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Francesco Cavalli

From Academic Kids

Francesco Cavalli (February 14 1602January 14 1676), Italian composer, was born at Crema. His real name was Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni, but he is better known by that of Cavalli, the name of his patron, a Venetian "nobleman".

Contents

Life

He became a singer at St Mark's in Venice in 1616, second organist in 1639, first organist in 1665, and in 1668 maestro di cappella. He is, however, chiefly remembered for his operas.

He began to write for the stage in 1639 (Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo), and soon established so great a reputation that he was summoned to Paris in 1660 to produce an opera (Xerse). He visited Paris again in 1662, bringing out his Ercole amante at the Louvre, which was written in honour of the marriage of Louis XIV. He died in Venice.

Music and influence

Cavalli was the most influential composer in the rising genre of public opera in mid-17th century Venice. Unlike Monteverdi's early operas, scored for the extravagant court orchestra, Cavalli's operas make use of a small orchestra of strings and basso continuo to meet the limitations of public opera houses.

Cavalli introduced melodious arias into his music and popular types into his libretti. His operas have all the characteristic exaggerations and absurdities of the 17th century, but they have also a remarkably strong sense of dramatic effect as well as a great musical facility, and a grotesque humour which was characteristic of Italian grand opera down to the death of Alessandro Scarlatti. Cavalli's operas provide the only example of a continuous musical development of a single composer in a single genre from the early to the late 17th century in Venice — only a few operas by others (e.g. Monteverdi and Antonio Cesti) survive. The development is particularly interesting to scholars because opera was still quite a new medium when Cavalli began working, and had matured into a popular public spectacle by the end of his career.

Cavalli wrote 33 operas, 27 of which are still extant, being preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Library of St Mark) at Venice. Copies of some of the operas also exist in other locations. In addition, 9 other operas have been attributed to him, though the music is lost and attribution impossible to prove.

In addition to operas, Cavalli wrote settings of the Magnificat in the grand Venetian polychoral style, settings of the Marian antiphons, other sacred music in a more conservative early 17th-century style, and some instrumental music.

Works list

Operas

  • Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1639)
  • La Dafne (1640)
  • La Didone (1641)
  • L'Amore innamorato (1642, music lost)
  • La virtý de' strali d'Amore (1642)
  • L'Egisto (1643)
  • L'Ormindo (1644)
  • La Doriclea (1645)
  • Il Titone (1645, music lost)
  • Il Giasone (1649)
  • L'Euripo (1649, music lost)
  • L'Orimonte (1650)
  • L'Oristeo (1651)
  • La Rosinda (1651)
  • La Calisto (1652)
  • L'Eritrea (1652)
  • Il Delio (La Veremonda, l'amazzone di Aragona) (1652)
  • L'Orione (1653)
  • Il Ciro (1654)
  • L'Hipermestra (L'Ipermestra) (1654)
  • Il Xerse (1655)
  • L'Erismena (1655)
  • La Statira (Statira principessa di Persia) (1656)
  • L'Artemisia (1657)
  • L'Antioco (1659, music lost)
  • Il rapimento d'Helena (Elena) (1659)
  • L'Ercole (Ercole amante) (1662)
  • Scipione affricano (1664)
  • Mutio Scevola (Muzio Scevola) (1665)
  • Il Pompeo Magno (1666)
  • L'Eliogabalo (1667)
  • Coriolano (1669, music lost)
  • Massenzio (1673, music lost)

References and further reading


Parts of this entry originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.de:Francesco Cavalli nl:Francesco Cavalli

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