Monday, June 11, 2012

Music of the Venetian Republic

As a sort of continuation of what I began in the New World, I will take a little journey around the Old in the coming weeks and note some of the achievements of its great musical centers.  The reader will forgive me if I favor the Classical and Baroque eras...

In its Baroque peak, the little Republic of Venice, the Most Serene Republic, seemed to produce a disproportionate number of excellent musical composers.  I will give samples of four of them here.

File:Venezianische Kolonien.png
A nifty map should the extent of the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia at various times.

Giovanni Gabrieli (+1612AD), his In Ecclesiis.  The Church interior shots are from the famous Basilica of San Marco.  Gabrieli makes good use of the organ, and certainly likes a big sound from his choir!

Claudio Monteverdi (+1643AD), his motet Beatus Vir, after the Psalm.  He is also rightly famous for his Operas, and his 1610AD setting of the Vespers of the Blessed Virgin.

Tomaso Albinoni (+1751), his Concerto Op. 9/2 in d minor, first movement.  Not bad for one whose actual trade was that of a printer.  Of course, Albinoni is most famous for his Adagios, but we ought not neglect the other parts of his delightful Concerti!

Lastly, the most famous, the "red priest," Antonio Vivaldi (+1741AD), from his "La Stravaganza," Concerto No. 1. 

Just to round things out with one of Vivaldi's religious works, we have a setting of the Gloria, RV 589.

Live well!

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