Program: #18-35, Air Date: 08/16/18A Sacred oratorio by Luigi Rossi, a world premiere of a Plague Mass by Orazio Benevoli, and the earliest use of the violin (with voice!).
I. Orazio Benevoli: Missa “In angustia pestilentiae”, 1656. (Capella Musicale di Santa Maria in Campitelli/Vincenzo Di Betta). Tactus CD TC 600210.
Colletta "Deus qui nobis"
Epistola, Apocalisse, 21:2-5
"Canzon dopo la pistola" de G. Frescobaldi
Vangelo Luc, 19:1-10
Orazio Benevoli "Credo"
Offertoire "Domine Deus in simplicitate"
Caprice sur "La Girolmeta" de G. Frescobaldi
Orazio Benevoli "Sanctus"
"Intonazione cromatica del IV tono" de T. Merula
Orazio Benevoli "Agnus Dei"
Communio "Domus mea"
Ricercare XIV de J.J. Froberger
"Ite missa est”
II. Andrea Amati—Carlo IX (c. 1570)—Le Origini del Violino MV Cremona CD MCV 018-45.
Cristina Fanelli soprano
Davide Pozzi organo positivo da modello anonimo italiano del XVII sec., Walter Chinaglia, 2005
Diego Cantalupi chitarrone copia di Matteo Sellas, collezione privata, Filippo Lesca, 2010
Sonate op. VIII, Venezia 1629
BIAGIO MARINI Il Monteverde, Balletto Alemanno a violino e basso
Affetti Musicali op. I, Venezia 1617
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Et è pur dunque vero, con sinfonie
Scherzi musicali, Venezia 1632
FRANCESCO CARUBELLI Brando, Spagnoletta, Corrente & Gagliarda
Terpsichore Musarum, Wolfenbüttel 1612
BIAGIO MARINI Capriccio per sonar tre parti con il violino solo a modo di lira
Sonate op. VIII, Venezia 1629
INNOCENTIO VIVARINO Sonata per il violino
Il primo libro de motetti, Venezia 1620
NICOLÒ CORRADINO Sonata a due, La Sfondrata
Primo Libro de’ Canzoni francesi, Venezia 1624
TARQUINIO MERULA Canzon XVII, La Monteverde
Canzoni da suonare op. XVII, Venezia 1651
TARQUINIO MERULA Nigra sum, sed formosa
Motetti e sonate concertati op. VI, Venezia 1651
GIOVANNI BATTISTA RICCIO Canzon a basso e soprano
Il secondo libro delle Divine Lodi, Venezia 1614
BIAGIO MARINI Romanesca per violino solo, e basso se piace
Arie madrigali et correnti op. III, Venezia 1620
GIOVANNI AMIGONE MANTOVANO Sinfonia prima per violino solo
Ms Q. 34, 1613, Museo della Musica di Bologna
GIOVANNI AMIGONE MANTOVANO Sinfonia terza per violino solo
Ms Q. 34, 1613, Museo della Musica di Bologna
GIULIO BELLI Canzon a 2, cornetto o violino e tiorba
Concerti ecclesiastici, Venezia 1613
BIAGIO MARINI La Grilla, Sinfonia a 2
Madrigali op. II, Venezia 1618
BIAGIO MARINI Invito all’allegrezza
Scherzi e canzone op. V, Parma 1622
III. Luigi Rossi: Oratorio della Settimana Santa MV Cremona CD MVC 007-021).
The Oratorio per la Settimana Santa, which is among the very first compositions to be labelled “oratorio” in the sources, was composed in Rome in the 1640s. It was probably performed in the Oratorio di San Girolamo della Carità, where Filippo Neri held his esercizi spirituali. It appears in a manuscript source from the Barberini collection of the Vatican Library which doesn’t specify its composer — although this is usually identified as Luigi Rossi — but names Giulio Cesare Raggioli as the author of the text. Both Raggioli and Rossi worked for members of the Barberini family, who were close relations of pope Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini), and themselves powerful patrons of music and the arts. an opera.
The Oratorio per la Settimana Santa is an oratorio volgare, meaning that the libretto is not in Latin but in Italian, and it is the earliest example of an oratorio based on the Passion of Christ. Its treatment of the Passion narrative is quite unusual, as it distances itself from the canonical gospels, adding characters like the Demons that seem to come straight out of an opera.
Luigi Rossi (Torremaggiore 1597-Rome 1653) was the pupil of the Flemish composer Giovanni de Macque, himself famous for his madrigals. From 1633 Rossi was the organist of S. Luigi dei Francesi and worked for Cardinal Antonio Barberini, writing operas, cantatas and oratorios. After the death of Urban VIII in 1644, he was invited to Paris by Cardinal Mazarin, where his opera Orfeo (1647) was a great success. His music was widely known and his style imitated throughout Europe.
From the conductor: The Oratorio of the Holy Week belongs to a small group of compositions in the oratorio style composed on a profane text contained in some of the Vatican Library’s Barberinian codices. The author of the text, as indicated in the manuscript, is Giulio Cesare Raggioli, chamber master in service to Cardinal Barberini. The attributing of the music to Luigi Rossi (Torremaggiore, 1597? – Rome, 1653) for the past fifty years or so has sometimes been questioned but seems the most plausible at this time.
The structure of the Oratorio of the Holy Week mirrors that of mid-17th Century customary Roman oratorios: two-part division, succession of arias, ariosos, recitatives and choral parts (with not a secondary role for the choir) framed by an instrumental introduction and a concluding ‘madrigale ultimo’ of a meditative character containing the ‘moral’ concept expressed by the entire work’s text. The absence of the ‘Testo’ or ‘Storico’, the oratorio’s narrative element (the Evangelist’s role in Bach’s oratorio passions comes to mind) stands out by comparison.
The subject matter – the crucifixion of Christ – which lends itself well to the Holy Week period, is handled in an original way. The first part is divided into two moments: in the first, the crowd asks that Barabbas be pardoned; after hesitating a long time, Pontius Pilate complies and declares his innocence. In the second moment, a group of demons unexpectedly take over, triumphant in the face of Jesus’ imminent end. This diabolic exultation accompanies the crucifixion at the beginning of the second part; the tone abruptly changes here making room for the Virgin Mary’s pleas. When the demons announce Christ’s death, Mary’s great lament opens, interjected with the devils’ mocking comments. The final chorus introduces a moving meditation on the Virgin Mary’s sorrow and the crucifixion.
Luigi Rossi’s persona and activity fall in with that group of composers, scholars, painters, architects and sculptors who, in Rome of the 1600s, would upset the schemes of Renaissance classicism, thus bestowing on art of their time an unmistakable union of expressive subjectivism and objectivity of structure. Beginning with the first years of the century, Rome gradually took on a guiding role in art thanks to a decisive drive on the part of the popes and their powerful families. Under the papacy of Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini, 1623-44) – great literary adept and himself author of numerous poems in Latin and the vernacular – Bernini and Borromini would leave their indelible mark on the face of Rome.
The pope’s interest in music materialized above all in performances of melodramas at the Barberini Palace, one of Rome’s most sumptuous buildings erected in those very years and a work of Bernini and Borromini. It is not by chance that the typical features of the palaces and churches, with their paintings and sculptures, reflect aspects of that epoch’s literary and musical production: continuous movement, the sense of depth and mass, the fluidity between various parts of the structure, the search for spectacular results. The considerable use of rhetorical means to provoke surprise, stupor, awe, the search for sonorous quality of words with an eye carefully cast inward to the world of the senses and aspects of reality perceptible through those senses, characterize opera and oratorio librettos of the epoch as well as those of Raggioli (the author of our text); these aspects were undoubtedly influenced by the Marino’s reaction to Petrarchism of the 1500s.
While pageantry and search for affect were typical elements of the taste and aesthetic of the time, the spirit of the profane oratorio was, on the other hand, rooted in ‘esercizi spirituali’ and the humus of the institution of the oratorio.
Typical of this singular combination of composed devotion and the taste for affect is the very structure of the Oratorio of the Holy Week’s libretto: while the violent Multitude and the anguished Pontius Pilate, already present in medieval Passion plays, naturally spring from the biblical text, the Demons and Virgins are clear theatrical additions. Diabolical crowds had already appeared in sacred performances of the 15th and 16th centuries, but their grim cheerfulness is rather unusual in moral and spiritual dialogues at the beginning of the 1600s. The Virgin’s lament in the second part – «Tormenti non più», a central moment in the whole oratorio, has its roots in laments of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene of the medieval lauds tradition and, later, in madrigals from the end of the 1500s - beginning of the 1600s, which would become a particular kind of accompanied monody by the middle of the century.
In the same vein is Mary Magdalene’s lament («Lagrime amare») by Domenico Mazzocchi (1592-1665), conveniently laid down alongside the oratorio in the present performance. In this piece, the last of a printed collection published in 1638 (Dialoghi e sonetti posti in musica), all means available to vocal technique are employed toward expressive ends. Of significant import in this sense is the experimental use of particular microtonal effects which Mazzocchi indicates using notational signs created for the occasion, thus expressly attaching himself to the theory of Greek enharmonic genus.
In the Oratorio of the Holy Week, the Virgin Mary’s lament is depicted in more composed but equally dramatic tones: the sorrow and frustration of Mary, heightened by the playful wails of the Demons, is made highly expressive by dissonances in the instrumental parts; the final section of the aria is based on a passacaglia bass, typically associated with laments of this epoch. Another very moving moment in the first part, if only for its solemnity, portrays Pontius Pilate’s anguish when faced with his own decision in the arioso «O di colpo mortale». Even more eloquent is the ‘madrigale ultimo’ which seals the entire composition («Piangete, occhi piangete») where imitative ideas, bitter dissonances, the insertion of more declamatory moments paint a picture that, while powerfully striking, has a sober and austere quality.
4 Oratorio della settimana santa, prima parte: Così varia è la fortuna — Gianluca Buratto, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Gianluca Buratto, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 3:58
5 Oratorio della settimana santa, prima parte: Respirate altre caverne — Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Pierluigi Manzoni, Massimo Piani, Franco Stringaro, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Pierluigi Manzoni 4:25
6 Oratorio della settimana santa, prima parte: O menzogne fortunate — Diego Cantalupi, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 2:02
7 Oratorio della settimana santa, seconda parte: Sinfonia — Diego Cantalupi, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Franco Stringaro, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Franco Stringaro, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 3:55
11 Oratorio della settimana santa, seconda parte: O follia di cieca fé — Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 3:03
12 Oratorio della settimana santa, seconda parte: Così empio valor — Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 3:39
13 Oratorio della settimana santa, seconda parte: Piangete, occhi piangete — Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Ensemble L'aurora Soave, Diego Cantalupi, Nurial Rial, Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia 4:33
Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672), BIAGIO MARINI, CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI, FRANCESCO CARUBELLI, INNOCENTIO VIVARINO, NICOLÒ CORRADINO, TARQUINIO MERULA, GIOVANNI BATTISTA RICCIO, GIOVANNI AMIGONE MANTOVANO, GIULIO BELLI, Luigi Rossi
CD TC 600210; CD MCV 018-45; CD MVC 007-021