excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 201 (358 words)

excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 201 (358 words)

part of

Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

201

type

text excerpt

encoded value

From thence I went... to the Chiesa Nuova to hear an oratorio in that church where that kind of drama first took its rise. There are two galleries – in one an organ and in the other a harpsichord – and in the former the service was begun by the vespers in 4 parts a la Palestrina – then the Salve Regina a voce sola, after that, prayers, and then a little boy not above 6 years old mounted the pulpit and delivered a discourse by way of sermon which he had got by heart, and which was made truely ridiculous by the vehicle thro’ which it passed. Then the oratorio of Abigaille set by Signor Casali consisting of 4 characters, and divided into 2 parts was performed.  The 2 first movements of the overture pleased me a good deal the last not at all – the minuet, as usual, degenerated into a jig of the most common cast. The rest of the music was pretty common place – no new melody or modulation, tho’ nothing vulgar. Signor Cristofero sung the principal part very well, in Guarducci’s smooth and polished manner – he made 2 or 3 excellent closes, tho’ rather too long. This fault is general all over Rome and Naples; a long winded licentiousness in all their cadences, which very much wants curtailing and correction. A few select notes with a great deal of meaning and expression given to them is the only expedient which can render a cadence desirable as it should consist of something superiour to what one has heard before in the air, or it becomes impertinent. This abuse is not of very ancient standing, for in a serious opera of old Scarlatti composed in 1717 there is not one ad libitum to be found. […] I waited to hear the last and only chorus, but tho’ it was sung by book it was as light and unmeaning as an opera chorus which must be got by heart. With respect to a true oratorio chorus accompanied with instruments in the manner of Handel’s I have not heard one since I came into Italy.

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excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 201 (358 words)

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