A History of Western Choral Music: Volume 1
A History of Western Choral Music explores the various genres, key composers, and influential works essential to the development of the western choral tradition. Author Chester L. Alwes divides this exploration into two volumes which move from Medieval music and the Renaissance era up to the 21st century. Volume I surveys the choral music of composers including Josquin, Palestrina, Purcell, Handel, and J.S. Bach while detailing the stylistic, textual, and extramusical considerations unique to the topics covered. Consideration of Renaissance music includes both sacred and secular works, specifically addressing the growth of sacred music, the rise of secular music, and the proliferation of sacred polyphony from Josquin to Palestrina. Discussion of the Baroque era is organized by geographic location, exploring the spread of Baroque style from Italy to German, France, and England. Volume I concludes by examining the aesthetic underpinnings of the early Classical and Romantic eras.
Framing discussion within the political, religious, cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, and technological contexts of each era, A History of Western Choral Music offers readers specialized insight into major composers and works while providing a cohesive understanding of choral music's place in Western history.