The Choral Concerto in the 1790s
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The Choral Concerto in the 1790s book
Choral music continued to develop intensively and instrumental music-making became widespread. Dmitry Bortniansky's popularity increased together with that of the choral concerto genre. Since music publishing in Russia was in its infancy, editions of choral concertos were very expensive and the kind of music was distributed in handwritten copies produced by the cheap labour of serf copyists. The early 1790s brought about natural changes in preferences for particular genres by particular audiences, influencing the approach to musical life. The more concertos Bortniansky produced, the more the appetite of the audience was stimulated. In Bortniansky's music, however, all the elements are softened and smoothed, more sentimental and romantic, a foretaste of the early nineteenth-century popular style of Russian romance music by Alexander Alexandrovich Alyabyev, Alexander Nikolaevich Verstovsky and Alexander Egorovich Varlamov. Bortniansky was highly inventive in incorporating polyphonic devices into various kinds of texture.