Fran Francesco Cavalli, Paolo Cornetto, Giovanni B. Fontana, Alessandro Grandi, Dario Castello, Giovanni Legrenzi, Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni B. Riccio
Cantate Domino - Mottetti e Sonate del Seicento Veneziano
The program heard on this recording presents Venetian motets and sonatas from the seventeenth century. The Venetian quality of the compositions is based on three equally important factors. The first is the fact that all of the collections from which the pieces are taken were published in Venice. Musical printing was born in Venice in 1501, thanks to the labors of Ottaviano Petrucci, and the city continued to play a central role in music publication until the end of the seventeenth century, that is to say, until the decline of moveable print. It was therefore normal to find works by authors from all over Italy published there. The second factor is of a biographical nature. The magnificence and wealth enjoyed by the oligarchy of the Serenissima was brilliantly displayed through music, and musicians from throughout northern Italy found numerous opportunities of employment. Most of the musicians in the seventeenth century worked for at least some time in Venice. Claudio Monteverdi from Cremona, for example, was maestro di cappella at the basilica of St. Mark’s from 1613; the Sicilian composer Alessandro Grandi was his vice-maestro from 1620, Francesco Cavalli from Crema was the first organist from 1665 and maestro di cappella from 1668; Giovanni Legrenzi from Bergamo was maestro di cappella from 1685; Dario Castello was "capo degli strumenti a fiato" (head of the wind instruments) of the Venetian republic; Giovanni Battista Fontana from Brescia and Giovanni Battista Riccio also worked in Venice.