john connor wrote:
I suppose all of this has to do with the complex role of classicism in French art, literature and music - comparing French lute music of this period with its German or English equivalents shows how very different it is.
John, This is a huge, very complex subject with a growing literature to match which can be bedevilled by historicity and inappropriate terminology, e.g 'classicism' in the narrow (periodic) sense came after the period under discussion. It would be best to start any studies with a broad, general history of music and then narrow the view to particular countries, composers etc. There are many such studies and I have found two useful: 'The development of Western Music: A history' by K. Marie Stolba - a violinist and musicologist, Professor of Music at Indiana University - (publisher Brown & Benchmark, ISBN 0-697-12693-5); 'The Larousse Encyclopedia of Music' - various contributors, edited by Geoffrey Hindley (pub. Hamlyn, ISBN 0 600 35491 1) an older publication than the aforementioned, but lavishly illustrated and a 'great read'. There are probably many articles on the web and, fortunately, any studies can be supported by myriad recordings of the music.
The French style brise (accent over the e) influenced German music, e.g. Reusner et al and other French influences abound in the music of J.S. Bach and composers in other countries as did powerful Italian influences 'cross-currents' from England and other countries into the European melting pot.