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Encyclopedia > Stefano Landi
1634 publication of Il Sant'Alessio with woodcut illustration showing a scene from the opera.
1634 publication of Il Sant'Alessio with woodcut illustration showing a scene from the opera.

Stefano Landi (baptized February 26, 1587October 28, 1639) was an Italian composer and teacher of the early Baroque Roman School. He was an influential early composer of opera, and wrote the earliest opera on a historical subject: Sant'Alessio (1632). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 420 pixelsFull resolution (1604 × 842 pixel, file size: 183 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Scene from Il sant Alessio, Landi, 1632 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 420 pixelsFull resolution (1604 × 842 pixel, file size: 183 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Scene from Il sant Alessio, Landi, 1632 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States... is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1587 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750[1] (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ... The Roman school is the education system of the Ancient Rome. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... SantAlessio is an opera in three acts composed by Stefano Landi in 1631 with a libretto by Giulio Rospigliosi. ... See also: 1632 (novel) Events February 22 - Galileos Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published July 23 - 300 colonists for New France depart Dieppe November 8 - Wladyslaw IV Waza elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after Zygmunt III Waza death November 16 - Battle of Lützen...


Biography

Landi was born in Rome, the capital of the Papal States. Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Coat of arms Map of the Papal States; the reddish area was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, the rest (grey) in 1870. ...


In 1595 he joined the Collegio Germanico in Rome as a boy soprano, and he may have studied with Asprilio Pacelli. Landi took minor orders in 1599 and began studying at the Seminario Romano in 1602. He is mentioned in the Seminary's records as being the composer and director of a Carnival pastoral in 1607; and in 1611 his name appears as an organist and a singer, though he was already maestro di cappella at S Maria della Consolazione in 1614. Agostino Agazzari was maestro di cappella at the Seminario Romano, and he may have been one of Landi's teachers as well. Events January 30 - William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet is performed for the first time. ... Asprilio Pacelli (1570-1623) was an Italian Baroque composer. ... Year 1599 was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... This page is about the year. ... Year 1607 (MDCVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Events June 23 - Henry Hudsons crew maroons him, his son and 7 others in a boat November 1 - At Whitehall Palace in London, William Shakespeares romantic comedy The Tempest is presented for the first time. ... Events April 5 - In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe. ... Agostino Agazzari (December 2, 1578 _ April 10, 1640) was an Italian composer and music theorist. ...


In 1618 he had moved to the north of Italy, and published a book of five-voice madrigals at Venice; apparently he had acquired a post as maestro di cappella at Padua. In addition he wrote his first opera in Padua, La morte d'Orfeo. Most likely it was used as part of the festivities for a wedding. His experience in Padua and Venice was essential for developing his style, since there he made contact with the work of the progressive Venetian School composers, whose music was generally avoided in conservative Rome. For a bill proposed in USA in 1998, see Bill 1618. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ... Padua, Italy, (Italian: IPA: , Latin: Patavium, Venetian: ) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, the economic and communications hub of the region. ... San Marco in the evening. ...


In 1620 Landi returned to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life, where his patrons included successively the Borghese family, Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy, and the Barberini family, who were to be his major employers throughout the late 1620s and 1630s, though he joined the papal choir in 1629 on half-salary. It was for the Barberini family that he wrote the work for which he is most famous, Sant'Alessio, in 1632. Throughout this period he was compositionally prolific, writing masses, arias, and responsories, mostly in the seconda pratica style of the early Baroque, a decision which was controversial with some of the more conservative musicians, who thought the prima pratica — the style of Palestrina — more appropriate for sacred music. Year 1620 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Borghese is the surname of a family of Italian noble and papal background, originating in Siena where they came to prominence in the 13th century holding official offices under the commune. ... Flag of Savoy This article is about the historical region of Savoy. ... The Barberini family was a powerful Italian family, originally of Tuscan extraction, who settled in Florence during the early part of the eleventh century. ... Events and Trends Permanent Dutch settlement of New York Bay and the Hudson River. ... Great Migration (Puritan) Thirty Years War in full swing in Europe 1632 - Just a couple of months before his death in battle, Swedish king Gustav II Adolf The Great ratifies the establishment of University of Tartu, the second university in the Swedish Empire September 8, 1636 - A vote of the... The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the fixed portions of the Eucharistic liturgy (principally that of the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, generally known in the US as the Episcopal Church, and also the Lutheran Church) to music. ... An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. ... A responsory is a type of chant in Christian liturgies that involves one section singing a respond, answered by another section singing a verse, then the respond is sung again by the first section, followed by a different verse from the second, et al. ... Prima pratica, literally first practice, refers to early Baroque music which looks more to the style of Palestrina, or the style codified by Gioseffo Zarlino, than to more modern styles. ... Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (4 March 1525 - 2 February 1594) was an Italian composer of Renaissance music. ...


After about 1636 he began suffering ill-health, and he died at Rome in 1639 and was buried at Santa Maria in Vallicella. Year 1636 (MDCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ... Chiesa Nuova after restoration (2006). ...


Music and influence

Curiously, Landi's secular music is more conservative than most of his sacred music, and his first book of madrigals, for five voices and basso continuo, is almost indistinguishable in style from many late 16th century collections, except for the basso continuo part. His other secular music consists of strophic airs, arias, and other songs for voice and basso continuo. A madrigal is a setting for two or more voices of a secular text, often in Italian. ... Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Strophic form, or chorus form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. ...


Landi's masses, of which there are only two, are in the simple, 16th century style encouraged (and sometimes demanded) by the Counter-Reformation. However he uses the Venetian concertato style for some of his motets, as well as his Magnificat and Vespers psalm settings, probably as a result of the years he spent in northern Italy. The Counter-Reformation or the Catholic Reformation was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent, partly in reaction to the growth of Protestantism. ... San Marco in the evening. ... Concertato (sometimes called stile concertato) is a term in early Baroque music referring to either a genre or a style of music in which groups of instruments or voices share a melody, usually in alternation, and almost always over a basso continuo. ... In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions. ... The Visitation in the Book of Hours of the Duc of Berry For the David and the Giants album, see Magnificat (album) The Magnificat (also known as the Song of Mary) is a canticle frequently sung (or said) liturgically in Christian church services. ... Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the canonical hours. ... Psalms (Tehilim תהילים, in Hebrew) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, and of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ...


By far his most famous composition, and one of the most significant operas of the early Baroque, is his setting of the life of fifth-century Saint Alexis, Il Sant'Alessio. Not only is it the first opera to be written on a historical subject, but it carefully describes the inner life of the saint, and attempts psychological characterization of a type new to opera. Most of the interspersed comic scenes, however, are anachronistically (and hilariously) drawn from contemporary life in 17th century Rome. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...


The part of Sant'Alessio himself is extremely high, and was meant to be sung by a castrato. At the initial performance, half of the singers were from the papal choir, and there were several soprano parts sung by other castrati. The accompanying orchestra is up-to-date, dispensing with the archaic viols and using violins, cellos, harps, lutes, theorbos, and harpsichords. The opera includes introductory canzonas which function as overtures; indeed they are the first overtures in the history of opera. Dances and comic sections mix with serious arias, recitatives, and even a madrigalian lament, for an overall dramatic variety which was extremely effective, as attested by the frequent performances of the opera at the time. Sant'Alessio was one of the first staged dramatic works successfully to mix both the monodic and polyphonic styles. A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. ... Various sizes of viol, from Michael Praetorius Syntagma musicum (1618) Early Italian tenor viola da gamba, detail from the painting , by Raphael Sanzio, c. ... The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. ... The violoncello, usually abbreviated to cello, or cello (the c is pronounced as in the ch of check), is a bowed stringed instrument, a member of the violin family. ... The harp is a stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. ... A medieval era lute. ... Theorbo A theorbo (from Italian tiorba, also tuorbe in French, Theorbe in German) is a plucked string instrument. ... Harpsichord in the Flemish style A harpsichord is any of a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument currently called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... Canzona (also canzone) is a poetic form, and a type of musical composition. ... Overture (French ouverture, meaning opening) in music is the instrumental introduction to a dramatic, choral or, occasionally, instrumental composition. ... Caccini, Le Nuove musiche, 1601, title page In poetry, monody is a poem in which one person laments anothers death. ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ...


References and further reading

  • Margaret Murata: "Stefano Landi", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed January 9, 2005), Grove Music Online
  • Manfred Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1947. ISBN 0-393-09745-5
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  • Donald Jay Grout, A Short History of Opera. New York, Columbia University Press, 1965. ISBN 0-231-02422-3
  • F. Kennedy, The Musical Tradition at the Roman Seminary During the First Sixty Years (1564-1621), in Bellarmino e la Controriforma, Atti del simposio internazionale di studi, Sora 15-18 October 1986, pp. 629-660

  Results from FactBites:
 
Stefano Landi: Information from Answers.com (1258 words)
Stefano Landi (baptized February 26, 1587 – October 28, 1639) was an Italian composer and teacher of the early Baroque Roman School.
Landi was born in Rome, the capital of the Papal States.
In 1620 Landi returned to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life, where his patrons included successively the Borghese family, Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy, and the Barberini family, who were to be his major employers throughout the late 1620s and 1630s, though he joined the papal choir in 1629 on half-salary.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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