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Musik an den Welfenhöfen

Series:

Reinmar Emans, Oliver Huck and Sven Hiemke

Der Musik an den Welfenhöfen kam im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert eine überregionale Bedeutung zu, wie die in diesem Band vereinten Beiträge unterstreichen. Insbesondere in Wolfenbüttel und Hannover wirkten bedeutende Musiker, darunter Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, Antonio Sartorio, Agostino Steffani und Georg Friedrich Händel. Beide Höfe leisteten sich eine glänzende Hofhaltung, bei der neben Kunst, Literatur und Philosophie die Musik eine tragende Rolle zur Repräsentation der Herzöge spielte, von denen einige selber musizierten, Libretti schrieben oder komponierten. Als Liebhaber der venezianischen Oper und Bewunderer der Hofführung von Ludwig XIV. brachten sie im ausgehenden 17. Jahrhundert von ihren Reisen nach Italien und Frankreich Musik und Musiker mit und etablierten im Norden eine geradezu europäisch geprägte Musikszene.
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Steffani’s Orlando Generoso: Drama and Music

Extract

Orlando Furioso Orlando Generoso .is the third of the six three-act operas that Steffani created at the court of Hanover between 1689 and 1695. He had moved there in the summer of 1688 from Munich, where he had been employed from 1667, first as a singer, then as an organist and finally, from 1681, as director of chamber music. During these twenty-one years he had composed Latin psalms and motets, secular Italian chamber cantatas and duets, the music for an equestrian ballet, and five operas (1681–1688). He was thirty-three years old when he went to Hanover, where Duke Ernst August, having disbanded the chapel of his Catholic predecessor, Johann Friedrich, had decided to place Italian opera on a firm footing. Ernst August believed that the cultivation of high-quality opera at the court would raise him and his duchy in the estimation of the emperor and the imperial electors and thus strengthen his case for the elevation of Hanover to an electorate. He had retained, enlarged and improved the instrumental ensemble and ordered the construction of a magnificent new theatre, which was approaching completion, and in Ortensio Mauro he had a poet and secretary capable of writing librettos. Steffani was appointed Kapellmeister and made responsible for composing the music and directing the performances.

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