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La cappella musicale di San Marco nell'eta moderna: Atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Venezia, Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, 5-7 settembre 1994.

La cappella musicale di San Marco nell'eta moderna: Atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Venezia, Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, 5-7 settembre 1994. Edited by Francesco Passadore and Franco Rossi. (Serie III, Studi musico-logici, B: Atti di convegni, 2.) Venice: Fondazione Levi, 1998. [viii, 630 p. L 80,000.]

This volume is a collection of papers given at an international study conference, The Musical Chapel of San Marco in the Modern Age, organized by the Fondazione Levi in 1994. It complements a study of music sources from San Marco from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries published in 1994-96, also edited by Francesco Passadore and Franco Rossi (San Marco: Vitalita di una tradizione: Il fonda musicale e la cappella dal Settecenlo ad oggi, 4 vols., Serie III, Studi musicologici, C: Cataloghi e bibliografia, 2 [Venice: Fondazione Levi, 1994-96]). Both topical and historical inquiries are presented in twenty-seven articles (twenty-one in Italian, five in English, one in French). Although they are arranged in five subject groupings, the reader also perceives a roughly equal allotment of essays among three phases: before 1650, from 1650 to 1797, and from 1800 to 1900.

Four articles deal with historiography, memoirs, and chronicles. Elvidio Surian ("Francesco Caffi storico della cappella marciana") evaluates the work of Caffi, pioneering historian and perhaps the first Italian to publish a systematic archival examination of a major regional musico liturgical establishment, lain Fenlon ("Music, Ceremony and Self-Identity in Renaissance Venice") notes how Venetian self-concepts, more various and subject to sociological contingencies than generally believed, were embodied in a range of distinctly local ritual forms. Berthold Over ("Notizie settecentesche sulla musics a San Marco: I Notatori di Pietro Gradenigo") examines the richly informative manuscript chronicle of an eighteenth-century patrician, while Gilberto Pressacco ("La cappella marciana nella corrispondenza Candotti-Tomadini") considers selections from the extensive correspondence of two nineteenth-century Friulian letiristi with leading musicians of the Marcian ambience in 1840-70.

Five articles examine the relationship of written musical forms and texts to performance. Antonio Lovato ("Canto fratto e polifonie semplici nella tradizione liturgica della basilica di San Marco") assesses manuscript evidence for the technique--apparently a survival of much older practices--of singing mensural versions of some genres of plainchant, sometimes in a simple two- or three-part form, or alternatim. John Bettley ("Psalm-Texts and the Polyphonic Vespers Repertory of St. Mark's, Venice") identifies local textual variants in basilica music and investigates the relationship between their frequency or decline and Venice's religious and political vicissitudes. Pier Giuseppe Gillio ("Cantanti d'opera alla cappella marciana, 1720-1800") investigates the working profile of singers in the cappella. Francesco Passadore ("La messa a San Marco nella seconda meta dell'Ottocento") studies masses by nineteenth-century maestros in the context of chapel resources, economics, and environmental stylistic influences. Antonio Carlini ("La tradizione mtisicale bandistica nelle chiese e nei riti processionali: II 'caso' di San Marco") investigates nineteenth-century "band" music, noting a new kind of public participation in events in which civic, religious, and military ceremonial intersected.

Five articles deal variously with behavioral and administrative issues. Giulio M. Ongaro ("La musics come professione nelle attivita dei musicisti marciani tra la fine del Cinquecento e il primo Seicento") reviews the professional profile of singers and instrumentalists at San Marco, noting their relatively privileged situation and their range of extramural activity. Carlida Steffan ("Tempo del rito, tempo delle devozione") considers what musicians sang and played in basilica liturgies in relation to the type, concept, and form of specific ritual representations. Gastone Vio ("Le confraternite nella chiesa di San Marco") examines the activities of three confraternities associated with the basilica. Arnaldo Morelli (Concorsi organistici a San Marco e in area veneta nel Cinquecento") documents the working competencies expected of basilica organists in the sixteenth century, based on the relics of competitions and extant published texts. Claudia Madricardo ("'La gioia ch'adorna il diadema regale': La cappella d ucale di San Marco dalla seconda meta del Seicento alla caduta della Serenissima") reviews the assessment, discipline, and replacement of personnel historically.

Five articles deal with the relationship of San Marco to other musical institutions. Jonathan E. Glixon ("The Musicians of the cappella and the scuole: Collaboration or Competition?") indicates that basilica musicians were hired by the scuole so often that the prospect of such employment acted as a recruitment attraction for the cappella itself. Andrea Chegai ("San Marco e San Pietro di Castello: Lineamenti di un'antinomia") investigates the relationship between the ducal chapel of San Marco and the ancient Venetian episcopal seat of San Pietro di Castello. Maria Girardi ("Per servire anche la cappella': L'istruzione musicale a Venezia nell'Ottocento e l'orfanotrofio dei Gesuati') discusses the suppression of Venice's music educational institutions with the fall of the Republic and the many nineteenth-century attempts to rebuild them. Jolanda Dalla Vecchia ("La cappella antoniana nel Settecento tra prassi amministrativa e discrezionalita: Una copia del modello marciano?") notes that Venice controlled the Ant onine chapel of Padua and frequently exchanged personnel with it, but that locally the Paduans ultimately had a more efficient discretinoary administration. Giorgio Mangini ("'Peregrinando senza genialita: Sulle vicende dell'oratorio italiano nell'Ottocento") addresses the neglected genre of nineteenth-century oratorio and describes Venetian attempts to revive older repertory and compose new works.

The final group of eight articles looks at the activities of basilica maestri di cappella since the sixteenth century. Rebecca Edwards ("Setting the Tone at San Marco: Gioseffo Zarlino amidst Doge, Procuratori and Cappella Personnel") shows that the great theorist Zarlino was a remarkably able anti respected administrator whose incumbency marked a period of exceptional stability, growth, and discipline among the chapel personnel. Eleanor Selfridge-Field ("Rovetta's Music for Holy Week") examines the complicated relationships of performance and liturgical practice in the work of Giovanni Rovetta, the last San Marco maestro to create a substantial body of music for Holy Week. Andrea Fabiano ("Un maestro veneziano alla corte di Luigi XIV: Cadute e ricadute dell'opera di Francesco Cavalli") refers to contemporaneous aesthetic documents to contextualize the lack of success in France of the operas of Rovetta's successor, Francesco Cavalli. Franca Rossi ("La musica sacra di Galuppi tra ospedali e cappella ducale") catalogs the sacred and devotional music of the staggeringly productive Baldassare Galuppi, while Geoffroy Jourdain ("Ecriture a cappella et ecriture concertante dans la musique sacree d'Antonio Lotti: Etude comparative tie deux messes de requiem") explores how, in two stylistically different works on the same text, Lotti addresses certain loci topici in a comparable manner. Elisa Grossato ("L'ultimo vice maestro della cappella marciana: Antonio Bergamo e il suo oratorio Salomone re d'Israele") regards Bergamo's oratorio on Solomon as the product of a young musician attempting to establish his reputation. Licia Sirch ("'L'emerito Giannagostino Perotti riputatissimo e nelle pratiche e nelle teoriche della scienza': Note su Perotti maestro di cappella a San Marco, 1811-1855") studies the intellectual musician who sought to revitalize the basilica establishment through the creation of libraries and conservation facilities, the introduction of female voices into the cappella, and the reconstitution of musical soc ieties. Salvatore De Salvo ("Lorenzo Perosi maestro di cappella a San Marco") traces Lorenzo Perosi's pre-Sistine tenure and notes the lingering presence of his compositions in the basilica.

This well-integrated collection of essays reflects how deeply, and how long, Venetians regarded San Marco as a social center from which their many interlocking musical institutions expanded. The book aids in the contemplation of both the richness of that musical life and its eventual decline and virtual destruction with the fall of the Republic in 1797. What is also remarkable is that, even in the nineteenth century, musicians associated with San Marco maintained a special, fostering, and even protective place in Venetian cultural consciousness. They contributed importantly to the struggle by the city to reformulate, reconstitute, and infuse new life into itself during a time of massive and stressful societal change. Among its many merits, this worthy volume improves notably our picture of this latter epoch in Venice's history.
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Title Annotation:Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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