Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer, especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera and he was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti. Scarlatti was born in Palermo, part of the Kingdom of Sicily, the production at Rome of his opera Gli Equivoci nell sembiante gained him the support of Queen Christina of Sweden, and he became her Maestro di Cappella. Here he produced a series of operas, remarkable chiefly for their fluency and expressiveness. In 1702 Scarlatti left Naples and did not return until the Spanish domination had been superseded by that of the Austrians, after visiting Venice and Urbino in 1707, Scarlatti took up his duties in Naples again in 1708, and remained there until 1717. His last work on a large scale appears to have been the unfinished serenata for the marriage of the prince of Stigliano in 1723 and he died in Naples in 1725. By 1686 he had established the Italian overture form, and had abandoned the ground bass.
His best operas of this period are La Rosaura, and Pirro e Demetrio, in which occur the arias Le Violette, in his opera Teodora he originated the use of the orchestral ritornello. Besides the operas and serenatas, which all exhibit a similar style and his instrumental music, though not without interest, is curiously antiquated as compared with his vocal works. Diana Moore, Suzana Ograjensek, Nicholas Phan, Clint van der Linde, Douglas Williams, Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, René Jacobs. Dorothea Röschmann, Lawrence Zazzo, Veronica Cangemi, Bernarda Fink, Silvia Tro Santafe, ligia digital, 0202176-07 Le parlement de musique. Ambronay editions, AMY004 Ensemble Europa Galante, virgin Classics,5456662 Academia Bizantina. Harmonia Mundi, HMI987045.46 Seattle Baroque, agora, AG249.1 Akademie für alten Musik Berlin, René Jacobs. Dorothea Röschmann, Graciela Oddone, Richard Croft, René Jacobs, Bernarda Fink, opus 111, OPS 30–129 Ensemble Europa Galante. Opus 111, OPS 30–96 Allesandro Stradella Consort, cantata natalizia Abramo, il tuo sembiante.
Philips Classics Productions,434 160-2 I Musici, william Bennett, Lenore Smith, Bernard Soustrot, Hans Elhorst. 12 Sinfonie di Concerto Grosso Philips Box 6769066 Emma Kirkby and Daniel Taylor, countertenor, ATMA Classique, ACD22237 Francis Colpron, with Les Boréades. ATMA Classique, ACD22521 Nederlands Kamerkoor, with Harry van der Kamp, vespro della Beata Vergine for 5 voices and continuo
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was an Italian composer who wrote operas, as well as some sacred music, chamber music and piano pieces. A precocious composer of operas, he made his debut at the age of eighteen. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia, Litaliana in Algeri and he wrote a string of serious operas in Italian, including works such as Tancredi and Semiramide. The semi-serious opera La Gazza Ladra has one of Rossinis most celebrated overtures, after moving to Paris in 1824, he eventually started to write in French. His last opera, the epic Guillaume Tell, replete with its iconic overture, after composing thirty-nine significant operas in nineteen years Rossini retired from the theatre in 1829. Later, he was affected by physical and mental illnesses and for decades wrote relatively little apart from a setting of the Stabat Mater. A return to Paris from Italy in 1855 was followed by better health, during these, he presented salon music in the form of songs, piano pieces and small chamber ensembles that he called Sins of Old Age.
He considered the last of these Sins to be the unusually scored Petite messe solennelle that he wrote in 1863, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history, and he was one of the most renowned public figures of his time. A rapid and prolific composer, he was quoted as joking, Give me the laundress bill, a tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, earning him the nickname The Italian Mozart. Use of a build up of orchestral sound over a repeated phrase—commonly known as a Rossini crescendo—also prompted the nickname Signor Crescendo. Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born into a family of musicians in Pesaro and his father, was a horn player and inspector of slaughterhouses. His mother, was a singer and a bakers daughter, Rossinis father was sympathetic to the French Revolution and welcomed Napoleons troops when they arrived in northern Italy. When Austria restored the old regime, Rossinis father was sent to prison in 1799, Rossinis mother took him to Bologna, making a living as leading singer at various theatres of the Romagna region.
Her husband would ultimately join her in Bologna, during this time, Rossini was frequently left in the care of his aging grandmother, who had difficulty supervising the boy. He remained at Bologna in the care of a pork butcher while his father played the horn in the orchestras of the theatres at which his wife sang and these qualities made him a subject for ridicule in the eyes of the young Rossini. He was eventually taken from Prinetti and apprenticed to a blacksmith, in Angelo Tesei, he found a congenial music master, and learned to sight-read, play accompaniments on the piano and sing well enough to take solo parts in the church when he was ten years of age. Important products of this period are six sonate a quattro, or string sonatas, the original scores, dating from 1804 when the composer was twelve, were found in the Library of Congress in Washington D. C. In 1805, he appeared at the theatre of the Commune in Ferdinando Paers Camilla and he was a capable horn player, treading in the footsteps of his father
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director and conductor who is primarily known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works and he described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and his advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music, Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, until his final years, Wagners life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs and repeated flight from his creditors.
His controversial writings on music and politics have attracted extensive comment, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century, his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, literature, Richard Wagner was born to an ethnic German family in Leipzig, where his family lived at No. 3, the Brühl in the Jewish quarter and he was baptized at St. Thomas Church. He was the child of Carl Friedrich Wagner, who was a clerk in the Leipzig police service, and his wife, Johanna Rosine. Wagners father Carl died of typhus six months after Richards birth, afterwards his mother Johanna lived with Carls friend, the actor and playwright Ludwig Geyer. In August 1814 Johanna and Geyer probably married—although no documentation of this has found in the Leipzig church registers. She and her family moved to Geyers residence in Dresden, until he was fourteen, Wagner was known as Wilhelm Richard Geyer.
He almost certainly thought that Geyer was his biological father, Geyers love of the theatre came to be shared by his stepson, and Wagner took part in his performances. In his autobiography Mein Leben Wagner recalled once playing the part of an angel, in late 1820, Wagner was enrolled at Pastor Wetzels school at Possendorf, near Dresden, where he received some piano instruction from his Latin teacher. He struggled to play a scale at the keyboard and preferred playing theatre overtures by ear. Following Geyers death in 1821, Richard was sent to the Kreuzschule, at the age of nine he was hugely impressed by the Gothic elements of Carl Maria von Webers opera Der Freischütz, which he saw Weber conduct. At this period Wagner entertained ambitions as a playwright and his first creative effort, listed in the Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis as WWV1, was a tragedy called Leubald. Begun when he was in school in 1826, the play was influenced by Shakespeare
Norma is a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after Norma, ou Linfanticide by Alexandre Soumet. It was first produced at La Scala in Milan on 26 December 1831, the opera is regarded as a leading example of the bel canto genre, and the soprano prayer Casta diva in Act I is justly famous. Crivelli and Company were managing both La Scala and La Fenice in Venice, and as a result, in April–May 1830 Bellini was able to negotiate a contract with them for two operas, one at each theatre. The opera for December 1831 at La Scala became Norma and while the one for the 1832 Carnival season at La Fenice became Beatrice di Tenda and Romani began to consider the subject of the coming autumns opera. By the summer, they had decided to base it upon Alexandre Soumets play which was being performed in Paris at around that time and they would fill the roles of Adalgisa and Pollione. Donzelli provided Bellini with precise details of his capabilities which were confirmed by a report which the Neapolitan composer Saverio Mercadante provided.
He reported in a letter to Pasta on 1 September, I hope that you find this subject to your liking. Romani believes it to be effective, and precisely because of the all-inclusive character for you. He will manipulate the situations so that they will not resemble other subjects at all, and he will retouch, even change, Norma was completed by about the end of November. While, for Romani, it became the most beautiful rose in the garland of all his work with Bellini, now at the height of his powers, was very demanding of his librettist and required many re-writes before he was satisfied enough to set it to music. After rehearsals began on 5 December, Pasta balked at singing the Casta diva in act 1, now one of the most famous arias of the nineteenth century. She felt that it was ill adapted to her vocal abilities, at the opening night, the opera was received with what Weinstock describes as chill indifference. To Florimo on the night of the premiere, Bellini wrote Fiasco, solemn fiasco. and proceeded to tell him of the indifference of the audience and how it affected him.
In addition, in a letter to his uncle on 28 December, as other commentators have noted, some problems were innate to the structure and content of the opera, while others were external to it. Bellini discusses the tiredness of the singers as well as noting how certain numbers failed to failed to please the composer as well. But he explains that most of the act was very effective. On Bellinis part, there had long been a feeling of rivalry with Pacini ever since the failure of his own Zaira in Parma and his return to Milan in June 1829. With no firm contract for a new opera for Bellini, Pacinis success with his Il Talismano at La Scala—where it received 16 performances—fueled this rivalry and it was only when he staged a triumphant revival of his own with Il pirata with the original cast that he felt vindicated
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald Gluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. With a series of new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste. The strong influence of French opera in these works encouraged Gluck to move to Paris, fusing the traditions of Italian opera and the French national genre into a new synthesis, Gluck wrote eight operas for the Parisian stages. One of the last of these, Iphigénie en Tauride, was a success and is generally acknowledged to be his finest work. Gluck was born on 2 July 1714 in Erasbach near Neumarkt and his father Alexander was a forester in Erasbach, and after 1717 head forester in Reichstadt and Eisenberg, all in northern Bohemia. According to some biographers, it was here, in the middle of Lusatian Mountains, in 1727 the family moved to Eisenberg, where his father was admitted to the service of Prince Philip Hyazinth von Lobkowitz. The Alsatian painter Johann Christian von Mannlich says it was as a Bohemian schoolboy that Gluck received his first musical training.
Mannlich relates in his memoirs, written in French and published in 1810 and he quotes Gluck as saying, My father was forestmaster at M. in Bohemia and he planned that eventually I should succeed him. In my homeland everyone is musical, music is taught in the schools, as I was passionate about the art, I made rapid progress. I played several instruments and the schoolmaster, singling me out from the other pupils, I no longer thought and dreamt of anything but music, the art of forestry was neglected. Most now claim that the object of Glucks travels was not Vienna but Prague, at the time the University of Prague boasted a flourishing musical scene that included performances of both Italian opera and oratorio. Gluck eventually left Prague without taking a degree, and vanishes from the record until 1737. According to the music historian Daniel Heartz, there has been considerable controversy concerning Glucks native language, Glucks first biographer, Anton Schmid, accepted that Gluck spoke Czech, but thought Salieri incorrect, proposing instead that Gluck learned Czech in Prague.
Heartz writes, More devious manoeuvres have been attempted by Glucks German biographers of this century, while the French ones have, without exception, hans Joachim Moser wanted a lyric work in Czech as proof. In fact, the music theorist Larent Garcin, writing in 1770 before Gluck arrived in Paris, in 1737 Gluck arrived in Milan, where he studied under G. B. Sammartini, according to Carpani, taught Gluck practical knowledge of all the instruments, apparently this relationship lasted for several years. Set to a libretto by Metastasio, the opera opened the Milanese Carnival of 1742, according to one anecdote, the public would not accept Glucks style until he inserted an aria in the lighter Milanese manner for contrast. Nearly all of his operas in this period were, like Artaserse, set to Metastasios texts, in 1745 Gluck accepted an invitation to become house composer at Londons Kings Theatre, probably travelling to England via Frankfurt and in the company of Georg Christian, Fürst von Lobkowitz
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizettis close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on composers such as Giuseppe Verdi. Donizetti was born in Bergamo in Lombardy, there he received detailed training in the arts of fugue and counterpoint. Over the course of his career, Donizetti wrote almost 70 operas, in all, Naples presented 51 of Donizettis operas. Before 1830, success came primarily with his operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. However, his first notable success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, significant historical dramas did appear and became successful, they included Lucia di Lammermoor given in Naples in 1835, and one of the most successful Neapolitan operas, Roberto Devereux in 1837. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti, Donizetti found himself increasingly chafing against the censorial limitations which existed in Italy.
From about 1836, he interested in working in Paris. The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, two new operas were given in Paris at that time. As the 1840s progressed, Donizetti moved regularly between Naples, Rome and Vienna continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers, but from around 1843, severe illness began to take hold and to limit his activities. Eventually, by early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo. The youngest of three sons, Donizetti was born in 1797 in Bergamos Borgo Canale quarter located just outside the city walls and his family was very poor and had no tradition of music, his father Andrea being the caretaker of the town pawnshop. Simone Mayr, a German composer of internationally successful operas, had become maestro di cappella at Bergamos principal church in 1802, in 1807, Andrea Donizetti attempted to enroll both his sons, but the elder, was considered too old.
He remained there for nine years, until 1815, however, as Donizetti scholar William Ashbrook notes, in 1809 he was threatened with having to leave because his voice was changing. In 1810 he applied for and was accepted by the art school, the Academia Carrara. Then, in 1811, Mayr once again intervened, as Ashbrook states, this was nothing less than Mayrs argument that Donizetti be allowed to continue his musical studies. The piece was performed on 13 September 1811 and included the character stating the following, Ah, by Bacchus
Jean-Baptiste Lully was an Italian-born French composer and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered a master of the French baroque style, Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period. He became a French subject in 1661, Lully was born on November 28,1632 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to a family of millers. His general education and his training during his youth in Florence remain uncertain. He used to say that a Franciscan friar gave him his first music lessons and he learned to play the violin. Guise took the boy to Paris, where the fourteen-year-old entered Mademoiselles service and he probably honed his musical skills by working with Mademoiselles household musicians and with composers Nicolas Métru, François Roberday and Nicolas Gigault. The teenagers talents as a guitarist and dancer quickly won him the nicknames Baptiste, when Mademoiselle was exiled to the provinces in 1652 after the rebellion known as the Fronde, Lully begged his leave.
Because he did not want to live in the country, by February 1653 Lully had attracted the attention of young Louis XIV, dancing with him in the Ballet royal de la nuit. By March 16,1653, Lully had been made royal composer for instrumental music and his vocal and instrumental music for court ballets gradually made him indispensable. In 1660 and 1662 he collaborated on performances of Francesco Cavallis Xerse. When Louis XIV took over the reins of government in 1661, in December 1661 the Florentine was granted letters of naturalization. The latter assertion was an untruth, from 1661 on, the trios and dances he wrote for the court were promptly published. When he became surintendant de la de la chambre du roi in 1661. He relied mainly on the Little Violins for court ballets and their collaboration began in earnest in 1664 with Le Mariage forcé. In 1672 Lully broke with Molière, who turned to Marc-Antoine Charpentier, having acquired Pierre Perrins opera privilege, Lully became the director of the Académie Royale de Musique, that is, the royal opera, which performed in the Palais-Royal.
Between 1673 and 1687 he produced a new opera almost yearly and fiercely protected his monopoly over that new genre, after Queen Marie-Thérèses death in 1683 and the kings secret marriage to Mme de Maintenon, devotion came to the fore at court. The kings enthusiasm for opera dissipated, he was revolted by Lullys dissolute life, in 1686, to show his displeasure, Louis XIV made a point of not inviting Lully to perform Armide at Versailles. Lully died from gangrene, having struck his foot with his conducting staff during a performance of his Te Deum to celebrate Louis XIVs recovery from surgery
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. Verdi was born near Busseto to a family of moderate means. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Bellini and Rossini, whose works influenced him. In his early operas Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy and he participated briefly as an elected politician. He surprised the world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida. The baptismal register, prepared on 11 October 1813, lists his parents Carlo, additionally, it lists Verdi as being born yesterday, but since days were often considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. Verdi himself, following his mother, always celebrated his birthday on 9 October, Verdi had a younger sister, who died aged 17 in 1833. From the age of four, Verdi was given lessons in Latin and Italian by the village schoolmaster, Baistrocchi. After learning to play the organ, he showed so much interest in music that his parents provided him with a spinet.
Verdis gift for music was apparent by 1820–21 when he began his association with the local church, serving in the choir, acting as an altar boy for a while. After Baistrocchis death, Verdi, at the age of eight, Carlo Verdi was energetic in furthering his sons education. something which Verdi tended to hide in life. He picture emerges of youthful precocity eagerly nurtured by a father and of a sustained, sophisticated. Verdi returned to Busseto regularly to play the organ on Sundays, at age 11, Verdi received schooling in Italian, the humanities, and rhetoric. By the time he was 12, he began lessons with Ferdinando Provesi, maestro di cappella at San Bartolomeo, director of the music school. This information comes from the Autobiographical Sketch which Verdi dictated to the publisher Giulio Ricordi late in life, in 1879, understandably, with the benefit of hindsight, it is not always reliable when dealing with issues more contentious than those of his childhood. The other director of the Philharmonic Society was Antonio Barezzi, a grocer and distiller.
The young Verdi did not immediately become involved with the Philharmonic, by June 1827, he had graduated with honours from the Ginnasio and was able to focus solely on music under Provesi. By 1829–30, Verdi had established himself as a leader of the Philharmonic, none of us could rival him reported the secretary of the organisation, Giuseppe Demaldè
Opera seria is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and serious style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1710s to c. The term itself was used at the time and only attained common usage once opera seria was becoming unfashionable. The popular rival to opera seria was opera buffa, the opera that took its cue from the improvisatory commedia dellarte. Italian opera seria was produced not only in Italy but in Spain, Habsburg Austria, Saxony, German states, Opera seria was less popular in France, where the national genre of French opera was preferred. Opera seria built upon the conventions of the High Baroque era by developing and exploiting the da capo aria, the first section presented a theme, the second a complementary one, and the third a repeat of the first with ornamentation and elaboration of the music by the singer. As the genre developed and arias grew longer, an opera seria would contain not more than thirty musical movements. The recitative was typically secco, that is, accompanied only by continuo, at moments of especially violent passion secco was replaced by stromentato recitative, where the singer was accompanied by the entire body of strings.
After an aria was sung, accompanied by strings and oboe and this continued for three acts before concluding with an upbeat chorus, to celebrate the jubilant climax. The leading singers each expected their fair share of arias of varied mood, be they sad, the dramaturgy of opera seria largely developed as a response to French criticism of what were often viewed as impure and corrupting librettos. The spectacle and ballet so common in French opera were banished and they were cast in heroic male roles, alongside another new breed of operatic creature, the prima donna. The rise of star singers with formidable technical skills spurred composers to write increasingly complex vocal music. Of these the most famous is perhaps Farinelli, whose debut in 1722 was guided by Nicola Porpora, though Farinelli did not sing for Handel, his main rival, did. Opera seria acquired definitive form early during the 1720s, while Apostolo Zeno and Alessandro Scarlatti had paved the way, the genre only truly came to fruition due to Metastasio and composers.
Metastasios career began with the serenata Gli Orti Esperidi, Nicola Porpora, set the work to music, and the success was so great that the famed Roman prima donna, Marianna Bulgarelli, La Romanina, sought out Metastasio, and took him on as her protégé. On the other hand, working far outside the genre, set only a few Metastasio libretti for his London audience. At this time the leading Metastasian composers were Hasse, Antonio Caldara, Porpora, vincis settings of Didone abbandonata and Artaserse were much praised for their stromento recitative, and he played a crucial part in establishing the new style of melody. Hasse, by contrast, indulged in stronger accompaniment and was regarded at the time as the more adventurous of the two, Pergolesi was noted for his lyricism. The main challenge for all was achieving variety, a break from the pattern of secco recitative, the mutable moods of Metastasios librettos helped, as did innovations made by the composer, such as stromento recitative or cutting a ritornello
Accompaniment is the musical parts which provide the rhythmic and/or harmonic support for the melody or main themes of a song or instrumental piece. There are many different styles and types of accompaniment in different genres and styles of music, in homophonic music, the main accompaniment approach used in popular music, a clear vocal melody is supported by subordinate chords. In popular music and traditional music, the accompaniment parts typically provide the beat for the music, the accompaniment for a vocal melody or instrumental solo can be played by a single musician playing an instrument such as piano, pipe organ, or guitar. A solo singer can accompany herself by playing guitar or piano while she sings, and in rare cases. With choral music, the accompaniment to a vocal solo can be provided by other singers in the choir, accompaniment parts range from so simple that a beginner can play them to so complex that only an advanced player or singer can perform them. An accompanist is a musician who plays an accompaniment part, accompanists often play keyboard instruments (e. g. piano, pipe organ, synthesizer or, in folk music and traditional styles, a guitar.
A number of classical pianists have found success as accompanists rather than soloists, arguably the best known example is Gerald Moore, the accompaniment instrumentalists and/or singers can be provided with a fully notated accompaniment part written or printed on sheet music. This is the norm in Classical music and in most large ensemble writing, chord-playing musicians can improvise chords, fill-in melodic lines and solos from the chord chart. It is rare for chords to be written out in music notation in pop. Some guitarists and other stringed instrumentalists read accompaniment parts using tabulature, drummers can play accompaniment by following the lead sheet, a sheet music part in music notation, or by playing by ear. In some cases, an arranger or composer may give a bassist a bass part that is written out in music notation. Comping Counter-melody Figure Figured bass Guitar picking Hauptstimme Strum The dictionary definition of accompaniment at Wiktionary