- Carlo Bosi, Analisi modale, polifonia e teoria musicale tardo-medievale: un approccio storico-critico. Abstract.
- Alberto Mammarella, La Frottola sacra napoletana nel primo Seicento: nuove acquisizioni. Abstract.
- Peter Allsop e Joyce Lindorff, Da Fermo alla corte imperiale della Cina: Teodorico Pedrini, musico e missionario apostolico. Abstract.
- Angela Buompastore, Il teatro musicale di primo Ottocento nelle considerazioni critiche del nobile dilettante. Abstract.
- Canto e colore. I corali di San Domenico di Perugia nella Biblioteca comunale Augusta (XIII-XIV sec.), a cura di Claudia Parmeggiani, Perugia, Volumnia, 2006 (Elsa De Luca);
- Richard Wistreich, Warrior, Courtier, Singer, London, Ashgate, 2007 (Huub van der Linden);
- Klaus Pietschmann, Kirchenmusik zwischen Tradition und Reform. Die päpstliche Kapelle und ihr Repertoire unter Papst Paul III. (1534–1549), Roma, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2007 (Gunnar Wiegand);
- Ippolito Sabino, Il Primo Libro dei Madrigali a cinque voci (1570), edizione critica di Alberto Mammarella, Bologna, Bongiovanni, 2007 (Piero Gargiulo);
- Tito Olivato, Vita e musica del minore conventuale fra Sisto Reina di Saronno espressione del Barocco padano, Saronno, Società Storica Saronnese, 2007 (Michelangelo Gabbrielli);
- Raffaele Mellace, L'autunno del Metastasio. Gli ultimi drammi per musica di Johann Adolf Hasse, Firenze, Olschki, 2007 (Simone Ciolfi);
- M. Francesca Agresta, Arte e Mestiere nella musica per il cinema. Ritratto di un compositore: Carlo Savina, [Roma], Centro sperimentale di cinematografia, 2007 (Roberto Calabretto).
- Giulia Nuti, The Performance of Italian Basso Continuo: Style in Keyboard Accompaniment in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, London, Ashgate, 2007 (Sara Dieci);
- L'Orfeo, favola posta in musica da Claudio Monteverdi, edizione anastatica del libretto (Mantova, Osanna, 1607), a cura di Paola Besutti, Mantova, Tre Lune, 2007 (Sara Dieci);
- Aldebrando Subissati, Sonate per violino solo e basso continuo; Giovanni Francesco Anerio, Antiphonae binis, ternis & quaternis vocibus cum basso ad organum, Do wydania przygotowal / edited by Piotr Wilk, Kraków, Musica Iagellonica, 2007 (Marina Toffetti);
- Mario Baroni, L'orecchio intelligente, Lucca, LIM, 2004 (Enrico Fubini).
Analisi modale, polifonia e teoria musicale tardo-medievale: un approccio storico-critico
The difficulty in applying modal theories to mensural polyphony of the 14th-16th centuries is often imputed to the dearth of theoretical sources specifically devoted to the discussion of the working of the modes within polyphony. This scarcity seems, however, to be more apparent than real and very few theorists actually offer an explicit anti-modal reading of polyphony; on the contrary we encounter several and significant passages where, at least starting from Marchetto da Padova, the authors assume or take for granted that the eight modes or the four maneriæ are equally applicable to chant and mensural music. Also the use of irregular finals is by and large admitted or at least acknowledged by most theorists. In Marchetto, Ugolino and Tinctoris, for instance, the discourse on irregular finals is intimately linked to modal transposition, whereby the identity of a mode is guaranteed not so much by the position of its final and repercussion within the gamut, but rather by the intervallic structure of its fourth and fifth species. Undoubtedly the preference for tetra- and pentachordal species as modal determinants over the final facilitates a modal reading of polyphonic pieces, since the interplay of fourths and fifths and the commixture of their different typologies (i.e., the species) potentially affords the composer the greatest variety in colour palette and could even provide a stylistic-authorial perspective. In order to illustrate this, the essay analyses a couple of chansons by Du Fay and Binchois, where the different use of modality in terms of fourth and fifth species points out and tries to explain the often mentioned, but seldom consistently exemplified, stylistic contrast between the two composers.
La Frottola sacra napoletana nel primo Seicento: nuove acquisizioni
Together with traditional genres, common without particular distinction in the entire seventeenth-century production, the Neapolitan sacred repertory includes a very unusual and peculiar genre: the frottola. It was widespread in Naples, at least in the first half of the Seventeenth century, as both known printed and handwritten collections obviously point out. It considers that the frottola was well known also out of Neapolitan reality. As a matter of fact, when in 1632 Heinrich Schulz sent his letter requesting 'Musiche da Napoli', he explicitly demanded the «Frottole del Padre Grillo a piu' voci», perhaps attracted by the inevitable curiosity that such a title aroused out of Naples.
Even though it is a unicum of the Neapolitan sacred repertory, the frottola has never been deeply studied. Salvatore di Giacomo, who was the first to deal with this genre, defined it as «a choral singing, group of ten o fifteen voices ('a frotte'), that the Neapolitan conservatoires students used to sing, almost running, in front of Saints processions […]».
Analyzing the frottole held in the handwritten MS.51 and preserved in the Library of the Conservatory S. Pietro a Majella of Naples, and those one printed by Orazio Giaccio in 1621, both musical and textual characteristics, peculiar of this genre, will be presented and discussed. The evaluation of sang poetical text will reveal both the frottola own characteristics and the strict relation with hymns. As matter of fact, the revealed picture shows the persistence, in the first of the Seventeenth century in Naples, of some hymn texts of medieval tradition which, even if never officialized in the Breviario, keeps on being used deprived of their own hymn characteristic.
Peter Allsop e Joyce Lindorff
Da Fermo alla corte imperiale della Cina: Teodorico Pedrini, musico e missionario apostolico
The Lazarist priest Teodorico Pedrini (1671-1746) was chosen by Pope Clement XI for the fateful Tournon legation to the Chinese Court, but avoided its dire consequences by fortuitously missing his ship in 1702. Upon his arrival in China eight years later, he was summoned to Peking to replace the emperor Kangxi's beloved music master, Tomás Pereira (1645-1708), remaining in courtly employment until the end of his life. His 12 violin sonatas—the only known manuscript of western music remaining in China from this period—reflect his contact with Corelli during his early years in Rome. Furthermore, he was commissioned to complete a treatise on Western music—the Lülü Zhengyi (The True Doctrine of Music)—as part of a massive encyclopaedic endeavour of the Kangxi emperor. His wider significance, however, lies in his championship of papal authority against the Jesuit accommodation of the Chinese Rites to Confucius and the ancestors condemned as superstitious by a papal bull of 1704. The Peking Jesuits regarded Pedrini as a mortal threat to their very survival and succeeded in having him discredited, beaten, and imprisoned in their house, to be freed only after two years by the new emperor Yongzheng. Pedrini's extraordinary life is chronicled in over 1600 pages of letters spanning the years 1702-1744. These provide unrivalled insights into his courtly activities and offer a view of the controversies in stark contrast to the predominantly Jesuit bias of current opinion.
Il teatro musicale di primo Ottocento nelle considerazioni critiche del nobile dilettante
Taking some documents of the noble music amateur Cesare di Castelbarco (1782-1860) as a reference, this essay intends to analyse problems, expectations and opinions of critics and public on musical theatre of the first half of nineteenth century. Starting point are some sonnets published by Castelbarco and some letters found at Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Wien. They are carefully analyzed and his opinions are related to those of leading critics such as Giuseppe Carpani and Andrea Maier, the librettists Luigi Romanelli and Jacopo Ferretti or other key opinion leaders such as Nicola Tacchinardi, Eleuterio Pantologo, Giuseppe Mazzini. This analysis provides thus a complete overview on the opinions on the musical theatre by the public of that time and gives Castelbarco's views full legitimacy for two essential reasons: firstly his remarks are common to those of most critics of that period; secondly because he appears as very competent on the matters he writes on (he was a composer, a performer (violinist) and a focal point for spreading international instrumental music trends through the 'accademie' he organized at his home). This last element appears very clearly, for example, from the letters, in which he discusses technical matters related to orchestral and vocal performances in detail. The analysis provides also a clear classicist profile of Castelbarco: in fact he mentions singers such as Crescentini and Pacchiarotti as an example to consider and express the need for a close linkage between text and music and for clarity of text.
Finally, the essay shows an interesting development on Castelbarco's opinion about Rossini's music. In the beginning (1826), he criticized him as somebody who was corrupting the Italian bel canto. Once Rossini became a reference point of Italian music twenty years later, he expressed appreciation for his genius, composing techniques and melody, as the most important element of music. His judgement was thus in line with Rossini's position at the top of Italian musical landscape at that time.