Francesco Cavalli

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Francesco Cavalli
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(File:Francesco Cavalli.png|thumb|upright|Francesco Cavalli)Francesco Cavalli (born Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni 14 February 1602 – 14 January 1676) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. He took the name "Cavalli" from his patron, Venetian nobleman Federico Cavalli.


Cavalli was born at Crema, Lombardy. He became a singer (soprano) at St Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1616, where he had the opportunity to work under the tutorship of Claudio Monteverdi. He became second organist in 1639, first organist in 1665, and in 1668 maestro di cappella. He is chiefly remembered for his operas. He began to write for the stage in 1639 (Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo) soon after the first public opera house opened in Venice, the Teatro San Cassiano. He established so great a reputation that he was summoned to Paris from 1660 (he revived his opera Xerse) until 1662, producing his Ercole amante. He died in Venice at the age of 73.

Music and influence

Cavalli was the most influential composer in the rising genre of public opera in mid-17th-century Venice. Unlike Monteverdi's early operas, scored for the extravagant court orchestra of Mantua, Cavalli's operas make use of a small orchestra of strings and basso continuo to meet the limitations of public opera houses.Cavalli introduced melodious arias into his music and popular types into his libretti. His operas have a remarkably strong sense of dramatic effect as well as a great musical facility, and a grotesque humour which was characteristic of Italian grand opera down to the death of Alessandro Scarlatti. Cavalli's operas provide the only example of a continuous musical development of a single composer in a single genre from the early to the late 17th century in Venice — only a few operas by others (e.g., Monteverdi and Antonio Cesti) survive. The development is particularly interesting to scholars because opera was still quite a new medium when Cavalli began working, and had matured into a popular public spectacle by the end of his career.Cavalli wrote forty-one operas, twenty-seven of which are extant, being preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Library of St Mark) in Venice. Copies of some of the operas also exist in other locations. In addition, two last operas (Coriolano and Masenzio), which are clearly attributed to him, are lost, as well as twelve other operas that have been attributed to him, though the music is lost and attribution impossible to prove.In addition to operas, Cavalli wrote settings of the Magnificat in the grand Venetian polychoral style, settings of the Marian antiphons, other sacred music in a more conservative manner – notably a Requiem Mass in eight parts (SSAATTBB), probably intended for his own funeral – and some instrumental music.

Performance history

{| class="wikitable sortable"!|Title!!|Libretto!!|Première date!!|Place, theatre!!class="unsortable"|Notes
Nozze}}Le nozze di Teti e di PeleoOrazio Persiani24 January 1639Venice, Teatro San Cassiano 
Amori}}Gli amori d'Apollo e di DafneGiovanni Francesco Busenello1640Venice, Teatro San Cassiano 
Didone}}''Didone (opera)''>
Amore}}L'amore innamoratoGiovanni Battista Fusconi1 January 1642Venice, Teatro San Moisè
Narciso}}Narciso et Ecco immortalatiOrazio Persiani30 January 1642Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paololost
Virtu}}La virtù dei strali d'AmoreGiovanni Faustini1642Venice, Teatro San Cassiano 
Egisto}}''Egisto (opera)''>
Deidamia}}La DeidamiaScipione Herrico5 January 1644Venice, Teatro Novissimolost
Romolo}}Il Romolo e 'l RemoStrozzi family>|lost
Doriclea}}''Doriclea (Cavalli)''>
Titone}}Il TitoneGiovanni Faustini1645Venice, Teatro San Cassianolost
Prosperita}}La prosperità infelice di Giulio Cesare dittatoreGiovanni Francesco Busenello1646Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paololost
Torilda}}La TorildaPietro Paolo Bissari1648Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo or Teatro San Cassianolost
Giasone}}''Giasone''>Giacinto Andrea Cicognini>
Euripo}}L'EuripoGiovanni Faustini1649Venice, Teatro San Moiselost
Orimonte}}''Orimonte''>Nicolò Minato>
Bradamante}}La BradamantePietro Paolo Bissari1650Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paololost
Armidoro}}L'ArmidoroBortolo Castoreo20 January 1651Venice, Teatro Sant 'Apollinarelost
Rosinda}}''Rosinda>|also known as Le magie amorose''
Calisto}}La CalistoGiovanni Faustini28 November 1651Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinare 
Eritrea}}''Eritrea (opera)''>
Veremonda}}''Veremonda>Naples, Nuovo Teatro del Palazzo Reale>|also known as Il Delio''
Orione}}''Orione (opera)''>Milan, Teatro Real>| 
Ciro}}''Ciro (opera)''>|in collaboration with Andrea Mattioli
Statira}}Statira principessa di PersiaGiovanni Francesco Busenello18 January 1656Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo 
Artemisia}}''Artemisia (Cavalli)''>
Hipermestra}}''Hipermestra''>Florence, Teatro degli Immobili>| 
Antioco}}L'AntiocoNicolò Minato12 January 1659Venice, Teatro San Cassianolost
Elena}}''Elena (opera)>|also known as Elena''
Pazzia}}La pazzia in trono, ossia il Caligola deliranteDomenico Gisberti1660Venice, Teatro Sant'Apollinarelost
Ercole}}Ercole amanteFrancesco Buti7 February 1662Paris, at the Salles des Machines in the Tuileries PalaceBallet music by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Scipione}}Scipione affricanoNicolò Minato9 February 1664Venice, Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo 
Mutio}}''Mutio Scevola''>Teatro San Samuele>| 
Pompeo}}Pompeo MagnoNicolò Minato20 February 1666Venice, Teatro Goldoni (Venice)>| 
Eliogabalo}}EliogabaloAurelio Aurelicomposed 1667, premiered 2004Venice, Teatro San SalvatoreIt was never staged and was replaced by another opera of the same name by Giovanni Antonio Boretti.Ellen Rosand (ed), Readying Cavalli's Operas for the Stage: Manuscript, Edition, Production, Farnham/Burlington, Ashgate, 2013, p. 64, {{ISBN|9781409412182}}.
Coriolano}}CoriolanoCristoforo Ivanovich27 May 1669Piacenza, Teatro Ducalelost
Masenzio}}MasenzioGiacomo Francesco Bussanicomposed 1673unperformed and lost

Modern performances

Cavalli's music was revived in the twentieth century. The Glyndebourne production of La Calisto is an example.Ross, Alex, "Unsung: Rediscovering the Operas of Francesco Cavalli." The New Yorker, May 25, 2009, pp. 84–85. More recently, Hipermestra was performed at Glyndebourne in 2017.WEB, Hipermestra review – Cavalli comes in from the cold,weblink Guardian, 4 July 2017, The discography is extensive and Cavalli has featured in BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week series.WEB,weblink Composer of the Week, August 5, 2012,

See also


Notes{{Reflist}}Further reading
  • Bukofzer, Manfred, Music in the Baroque Era. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1947. {{ISBN|0-393-09745-5}}
  • Glixon, Beth L. and Jonathan E., Inventing the Business of Opera: The Impresario and His World in Seventeenth-Century Venice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. {{ISBN|0-19-515416-9}}
  • Glover, Jane, Cavalli. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1978. {{ISBN|0-312-12546-1}}
  • Rosand, Ellen, Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice. Berkeley:University of California Press, 1991. {{ISBN|0-520-06808-4}}
  • Selfridge-Field, Eleanor, Venetian Instrumental Music, from Gabrieli to Vivaldi. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. {{ISBN|0-486-28151-5}}
  • Rismondo, Paolo A., Pietro Francesco Caletti Bruni detto il Cavalli: tappe per una biografia
  • {{EB1911|wstitle=Cavalli, Francesco}}

External links

  • {{ChoralWiki}}
  • WEB,weblink Brief biography and discography, Italian, 5 January 2009, 9 March 2005, Rodrigo, Artaserse L.,
  • {{IMSLP|id=Cavalli,_Francesco}}
{{Maestri di cappella at Saint Mark's Basilica}}{{Authority control}}

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