Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855

Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855

Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855

Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855

Synopsis

This book presents for the first time an introductory, contextual study of three centuries of musical activity at the four major charitable foundations of the former Republic of Venice: the ospedali grandi. Berdes provides a comprehensive account of the institutional, social, religious, and civic dimensions of these welfare complexes, with particular reference to their musical subsidiaries, the cori. Involving over 800 professional women musicians, the cori also represent a vast repertory of over 4,000 original works by composers of whom Vivaldi is only the best known--works that are little known today but recognized as key elements in the historical evolution of musical genres.

Excerpt

The arrival of Napoleon's forces on the Piazza di San Marco on 13 May 1797 may have ensured the unexpected--but possibly inevitable--suppression, annihilation, and loss to present-day human history of the story of the civilization of Venice. A curious amnesia among historians surrounds Venetian history, despite the steady flow of publications about Venice both in the popular press and in more serious historical and cultural works, most of which merely borrow from earlier studies.

This scholarly lacuna is particularly characteristic of present understandings of four of the most prominent cultural foundations or comprehensive charitable institutions for the unique civilization of Venice after its decline as a dominant world power: the ospedali grandi. Those complex comprehensive welfare institutions sponsored sacred and secular, vocal and instrumental ensembles which originated as choirs, or cori, for the performance of liturgical music in the chapels and churches annexed to them.

Were the effort to be undertaken now to resurrect the Republic's quartet of ospedali and cori--prototypes for today's music conservatories--it would mean that four of this or any other nation's best educational agencies dedicated to the nurturing of young musical artists would be subsidiaries of large health-and-welfare agencies; each would have its own banking or credit union operation and be run by the national government, supervised by corporate executives, wealthy capitalists, and members, say, of the British Parliament or the US Congress, and be managed like monastic houses with lay and clerical staffs. Their facilities would be designed by masterful architects like Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Eero Saarinen. Directing the cori would be distinguished international composers, such as Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edward Elgar, and Aaron Copland. All of the institutions and their music programmes would be within walking distance of each other and located in a small city like Las Vegas that is an international playground. Each institution, in addition to its myriad of charitable activities, would sponsor . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.