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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It can be argued that the specific contribution of chamber genres to the topical universe of eighteenth-century music was negligible; most elements of this universe seem to derive from more widely shared, “public” genres. On the other hand, what we now define as chamber music could be lighter on its feet, using a wider spectrum of topics than other mediums, changing topics more quickly and combining them with greater versatility. This chapter first considers the contribution of Domenico Scarlatti, an early protagonist of a topically mixed style, including an analysis of his Sonata K. 181. It then explores several topical fields in which chamber music could speculate with particular freedom: the learned, the pastoral, and the evocation of more public genres such as the overture and more broadly orchestral style.

Keywords: chamber music, topic, Scarlatti, learned, pastoral, overture

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