La Scuola Romana

Featuring: soprano, violino, cornetto, 2 sackbuts, dulcian/recorder, violone, theorbo, organ

Rome holds a place of great importance in the history of baroque music. Being home of the Pope and heart of the Catholic tradition, Rome was the most important center for Sacral Music in Europe. In Rome worked and lived Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, one of the most significant composers of his time, who gave great impulse to sacred music with his genius, working previously as Magister Cantorum and then assuming the charge of Maestro di Cappella of the powerful Cappella Giulia, the core of the musical activity in San Pietro. The Scuola Romana was partially still anchored to the traditional polyphony, so called Stile Antico. On the other hand, some great innovations developed in this important musical center: the Oratorio, for example, a new style of composition in which Giacomo Carissimi truly excelled, which was the response in sacred repertoire to the development of the operatic style . Also the Cantata or Concerto Sacro a Voce Sola, in this program represented by the work of the barely known but exceptional composer Giovanni Battista Agneletti, followed the newest musical ideas of the time: a free vocal line accompanied by the basso continuo, conceived to move the feelings of the listeners. In what concerns instrumental repertoire, we can find an important innovator in the figure of Girolamo Frescobaldi from Ferrara, who lived most of his life in Rome, worked there as an organist and a composer – among other appointments, he was organist in the famous Cappella Giulia – until his death in 1643. Frescobaldi’s work is clearly oriented to the great innovations of its time: this composer makes magistral use of the double choirs, explores the virtuosity and the expressive capacities of the instruments with crazy chromaticism and other edgy rhetorical ideas – as we can experience in his Toccate and Canzoni.

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) Canzon Vigesimanona                                         

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) Hodie Christus Natus Est               

Giovanni Battista Agneletti (c.a 1656-1673) Gloria Patri                                     

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Assumpta est Maria                                

Girolamo Frescobaldi Canzon Quinta                                

Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672) Laudate Coeli                                 

Giacomo Carissimi    (1605-1674) Exurge Cor Meum             

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Vergine Bella               

Giovani Pierluigi da Palestrina Bone Jesu                                      

Frescobaldi Toccata                                            

Giacomo Carissimi Kyrie, Gloria dalla MISSA a 8 voci                                               


Photo @Martin Chiang Photography