giacomo Carissimi
Giacomo Carissimi was an Italian composer, one of the most celebrated masters of the early Baroque, or, more accurately, the Roman School of music.-Biography:...

; and the English vocal solos of Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 (such as Mad Tom and Mad Bess) show the utmost that can be made of this archaic form. With the rise of the da capo aria
Da capo aria
The da capo aria is a musical form, which was prevalent in the Baroque era. It is sung by a soloist with the accompaniment of instruments, often a small orchestra. The da capo aria is very common in the musical genres of opera and oratorio...

, the cantata became a group of two or three arias joined by recitative. George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

's numerous Italian duets and trios are examples on a rather large scale. His Latin motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

 Silete Venti, for soprano solo, shows the use of this form in church music.

Differences from other musical forms



The Italian solo cantata tended, when on a large scale, to become indistinguishable from a scene in an opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, in the same way the church cantata, solo or choral, is indistinguishable from a small oratorio or portion of an oratorio. This is equally evident whether we examine the unparalleled church cantatas of Bach, of which nearly 200 are extant (see list of cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach), or the Chandos Anthems of Handel. In Johann Sebastian Bach's case many of the larger cantatas are actually called oratorios; and the Christmas Oratorio
Christmas Oratorio
The Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 incorporating music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734 and a...

is a collection of six church cantatas actually intended for performance on six different days, though together forming as complete an artistic whole as any classical oratorio.

Baroque


Cantatas were in great demand for the services of the Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 church. Sacred cantatas for the liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 or other occasions were not only composed by Bach but also by Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude
Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services...

, Christoph Graupner
Christoph Graupner
Christoph Graupner was a German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who lived and worked at the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.-Graupner's life:Born in Hartmannsdorf near Kirchberg in Saxony, Graupner received his first musical...

, Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel was a prolific German composer.-Biography:Stölzel grew up in Schwarzenberg, Saxony in the Erzgebirge. From 1707 he was a student of theology in Leipzig, and of Melchior Hofmann, the musical director of the Neukirche. He studied, worked and composed in Breslau and Halle...

 and Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually...

, to name a few. Many secular cantatas were composed for events in the nobility. They were so similar in form to the sacred ones that many of them were parodied (in parts or completely) to sacred cantatas, for example in Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Classical and romantic period


The term cantata came to be applied almost exclusively to choral works, as distinguished from solo vocal music. In early 19th-century cantatas the chorus is the vehicle for music more lyric and songlike than in oratorio, not excluding the possibility of a brilliant climax in a fugue
Fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....

 as in Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

's Glorreiche Augenblick, Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school....

's Jubel-Kantate, and Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Barthóldy , use the form 'Mendelssohn' and not 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians gives ' Felix Mendelssohn' as the entry, with 'Mendelssohn' used in the body text...

's Die erste Walpurgisnacht. Mendelssohn's Symphony Cantata, the Lobgesang
Symphony No. 2 (Mendelssohn)
The Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, op. 52, called the "Lobgesang" Symphony, was composed by Felix Mendelssohn. It was written in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing, along with the less-known Festgesang "Gutenberg Cantata".The composer's description of the work...

, is a hybrid work, partly in the oratorio style. It is preceded by three symphonic movements, a device avowedly suggested by Beethoven's ninth symphony; but the analogy is not accurate, as Beethoven's work is a symphony of which the fourth movement is a choral finale of essentially single design, whereas Mendelssohn's Symphony Cantata is a cantata with three symphonic preludes. Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 wrote the cantata Paradise and the Peri
Paradise and the Peri
Paradise and the Peri, in German Das Paradies und die Peri, is a cantata for soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Robert Schumann. Completed in 1843, the work was published as Schumann's Op. 50....

. The full lyric possibilities of a string of choral songs were realized by Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

 in his Rinaldo
Rinaldo (cantata)
Rinaldo, a cantata for tenor solo, four-part male chorus and orchestra, was begun by Johannes Brahms in 1863 as an entry for a choral competition announced in Aachen...

, that—like the Walpurgisnacht—was set to a text by Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

. Other cantatas, Beethoven's Meeresstille, works of Brahms and many notable small English choral works, such as cantatas of John Henry Maunder and John Stanley
John Stanley (composer)
Charles John Stanley was an English composer and organist.-Biography:Stanley, who was blind from an early age, studied music with Maurice Greene and held a number of organist appointments in London, such as St Andrew's, Holborn from 1726...

, find various ways to set poetry to choral music. The competition for the French Prix de Rome
Prix de Rome
The Prix de Rome was a scholarship for arts students, principally of painting, sculpture, and architecture. It was created, initially for painters and sculptors, in 1663 in France during the reign of Louis XIV. It was an annual bursary for promising artists having proved their talents by...

 prescribed that each candidate submit a cantata. Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

 failed in three attempts before finally winning in 1830 with Sardanapale
Prix de Rome Cantatas (Berlioz)
The French composer Hector Berlioz made four attempts at winning the Prix de Rome music prize, finally succeeding in 1830. As part of the competition, he had to write a cantata to a text set by the examiners. Berlioz's efforts to win the prize are described at length in his Memoirs...

. While almost all of the Prix de Rome cantatas have long since been forgotten (along with their composers, for the most part), Debussy's prize-winning L'enfant prodigue (1884, following his unsuccessful Le gladiateur of 1883) is still performed occasionally today. Late in the century, Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

 wrote his early Das klagende Lied
Das klagende Lied
Das klagende Lied is a cantata by Gustav Mahler, composed between 1878 and 1880 and greatly revised over the next two decades...

on his own words, between 1878 and 1880, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer who achieved such success that he was once called the "African Mahler".-Early life and education:...

 created a successful trilogy
Trilogy
A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. They are commonly found in literature, film, or video games...

 of cantatas The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha (Coleridge-Taylor)
The Song of Hiawatha, Op. 30, is a trilogy of cantatas by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, produced between 1898 and 1900. The first part, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, was particularly famous for many years and it made the composer's name known throughout the world.-Background:In 1898, Coleridge-Taylor was...

between 1898 and 1900.

Twentieth century and beyond


Cantatas, both of the chamber variety and on a grand scale, were composed after 1900 as well. In the early part of the century, secular cantatas once again became prominent, while the 19th-century tradition of sacred cantatas also continued. Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 composed both kinds: "festival" cantatas such as Toward the Unknown Region (1907), Five Mystical Songs (1911), and Five Tudor Portraits (1936), and sacred cantatas including Sancta civitas (1926), Benedicite (1930), Dona nobis pacem (1936), and Hodie (1954). Joseph Ryelandt
Joseph Ryelandt
Joseph Ryelandt was a Belgian classical composer.-Life:Joseph Victor Marie Ryelandt was born in Bruges, into a wealthy bourgeois family, for whom culture, tradition, and the Roman Catholic religion mattered. So did music, which the family practiced a lot...

 also composed secular and sacred cantatas, such as Le chant de la pauvreté op. 92 in 1928 and Veni creator op. 123 in 1938. Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

 composed the secular Cantata Profana
Cantata Profana
Cantata Profana Sz. 94, is a choral work for tenor, baritone, choir and orchestra by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók...

, subtitled "The Nine Splendid Stags" and based on a Romanian folk tale, in 1930. Although it began as a song cycle (as reflected also by its title), Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School...

's Gurre-Lieder
Gurre-Lieder
Gurre-Lieder is a massive cantata for five vocal soloists, narrator, chorus and large orchestra, composed by Arnold Schoenberg, on poems by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen...

(1900–1903/1910–11) evolved into one of the century's largest secular cantatas. Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.- Biography :Born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, Hindemith was taught the violin as a child...

 composed three works he designated as cantatas: Die Serenaden, op. 35, for soprano, oboe, viola, and cello (1924), Mahnung an die Jugend, sich der Musik zu befleissigen (from the Plöner Musiktage, 1932), and Ite angeli veloces for alto and tenor, mixed chorus, and orchestra, with audience participation (1953–55). Of Anton Webern
Anton Webern
Anton Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a member of the Second Viennese School. As a student and significant follower of Arnold Schoenberg, he became one of the best-known exponents of the twelve-tone technique; in addition, his innovations regarding schematic organization of...

's last three compositions, two are secular cantatas: Cantata No. 1, op. 29 (1938–39), and Cantata No. 2, op. 31 (1941–43), both setting texts by Hildegard Jone. Webern had begun sketching a Third Cantata by the time he was killed in 1945. Ernst Krenek
Ernst Krenek
Ernst Krenek was an Austrian of Czech origin and, from 1945, American composer. He explored atonality and other modern styles and wrote a number of books, including Music Here and Now , a study of Johannes Ockeghem , and Horizons Circled: Reflections on my Music...

 also composed two examples: a "scenic cantata", Die Zwingburg, op. 14 (1922), and a Cantata for Wartime, op. 95, for women's voices and orchestra (1943). Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

 composed Semero ikh (1917–18; rev. 1933), and in 1939 premiered a cantata drawn from the film music for Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky (Prokofiev)
Alexander Nevsky is the score for the 1938 Sergei Eisenstein film Alexander Nevsky, composed by Sergei Prokofiev. He later rearranged the music in the form of a cantata for mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra...

. Among the most famous of all cantatas is Carl Orff's
Carl Orff
Carl Orff was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana . In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children.-Early life:...

 Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana (Orff)
Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936. It is based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana...

, written 1935–36; the introductory and concluding movement, O Fortuna
O Fortuna
"O Fortuna" is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the thirteenth century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about fate, and Fortuna, a goddess in Roman mythology and personification of luck....

, has been used in countless films, and has become some of the most recognizable music ever written.

Patriotic cantatas celebrating anniversaries of events in the Revolution or extolling state leaders were frequently commissioned in the Soviet Union between 1930 and the middle of the century, though these occasional works were seldom among their composers' best. Examples include Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

's Poem of the Motherland, op. 47 (1947) and The Sun Shines over Our Motherland, op. 90 (1952), and thee works by Prokofiev, Zdravitsa! [Hail to Stalin] (1939), along with two festival cantatas, the Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution, op. 74, and Flourish, Mighty Homeland, op. 114, for the thirtieth anniversary of the same event. Dmitry Kabalevsky also composed four such cantatas, The Great Homeland, op. 35 (1941–42), The Song of Morning, Spring and Peace, op. 57 (1957–58), Leninists, op. 63 (1959), and About Our Native Land, op. 82 (1965).

In 1940, the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos
Heitor Villa-Lobos
Heitor Villa-Lobos was a Brazilian composer, described as "the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music". Villa-Lobos has become the best-known and most significant Latin American composer to date. He wrote numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works...

 created a secular cantata titled Mandu çarará, based on an Indian legend collected by Barbosa Rodrigues. Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

 composed a work titled simply Cantata
Cantata (Stravinsky)
The Cantata by Igor Stravinsky is a work for soprano, tenor, female choir, and instrumental ensemble , and was composed from April 1951 to August 1952. The premiere performance on 11 November 1952 was by the Los Angeles Symphony Society , conducted by Stravinsky himself...

in 1951–52, which used stanzas from the 15th-century "Lyke-wake Dirge" as a narrative frame for other anonymous English lyrics, and later designated A Sermon, a Narrative, and a Prayer (1961) as "a cantata for alto and tenor soli, speaker, chorus, and orchestra". Hans Werner Henze
Hans Werner Henze
Hans Werner Henze is a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life"...

 composed a Cantata della fiaba estrema and Novae de infinito laudes (both in 1963), as well as a number of other works that might be regarded as cantatas, such as Kammermusik (1958, rev. 1963), Muzen Siziliens (1966), and El Cimarrón
El Cimarrón (musical work)
El Cimarrón is a composition by the German composer Hans Werner Henze, written when the composer lived in Cuba in 1969-1970. It is subtitled Autobiographie des geflohenen Sklaven Esteban Montejo , and is based around the autobiographical passages recounted by Montejo to Miguel Barnet in 1963...

(1969–70). Momente
Momente
Momente is a work by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, written between 1962 and 1969, scored for solo soprano, four mixed choirs, and thirteen instrumentalists...

(1962–64/1969), one of the most important works of Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

, is often described as a cantata. Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

 composed at least six works he designated as cantatas: The Company of Heaven (1937), Rejoice in the Lamb
Rejoice in the Lamb
Rejoice in the Lamb is a festival cantata for four soloists, SATB choir, and organ composed by Benjamin Britten in 1943 and based on the poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart . The poem, written while Smart was in an insane asylum, is a highly idiosyncratic and ecstatic praise and worship of God...

, op. 30 (1943), Saint Nicolas, op. 42 (1949), the Cantata academica
Cantata academica
Cantata academica is a choral work composed in 1959 by English composer Benjamin Britten. The piece, completed in March 1959, was written for the 500th anniversary of Basle University on 1 July the following year. The Latin text, which was compiled by Bernhard Wyss, is based on the charter of...

, op. 62 (1959), the Cantata Misericordium, op. 69 (1963), and Phaedra
Phaedra (cantata)
Phaedra Op. 93 is a cantata for mezzo-soprano and orchestra by Benjamin Britten. It was the composer's last vocal work, written in 1975 and first performed by Janet Baker at the Aldeburgh Festival on 16 June 1976. Britten assembled the libretto from parts of a translation of Racine's Phèdre by...

, op. 93 (1975). Alberto Ginastera
Alberto Ginastera
Alberto Evaristo Ginastera was an Argentine composer of classical music. He is considered one of the most important Latin American classical composers.- Biography :...

 also composed three works in this form: the Cantata para América Mágica, op. 27 (1960), Bomarzo, op. 32 (1964), and Milena, op. 37 (1971), and Gottfried von Einem
Gottfried von Einem
Gottfried von Einem was an Austrian composer. He is known chiefly for his operas influenced by the music of Stravinsky and Prokofiev, as well as by jazz. He also composed pieces for piano, violin and organ.-Biography:...

 composed in 1973 An die Nachgeborenen based on diverse texts, the title taken from a poem of Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

. Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis is one of the most renowned Greek songwriters and composers. Internationally, he is probably best known for his songs and for his scores for the films Zorba the Greek , Z , and Serpico .Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s; in 1989, he ran as an...

 composed the cantatas According to the Sadducees and Canto Olympico. Herbert Blendinger
Herbert Blendinger
Herbert Blendinger is an Austrian composer and viola player of German origin.-Professional career:Blendinger studied viola and composition with Willy Horwath and Max Gebhard at the conservatory in Nuremberg, then from 1961 to 1963 at the Musikhochschule München with Georg Schmid and Franz Xaver...

's Media in vita was premiered in 1980, his Mich ruft zuweilen eine Stille (Sometimes a silence calls me) in (1992), and Allein den Betern kann es noch gelingen (It can only be achieved by those who pray) in 1995. Iván Erőd
Iván Eröd
Iván Erőd, also Iván Eröd , is an Hungarian-Austrian composer and pianist.- Career :Erőd studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with Pál Kadosa and Ferenc Szabó . He emigrated to Austria in 1956 and studied there at the Vienna Music Academy, with Richard Hauser and Karl Schiske...

 wrote in 1988/89) Vox Lucis (Voice of the Light), op. 56. Ivan Moody
Ivan Moody
Ivan Moody, British composer, was born in London in 1964, and studied composition with Brian Dennis at London University, William Brooks at York University and privately with John Tavener. He also studied Orthodox theology at the University of Joensuu, Finland...

 wrote in 1995 Revelation. Cantatas were also composed by Mark Alburger
Mark Alburger
Mark Alburger is a San Francisco Bay Area composer and conductor. He is the founder and music director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, as well as the music director of the San Francisco Cabaret Opera...

, Erik Bergman
Erik Bergman
Erik Valdemar Bergman was an influential composer of classical music from Finland.Bergman's style ranged widely, from Romanticism in his early works to modernism and primitivism, among other genres...

, Carlos Chávez
Carlos Chávez
Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez was a Mexican composer, conductor, music theorist, educator, journalist, and founder and director of the Mexican Symphonic Orchestra. He was influenced by native Mexican cultures. Of his six Symphonies, his Symphony No...

, Osvald Chlubna
Osvald Chlubna
Osvald Chlubna was a prominent Czech composer. Intending originally to study engineering, Chlubna switched his major and from 1914 to 1924, he studied composition with Leoš Janáček. Until 1953, he worked as a clerk. Later, he taught at the Organ School in Brno for many years. He worked in many art...

, Peter Maxwell Davies
Peter Maxwell Davies
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE is an English composer and conductor and is currently Master of the Queen's Music.-Biography:...

, Norman Dello Joio
Norman Dello Joio
- Life :He was born Nicodemo DeGioio in New York City to Italian immigrants. He began his musical career as organist and choir director at the Star of the Sea Church on City Island in New York at age 14. His father was an organist, pianist, and vocal coach and coached many opera stars from the...

, Lukas Foss
Lukas Foss
Lukas Foss was a German-born American composer, conductor, and pianist.-Music career:He was born Lukas Fuchs in Berlin, Germany in 1922. His father was the philosopher and scholar Martin Fuchs...

, Roy Harris
Roy Harris
Roy Ellsworth Harris , was an American composer. He wrote much music on American subjects, becoming best known for his Symphony No...

, Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les six. His most frequently performed work is probably the orchestral work Pacific 231, which is interpreted as imitating the sound of a steam locomotive.-Biography:Born...

, Alan Hovhaness
Alan Hovhaness
Alan Hovhaness was an Armenian-American composer.His music is accessible to the lay listener and often evokes a mood of mystery or contemplation...

, Dmitry Kabalevsky, Libby Larsen
Libby Larsen
Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over fifteen operas...

, Peter Mennin
Peter Mennin
Peter Mennin was an American composer and teacher. He directed the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, then for many years ran the Juilliard School, succeeding William Schuman in this role...

, Dimitri Nicolau
Dimitri Nicolau
Dimitri Nicolau was a composer, stage director, conductor, musicologist, writer and professor. He was born in Keratea, Greece and became a naturalized citizen of Italy...

, Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki , born November 23, 1933 in Dębica) is a Polish composer and conductor. His 1960 avant-garde Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for string orchestra brought him to international attention, and this success was followed by acclaim for his choral St. Luke Passion. Both these...

, Daniel Pinkham
Daniel Pinkham
Daniel Rogers Pinkham, Jr. was an American composer, organist, and harpsichordist. Pinkham was one of America's most active composers during his lifetime...

, Earl Robinson
Earl Robinson
Earl Hawley Robinson was a singer-songwriter and composer from Seattle, Washington. Robinson is probably as well remembered for his left-leaning political views as he is for his music, including the songs "Joe Hill", "Black and White", and the cantata "Ballad for Americans"...

, Ned Rorem
Ned Rorem
Ned Rorem is a Pulitzer prize-winning American composer and diarist. He is best known and most praised for his song settings.-Life:...

, William Schuman
William Schuman
William Howard Schuman was an American composer and music administrator.-Life:Born in Manhattan in New York City to Samuel and Rachel Schuman, Schuman was named after the twenty-seventh U.S. president, William Howard Taft, although his family preferred to call him Bill...

, Roger Sessions
Roger Sessions
Roger Huntington Sessions was an American composer, critic, and teacher of music.-Life:Sessions was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a family that could trace its roots back to the American revolution. His mother, Ruth Huntington Sessions, was a direct descendent of Samuel Huntington, a signer of...

, Siegfried Strohbach
Siegfried Strohbach
Siegfried Strohbach is a German composer and conductor. He founded and directed choirs and the vocal ensemble Collegium Cantorum and is notable for the composition of choral music...

, Michael Tippett
Michael Tippett
Sir Michael Kemp Tippett OM CH CBE was an English composer.In his long career he produced a large body of work, including five operas, three large-scale choral works, four symphonies, five string quartets, four piano sonatas, concertos and concertante works, song cycles and incidental music...

, and Kurt Weill
Kurt Weill
Kurt Julian Weill was a German-Jewish composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht...

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External links

  • Dolmetsch music dictionary: C–Car
  • Multimedia Dictionary: Cantata at Virginia Tech
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech , is a public land-grant university with the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia with other research and educational centers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and internationally.Founded in...