This volume collects the results of two seminars, held in 2011 in Rome and in 2013 in Fribourg. A wide range of subjects is represented in the essays, ranging from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century. An essay leaves the city of Naples to compare the musical life of Naples with that of Palermo. Some essays address broad historical subjects: the aristocratic patronage at the time of the last Spanish viceroys; musical practice in convents and female conservatories in Naples, hitherto obscured by the fame of the male conservatories; the concerts for wind instruments of authors active in Naples, raising issues of attribution and analysis. Other essays dwell on individual composers, analyzing specific compositions and manuscripts. Compositions by Giuseppe Scarlatti in the library of the Conservatory 'San Pietro a Majella', and the reception history of the Mass in F major by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in eighteenth-century England are investigated. A final essay describes finally the advantages of an application of digital technologies in correlating archival data on musicians active in Naples.
Neapolitan Sacred Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Case of Pergolesi’s «Messa di S. Emidio»
Opportunities for Naples musicians to venture north, and the motivations for doing so, were numerous during the final period of the Viceroys and after. The reputation of Naples as a centre for the training of musicians of high calibre reached a peak with the fame of Leonardo Vinci, Leonardo Leo, and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Their successors and contemporaries, such as Nicola Porpora and Niccolò Jommelli, notably rose to prominence at foreign musical centres such as Venice, Vienna and Stuttgart in the middle of the eighteenth century, and thus secured the dominance of the galant style.1 In Britain, the reputations of Naples-trained composers was at a highpoint in the 1760s and 70s coinciding with the period of Charles Burney’s first musical tour of Italy, who reported on his experiences of the theatres and conservatories in Naples in The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1773). Burney was interested in the latest Italian opera and wrote positively of his hearing operas by later composers such as Niccolò Piccinni and Giovanni Paisiello. However, it was the music of these composers’ predecessors that made a more lasting mark in Britain around the middle and later portions of the century, particularly through the auspices of the Academy of Ancient Music, founded ← 185 | 186 → as a concert society in 1726.2 Summing up the achievements of the Academy in 1770, John Hawkins expressed a view that the music of Pergolesi and David Perez, especially their sacred vocal music, belonged to...
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