Book Series Speculum musicae, vol. 2

La romanza vocale da camera in Italia

F. Morabito

  • Pages: 247 p.
  • Size:210 x 260 mm
  • Language(s):Italian
  • Publication Year:1997

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-50568-8
  • Hardback
  • Available


The nineteenth century in Italian music may legitimately be considered as the triumph of song. This was cultivated both in theatres and in the magnificent salons of the aristocratic palaces or in the more modest bourgeois drawing-rooms; here especially, with the help of the pianoforte, they gave voice to a more intimate genre, normally precluded from the clamour of the stage, yet equally loved: the chamber song. The contribution which we present here was intended to concern itself specifically with this immense and precious musical inheritance with which the past century has regaled us, illustrating and rebuilding the history of a genre for years neglected by "official" musicology, because too easily dismissed as inevitably trivial, here to-day and gone to-morrow, and unworthy of attention. The study starts with the first years of the nineteenth century with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini - an epoch when eighteenth-century ariettas for voice and basso continuo were giving way to accompanied melody - and ends with the first decades of the twentieth century with the composers of the "Eighties generation". Such an enormous time span has made it possible to document the birth, development and decline of the chamber song; a decline which was fruitful however, given that from its ashes arose two new genres: the commercial popular song and the twentieth century chamber lyric, both manifestations of the dual and ambivalent nature of the song, always poised between serious and light music, straying sometimes more into one sphere than the other. The panoramic and necessarily general study which has emerged from it does not aim to be a detailed examination of the entire Italian vocal-chamber production for solo voice and pianoforte, and does not attempt to analyze in depth the most anonymous excerpt by the most anonymous composer, but is intended to be a first approach to a genre for years forgotten; it also provides a sort of introducto