Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coincidence?

from Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Messe de minuit pour Noel

from J. S. Bach, Mass in B minor

2 comments:

Allen H Simon said...

Coincidence? Yes. I bet we could find a dozen earlier examples of an imitative passage starting with a rising scale, and that's about all they have in common. Moreover, Charpentier's composition is based on pre-existing Christmas songs.

Osbert Parsley said...

Hee hee. If I thought I actually had a case for a link between these two pieces, I'd be publishing in a journal rather than on my blog.

If there is any similarity between the two, it's that they both belong to a tradition of using the major scale in an imitative context (eg. Palestrina "Missa Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La"). Note that this section of the Charpentier is actually freely composed (you can see the Noel melody in the keyboard reduction). Thus, both movements make reference to an earlier style of stile antico counterpoint within a more modern context, which is probably why I find that they sound alike.