Angelo Berardi (1636-1694)
Sinfonie a violino solo, opus VII
Angelo Berardi (Sant’Agata Feltria, Urbino, 1636 – Rome, 1694) was a pupil of Giovan Vincenzo Sarti and Marco Scacchi, of the Roman school, the latter a fundamental figure in his training. Committed supporter of the Seconda Prattica, Berardi maintained that modern music had reached “greater perfection compared to the past” and that the practice of music was more important than theory; he asserted, moreover, that a good composition should also elevate the soul to virtuous thoughts. His life’s path wound its way through numerous centers (among them Montefiascone, Viterbo, Tivoli and Spoleto) to the crowning of his career as maestro di cappella in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome in 1692, where he died surrounded by numerous cages with canaries and other birds that he left to his pupil Raffaelle [sic] Raffaelli to inherit (one of the twelve heirs of his few things), together with his self portrait. Berardi was a prolific writer and a very able contrapuntist whose value was, already at that time, extensively recognized, perhaps also because of the careful balance that allowed him to praise the genius of Arcangelo Corelli while maintaining an excellent rapport with the Bolognese Giovanni Paolo Colonna during the years of the famous diatribe between those two. In terms of his stylistic profile, Berardi shows fantasy and richness of inspiration, so much so that his only work assigned to the violin, and dedicated to Sister Anna Maria Francesca Rossi, Augustinian nun from Viterbo (the Sinfonie a Violino Solo, Book I, Op. 7, Bologna, Giacomo Monti 1670), seems to cover the entirety of the instrument’s abilities and expressive variety.