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8 Sonatas (from Il Primo Libro de Motetti Venezia 1620) - Innocentio Vivarino

8 Sonatas (from Il Primo Libro de Motetti [Venezia 1620])
8 Sonatas (from Il Primo Libro de Motetti [Venezia 1620]) 8 Sonatas (from Il Primo Libro de Motetti [Venezia 1620])
edited by N.Sansone
Ut Orpheus
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Innocentio Vivarino 1575-1626
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8 Sonatas (from Il Primo Libro de Motetti Venezia 1620) - Innocentio Vivarino

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The compositions published here are taken from the collection IL / PRIMO LIBRO / DE MOTETTI / D'INNOCENTIO VIVARINO / Organista Nel Duomo d'Adria / Da Cantarsi a Una Voce. / Con Otto Sonate per il Violino / ó altro Simile Stromento. / DEDICATI / ALL'ILLUSTRE ET MOLTO / REVERENDO SIGNOR / D. Fabritio Bocca Gentil'huomo / d'Adria, e Canonico / Meritissimo. / STAMPA DEL GARDANO / IN VENETIA MDCXX. / Appresso Bartolomeo Magni.

The original print from which the present edition is taken is held in the Universitätbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main, with the shelfmark Mus W 55 No. 9.

Adria, together with Rovigo, represents historically the most important economical and cultural centre of Polesine. Here Vivarino was born around 1575 and carried on his whole professional activity from 1592 until his death, occurred in 1626, holding the position of maestro di cappella and organist of the Duomo, besides attending to the musical part of the performances and miracle plays put on by the confraternity del Santissimo Crocefisso for the benefit of popular devotion. The compositions of this collection can be traced to this very purpose, as the composer himself states in the dedication: Hanno piacciuto tanto queste mie Musiche quando parte di esse in luoco d'Intermedij nelle rapresentationi spirituali, parte per Introiti delle Santissime messe: e nel principiar de Vesperi: e parte in altre occasioni, quando era bisogno di brevità [...]. In effect, the small proportions of the compositions in terms of duration and setting appear to be modelled on the requirements and the availabilities of a chapel of modest proportions and average musical abilities.

The instrumental sonatas also come under this perspective, far from the experimentalism and virtuosity of the following generations of composers born and working in Veneto like Marini or Castello: their brevity, their fixed form in three sections (C - 3 - C ) and their writing which is more similar to the canzona, sometimes with echo effects, are rather reminiscent of Riccio's works, also intended for a minor chapel in the perspective of a 'miniaturization' of Gabrieli's sumptuous style.

The sonatas are mainly intended for violin but, as the frontispiece suggests, some of them can be performed with other high instruments. Besides cornet, a natural alternative to violin, the treble recorder in G is suitable for at least two pieces: Sonata Ottava, the only one of the group notated in C clef on the first line, the inscription of which In Tuono, & Alla Quinta Alta, indicates the possibility to perform the piece on violin as well (or on cornet) by transposing it a fifth higher. The second composition, Sonata Sesta, is the only one in which the chiavette are used in both parts, respectively G clef on the second line and F clef on the third line, thus indicating the possibility of transposing the piece to the lower fourth to make it suitable for the recorder, in the wake of a practice established in Veneto by Riccio's and Marini's compositions. For the present edition I have chosen to write both sonatas with the two possibilities provided for, turning, in the case of Sonata Sesta, to a modernization of the key signature with the eminently practical purpose of rendering the piece immediately usable.

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