The secular, individualistic temper of the eighteenth century had the effect of brining sacred music into conformity with the style of secular music, particularly that of the theatre. A few composers in the Catholic countries ably carried on the ancient tradition of Palestrina, or the polychoral style of Benevoli; among such may be mentioned the Spanish master Francisco Valle of Barcelona and the Roman, Giuseppe Antonio Pitoni. But the dominant trend was to introduce into the church the musical idioms and forms of opera, with orchestral accompaniment, da capo arias, and accompanied recitatives. Some composers, particularly in northern Italy, southern Germany and Austria, effected a compromise between conservative and modern elements, and this mixed style, influenced also by the instrumental symphonic forms of the Classical period, was the background of the sacred compositions of Haydn and Mozart.
The Composers (and some others)
Poetry and Prose