Vincenzo Giustiniani – Discorso sopra la musica de` suoi tempi
27 Decembrie 2006 § 1 comentariu
Vincenzo Giustiniani, Discorso sopra la musica de` suoi tempi (1628, ms.), despre noua artă vocală a cântăreților virtuozi italieni de la sfârșitul sec. al XVI-lea:
In the Holy Year of 1575, or shortly thereafter, a style of singing appeared which was very different from that preceding. It continued for some years, chiefly in the manner of one voice singing with accompaniment, and was exemplified by Giovanni Andrea napoletano, Signor Giulio Cesare Brancaccio, and Alessandro Merlo romano. These all sang bass with a range of 22 notes and with a variety of passagework new and pleasing to the ear of all. They inspired the composers to write similar works to be sung by several voices in the manner of a single one accompanied by some instruments, in imitation of the above-mentioned and of a certain woman called Femia. But they achieved greater invention and artifice, which resulted in some Villanellas which were a mixture of Madrigals in florid style and Villanellas. Many books of these by the aforementioned authors and by Orazio Vecchi and others are seen today. But as the Villanellas acquired greater perfection through more artful composition, so also every composer, in order that his compositions should satisfy the general taste, took care to advance in the style of composition for several voices, particularly Giaches Wert in Mantua and Luzzasco in Ferrara. They were the superintendents of all music for those Dukes, who took the greatest delight in the art, especially in having many noble ladies and gentlemen learn to sing and play superbly, so that they spent entire days in some rooms designed especially for this purpose and beautifully decorated with paintings. The ladies of Mantua and Ferrara were highly competent, and vied with each other not only in regard to the timber and training of their voices but also in the design of exquisite passages delivered at opportune points, but not in excess (Giovanni Luca of Rome, who served also in Ferrara, usually erred in this respect).
Furthermore, they moderated or increased their voices, loud or soft, heavy or light, according to the demands of the piece they were singing; now slow, breaking off with something of a gentle sigh, now singing long passages legato or detached, now groups, now leaps, now with long trills, now with short, and again with sweet running passages sung softly, to which sometimes one heard an echo answer unexpectedly. They accompanied the music and the sentiment with appropriate facial expressions, glances and gestures, with no awkward movements of the mouth or hands or body which might not express the feeling of the song. They made the words clear in such a way that one could hear even the last syllables of every word which was never interrupted or surpressed by passages and other embellishments. They used many other particular devices which will be known to persons more experienced than I. And under these favorable circumstances the above-mentioned musicians made every effort to win fame and the favor of the Princes their patrons, who were their principal support.
Sursa: Vincezo Giustiniani, Discorso sopra la musica, traducere în engleză de Carol MacClintock, Musicological Studies and Documents 9, Roma, 1972, pp. 69-70. Cf. originalul italian transcris de Carol MacClintock, Musica disciplina XV (1961).