Name "cantata" It has its origin from the Latin verb cantare, which means "sing". This genre of vocal and instrumental music appeared in Italy in the early XVII century. At first, he did not have a distinct shape. Word "cantata" meant only that it is quite a large musical composition sung. A similar genre of instrumental music began to be called sonata.
Cantata can be spiritual and the secular. Secular works of this genre are the lyric, dramatic, solemn character. Comic character is excluded. Even major works of this nature are very different from the opera, since there is no dramatic action. Early Cantatas often written for one voice. A distinctive feature of this genre was a gradual but very significant development of the melody. The accompaniment does not change, led by General-bass. Blossom Italian cantata reached in the middle of the seventeenth century, when the work of such masters as Carissimi, Rossi, Alessandro Scarlatti. The works of this genre often consisted of two three-part arias of contrasting character. Between them, the singer performed the recital. Secular Cantatas enjoyed in Italy at that time much more popular than the spiritual. Cantata religious received the greatest development in Lutheran Germany. In only one of Johann Sebastian Bach were several hundred. He wrote them each holiday, but remained not so much, only about two hundred. Spiritual Cantatas JS Bach very different. Among them are works for one or more soloists and orchestra, for soloists, chorus and orchestra, only the chorus. The great German composer left and a few secular cantatas, the most famous of which - "coffee" and "Peasant". A significant contribution to the development of the genre and made GF Telemann, lot of beautiful cantatas written by VA Mozart. He was engaged in this genre in recent years mainly zhizni.V Germany were extremely popular and secular cantatas. Very often they are the product of a boundary of the genre. appear "singing cantatas" or "cantatas, songs". In the era of romanticism, this genre does not disappear, but is much less common. Although Beethoven, F. Schubert, Berlioz, Liszt paid tribute to this genre, creating wonderful designs. In Russia, cantata appeared in the late XVIII century. They were mostly heroic - as, indeed, and most of the Russian cantatas written afterwards. The works of this genre written by PI Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, SV Rachmaninov and others. Very popular was the genre in the Soviet period, while in the West at this time is no longer cantatas wrote almost none. Soviet works of this genre have a pronounced ideological character, although among them there are fine works, such as cantatas SS Prokofiev. A distinctive feature of the cantatas of the Soviet period - a very large role of the chorus. In many cases it is difficult to distinguish from its sister cantata oratorio.