Academic journal article Notes

The Instrumental Music of Giovanni Legrenzi: La Cetra: Sonate a Due, Tre E Quattro Stromenti, Libro Quattro, Opus 10, 1673/per Ogni Sorte Di Strumento Musicale, Libro Terzo, Opera XXII (1655)/Sonate, Sinfonie, Canzoni, Passemezzi, Balletti, Correnti, Gagliarde, & Ritornelli a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Voci, per Ogni Sorte Di Strumenti; Un Capriccio per Sonar Due Violini Quattro Parti; Un Eco per Tre Violini, & Alcune Sonate Capricciose per Sonar Due E Tre Parti Con Il Violino Solo, Con Altre Curiose & Moderne Invenzioni, Opera VIII (1629)

Academic journal article Notes

The Instrumental Music of Giovanni Legrenzi: La Cetra: Sonate a Due, Tre E Quattro Stromenti, Libro Quattro, Opus 10, 1673/per Ogni Sorte Di Strumento Musicale, Libro Terzo, Opera XXII (1655)/Sonate, Sinfonie, Canzoni, Passemezzi, Balletti, Correnti, Gagliarde, & Ritornelli a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Voci, per Ogni Sorte Di Strumenti; Un Capriccio per Sonar Due Violini Quattro Parti; Un Eco per Tre Violini, & Alcune Sonate Capricciose per Sonar Due E Tre Parti Con Il Violino Solo, Con Altre Curiose & Moderne Invenzioni, Opera VIII (1629)

Article excerpt

CRITICAL EDITIONS

Giovanni Legrenzi. The Instrumental Music of Giovanni Legrenzi: La cetra: Sonate a due, tre e quattro stromenti, libro quattro, opus 10, 1673. Edited by Stephen Bonta. Cambridge: Department of Music, Harvard University; distributed by Harvard University Press, 1992. (Harvard Publications in Music, 17.) [Pref., p. xi; introd., p. xiii-xvi; performance, p. xvii-xviii; editorial procedures, p. xix-xx; plates, p. xxi-xxiii; score, p. 1-135; crit. notes, p. 137-40. ISBN 0-674-45621-1. $42.]

Biagio Marini. Per ogni sorte di strumento musicale, libro terzo, opera XXII (1655). A cura di Ottavio Beretta. Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, 1997. (Monumenti musicali italiani, 19.) (Opere di antichi musicisti bresciani, 7.) [Acknowledgments, 1 p.; pref., p. ix-xxiii; descrizione delle fonti, p. xxiv-xxvi; caratteristiche dell'edizione e criteri di revisione, p. xxvii-xxxix; edizioni moderne, p. xl; apparato critico, p. xli-xlix; bibliografia, p. 1-lvii; facsims., p. lviii-lx; score, 86 p. Cloth. Pub. no. S. 11203 Z. euro120.]

Biagio Marini. Sonate, sinfonie, canzoni, passemezzi, balletti, correnti, gagliarde, & ritornelli a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 voci, per ogni sorte di strumenti; un capriccio per sonar due violini quattro parti; un eco per tre violini, & alcune sonate capricciose per sonar due e tre parti con il violino solo, con altre curiose & moderne invenzioni, opera VIII (1629). A cura di Maura Zoni. Milan: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, 2004. (Monumenti musicali italiani, 23.) (Opere di antichi musicisti bresciani, 9.) [Alcune novità biografiche, p. i-viii; Ia stampa di Breslavia (Wroclaw), p. ix-xxiii; apparato critico, p. xxiv-xliii; facsims., p. xliv-li; bibliografia, p. lii-lv; score, p. 1-194. Cloth. Pub. no. S. 12410 Z. euro120.]

Ever since William S. Newman magisterially pronounced that "In Legrenzi's sonatas the fugal craft of Neri, the tonal sureness of Buonamente, and the agile wit of Merula are rolled into one and carried forward" (The Sonata in the Baroque Era, [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959], 130), the centrality of this composer to the history of the sonata has never been at issue. His four published collections of (or including) sonatas-opp. 2, 4, 8, and 10-that occupy the time frame 1655-73 are of immense musical value and musicological interest. In 1984, Stephen Bonta's edition of the earliest collection (Sonate a due e tre . . . libra primo, opera seconda [Venice: Francesco Magni, 1655]) came out as volume 14 in the Harvard Publications in Music series (Cambridge: Department of Music, Harvard University); he subsequently followed in 1992 with a companion volume (belatedly reviewed here) containing the last, and perhaps most impressive, collection: op. 10 (La cetra . . . libro quarto di sonate a due, tre e quattro stromenti, opera decima [Venice: Francesco Magni, 1673]; another Legrenzi op. 10, Acclamation divote a voce sola . . . libro primo [Bologna: Giacomo Monti], appeared previously in 1670). As the doyen of Legrenzi scholars, Bonta is unquestionably the ideal person for the task: one need merely glance at the footnotes to his introduction and to the preliminary pages dealing with performance and editorial procedures to appreciate how massive his scholarly contribution has been in relevant domains ranging from biography to organology, from contextual history to performance practice, and from modal theory to music notation-and further attested by the recent republication of Bonta's articles through 2002 in Studies in Italian Sacred and Instrumental Music in the 17th Century (Variorum Collected Studies Series [Aldershot, Hants, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate/Variorum, 2003]).

The reason for Giovanni Legrenzi's preeminence (among close contemporaries in Italy, his only serious rival as a composer of sonatas is Alessandro Stradella) lies in the quality of his musical invention, evident in such features as contrapuntal density, harmonic variety, tonal (or should one say modal? …

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