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Classical 101

Classical 101 March Madness: First Round Baroque

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March Madness voting kicks off with the Baroque Era. It's a counterpoint and fugue melee!

Welcome to the first round of voting for the Classical 101 March Madness Tournament! Today we'll be voting on the Baroque round. Sports had their fun with the opening of the NCAA Tournament yesterday, but now it's our time.

If you haven't had a chance to fill out your bracket and get a little more background on the Classical 101 March Madness Tournament, check out our introduction post.

And now, to introduce the matchups and break down the Baraoque bracket, we turn now to our Musicologist, Kylie Harwell-Sturgill. (To vote, skip to the bottom of the page and use the Google form to vote)

Kylie: Take it away.

#1 Bach vs. #8 Caccini 

Obviously the favorite for this period of music will be everyone's favorite organist, Johann Sebastian Bach, but it's up to you to choose if he'll take home the title and move on in the competition. Everyone's favorite counterpoint master composed well over 300 works for nearly all available instruments of his time.

Giulio Romolo Caccini (1551-1618) is a great example of the transitional sound between the late Renaissance and very early Baroque periods. His solo madrigals and his collaborative work with Peri on the opera Euridice are both noteworthy and contendors for the Baroque champion title. Vote wisely. 

#4 Purcell vs. #5 Rameau

English composer, Henry Purcell will definitely put up quite the fight against one of the most notable French composers and theorists of the Baroque era, Jean-Philippe Rameau. 

Whilst Rameau is considered to have ushered in much of the stylistic components of Baroque keyboard pedagogy, Purcell was the most famous English composer in history until Sir Edward Elgar came around nearly 200 years later. 

#3 Couperin vs #6 Corelli

François Couperin was born into a long line of musically prodigious family members, but his Italian competitor, Arcangelo Corelli's musical achievements are certainly not to be overlooked. Corelli is credited with the early development of concerto and sonata forms in the Baroque, and Couperin acknowledged Corelli as his musical predecessor. This is a classic chicken or the egg scenario. 

#2 Handel vs. #7 Pietà

Up against Handel this week is underdog lady-composer Michielina della Pietà. Now, this Italian is simply an underdog because she's going up against the man considered to be the forefather of great Baroque oratorio, but make no mistake, she's got chops.

Everyone knows about Handel, but Michielina della Pietà (1700-1744) was a great artist in her own right. After being raised in a convent's school of music from infancy, after studying with the famed Francesco Gasparini, della Pietà went on to become the principal organist and violinist in the orchestra of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice and a composer who earned a license to teach in 1726. Those are no small feats for a 16th Century Italian woman. So, who gets your vote? The great George Frideric Handel or the underdog composer Michielina della Pietà?

(Note: If you are on mobile, we recommend voting using this link instead