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date: 20 January 2020

Applausus musicus (Lat.)locked

  • Robert N. Freeman



A genre of 18th-century Austrian cloister theatre: a compact, Latin operetta or semi-dramatic cantata in one act or part, of a congratulatory character. It consisted of a series of solo ariosos or arias alternating with recitative, with at least one ensemble number (duet, trio or quartet), as well as a final chorus that usually functioned as an encomiastic licenza (see Licenza). The arias, ensembles and choruses were cast predominantly in da capo form, and the whole was introduced by an orchestral overture (‘intrada’, ‘introduzione’, ‘sinfonia’) that typically followed the Italian three-movement pattern. The weight of the concluding chorus and the elaborate scoring (a feature possibly derived from the Italian serenata) were characteristic. Joseph Haydn’s ApplausushXXIVa:6, composed in 1768 for the Cistercian monastery at Zwettl, is in many respects representative.

The applausus was often performed scenically on a stage with costumes. It may have evolved out of the musical prologue and epilogue encasing the acts of the old Baroque cloister drama (...

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