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Delia Gasa was a friend of the Farnesi, and was patronized by them. The better the actors knew how to raise a laugh, the more were they in request, and the tables of the great were thronged with more buffoons than any other kind of artist, as we learn from Garzoni, who has left us the following account of certain comedians, who impro- vised a stage, sketched the scene in charcoal, and de- lighted the populace with the grossest obscenities. D'Ancona, op. Angelo Beolco, nicknamed Ruz- zante, died in i54a, forty years of age ; Speroni called him the new Roscius, and he made his name in the Piovana and the Vaccaria, comedies in the style of Plautus ; but his real triumphs were achieved in the pastoral comedies, Fiorina, Moschetta, and the Dialog hi in lingua ruslica, where the three dialects of Padua, Venice, and Bergamo 3 are blended in scenes of con- siderable comical merit.
Luigi Giancarli, nicknamed Gigio Artemio, lawyer, poet, and painter, wrote trage- dies, farces, and eclogues, and a few comedies; the Ca- praria and the Cingara have been published. This attempt, made by Ruzzante and Molin, to blend various languages and dialects in comic dialogue, is very likely earlier than either of them 5 ; it was imitated by Calmo, who mingled Paduan, Sclav, and Bergamasque dialect with pure Venetian in 1 Rossi, V, Introd. See D'Ancona, Orig. Breslau, Lovarini, Notizie sul Ruzzante, in the Glornale Stor.
It was Calmo, perhaps, who was the first to create one of the most universal types of the comic stage, Pantaloon, the honest, simple merchant, evolved perhaps from the earlier mask the Magnifico ; and Calmo was also the first to revive a typical character of Latin comedy, the Miles Gloriosus, the braggart, coward captain. The most famous was the company of the Gelosi, who gave to the Italian stage three actors of the celebrated family of Andreini, Isa- bella, Francesco, creator of the mask Capitan Spavento, and their son Giambattista, author of the tragedy Adamo.
Irxiii and Ixxiv. Also Fr. Bartoli, Not.
The Roman Inquisition on the Stage of Italy, c. 1590-1640
Bologna-Milano, I'Sg- Lidia da Bagnacavallo and Vincenza Armani, a native of Venice, roused the utmost enthusiasm by their improvisations. Possedeva benissimo la lingua latina e felicissimamente vi spiegava ogni concetto. Musica sublime. The fame of Isabella Andreini, however, outshone all others; poetess and comedian, of great beauty and unsullied virtue, she was admired, honoured, lauded in life and in death by princes and peoples, and by the greatest poets such as Torquato Tasso, who wrote for her the sonnet beginning : Quando v'ordiva il prezi'oso velo L'alma natura, e le mortal!
Isabella was born in Padua in i; her father was Paolo Canali, and in she married Francesco 1 Garzoni, Piazza, p.
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Verona, She died at Lyons in i6o4, and her epitaph, which does not lie, declares her to have been beautiful and good, of a ready wit, beloved of the Muses, faithful and affectionate to her spouse, unhappy only in that he lived too long, seeing he had to outlive her. Italian comedians, honoured in their own country, met with a like ready welcome abroad, where they reaped a rich harvest of glory and of gold.
In the king invited the Gelosi to the Hotel Bourbon, and such was the enthusiasm they roused by their acting and by the mounting of their plays that Parliament issued an order to expel them, perhaps because they proved too great a distraction for monarch and subjects alike. As we have seen, farces, dialogues, pastoral eclogues, recited on the piazza or in booths or taverns, were the delight of the populace, while tragedies 1 De Nolhac and Solerti, II viaggio in Italia di Enrico III, cit.
Paris, Vasari and his companions arranged two tiers of wooden seats for the ladies, and painted the sides with allegorical subjects, deities, landscapes, rivers, such as Jove, Juno, Tithonus, Venice, Crete, the Po, the Brenta, the Tagliamento ; round the ceiling they ran a cornice with globes of distilled water, behind which were placed lights that lit the whole chamber. In i they commissioned Vasa Palladio, who, in the courtyard of the Carita, built what Vasari describes as a mezzo teatro di legname a uso di colosseo, 5 possibly arranged on the model of a Roman theatre.
This scheme Palladio employed for the tealro Olimpico at Vicenza which was carried to a conclusion after Palladio's death by the master Vincenzo Scamozzi, and serves to show us how the body of the theatre and the stage were arranged. The thirteen tiers of seats, in an ellipse, 1 Flechsig, Die Dekoration der moder. Buhne in It. Anfdngen bis zum Schluss d.
Venezia, Zerbetti, Pietro Aretino composta a petitione de' mag- nijici Signori Sempiterni e recitata dalle lor proprie magnificientie con mirabil superbia d'apparato. Firenze, Le Monnier, i The body of the theatre was adorned with statues, and the ceiling represented a curtain held up with cords ; below the spectators, in the semi-ellipse, was the orchestra, and in front rose the permanent scene, designed by Sca- mozzi, in three orders, the two lower Corinthian, the upper Attic.
The scene had three exits in front and two at the side, and was adorned by a noble arch and with niches, statues, and bas-reliefs. As is usual at the opening of the Seicento, the scene, which repre- sented the streets of Thebes, was in full relief, and the houses of the streets, given in admirable perspective, were in immediate contact with the curtain of the background, which could be shifted by machinery as required.
He has left us important documents, not merely on the archi- tecture of theatres, but also on the decoration of the stage, which reveal in the play of perspective and of pictorial adornments, the classico-Vitruvian influence. Serlio has left us a drawing of the Piazza di San Marco evidently adapted to serve as a scene on the stage. Milano, Hoepli, For this purpose the arrangement of tiers, as in the Olympic Theatre, is admirably adapted. As regards lighting, so as to save the audience from tocchi da cere and licori cadenti, Ingegneri advises the employ- ment of a " fregio pendente dall'alto il quale divide il cielo della scena da quello del teatro, ma non cada tanto in giuso ch'egli occupi troppo della vista della fronte di delta scena, e sia dal lato di dentro dirimpetto alia stessa fronte tutto pieno di lampadini accesi con riflessi d'orpello accomodati talmente ch'essi mandino il lume addosso ai recitanti," while leaving the audi- torium in a dim light favourable for holding the attention of the spectators.
It may have been the com- plicated decoration and stage machinery, and the exact- ing nature of the actors and of his employers, which caused the architect to write thus to Vincenzo Arnaldi : ' ' Ho finito di fare questo benedetto theatre nel quale ho fatto la penitentia de quanti peccati ho fatti e sono per fare. Quando V. Bergamo, Ventura, i6o4- 2 Ibid. Vene- zia, The mounting is de- scribed as of insuperabile grandezza, and although "gl'in- terlocutori non fossero phi di nove, nondimeno le persone vestite che v'intravennero.
Tragedia dell'Ecc. Gonte di Monte Vicentino. Al Clarissimo Signer Francesco Pisani. Con gratia et privilegio de 1'illus- trissima Signoria di Venetia. Venezia, i5ga. Speaking more particularly of the theatres and possibly of Palladio's theatre at the Carita, he says: "A tempo che io quivi dimoravo v'erano introdotte le commedie in modo che per esse v'era stato fatto un edificio di gran spesa a guisa di anfiteatro, ove si riduceva quasi tutta la nobilta e v'erano nobili che pregavano i commedianti che dices- sero le piu grasse, per non dir piu sporche, cose che mai sapessero, et essi ci menavano poi le mogli e le figlie.
Vinegia, i55i. XI, E. In the Republic expelled the players, and some little time later when the younger men endeavoured to secure their recall, Zaccaria Contarini, the Procurator, though un- able to leave his couch, caused himself to be carried into the Senate, and raising his languido capo from the pillows, he spoke in favour of maintaining the decree.
In 1 58 1 Agostino Barbarigo in an impassioned discourse induced the Ten to forbid comedies, and the agent of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Paolo Mori, adds that " li frati gesuiti hanno reclamato assai, che nelli palchi dei teatri si operassero molte scelleratezze con scandalo. The attacks of the Jesuits, however, had much the same effect as the provisions of the government, and soon after Palladio's wooden mezzo colosseo was built, we hear of a stone theatre raised in the Corte Michiela at San Cassiano, which gave its name to the street della Commedia vec- chia and del Teatro vecchio to distinguish it from another theatre erected in the eighteenth century in the same locality.
Palladio's theatre and the " old theatre" were the first two permanent playhouses erected in Venice, and they were quickly followed by many others. While the drama was following the phases of its development, music, too, flourished in Venice ; prayers in the churches, songs in the streets, madrigals in the saloons of the rich, poems in the patricians' palaces or on the stage, all were clothed in musical 1 D'Ancona, op.
MUSIC 29 garb. Antonfrancesco Doni magnifies the glory of Venetian music, 1 and, as Francesco Sanso vino declared, Euterpe seemed to have found her home in the la- goons 2 ; where the liberality of the government and of the nobility, the softness of the dialect, the site of the city, its art, its monuments, its natural beauty which served to create that atmosphere of voluptuous softness peculiarly adapted to the mood of music, all were favourable to her growth.
The plastic arts them- selves bore witness to the delight in sweet sounds. Jacopo Sansovino, in the figure of Apollo on the Log- getta, desired to express the devotion of Venice to the art of music 3 ; the vague emotions inspired by sound assume definite form in the works of the Venetian painters who drew from the mysterious raptures of music a clear and well-defined conception of life and of beauty, and they expressed their feeling under the guise of radiant female beauty, or, of angels and cherubs who play and sing.
Oh no, there's been an error
Music, which by its nature is the language of dreams, and therefore ill suited to express definite ideas, though capable of inspiring vague sen- sations of unreasoned joy or sorrow, stirred in these vigorous masters a world of joys and sorrows which were full of life, reality, and sensuousness.
They draw for us those companies of high-born men and women met for music and for song, in the gilded chambers of their palaces, in the gardens and vineyards of the lagoon, in the parks and groves of their villas on the mainland ; but again and again in the midst of these realistic groups we come across some female figure expressing all the harmony of the nude, and in that perfection of line and colour the artist has embodied 1 Doni, Dialogo della musica.
Vinegia, Scoto, i Temanza, Vita di Jacopo Sansovino, p. Venezia, Giorgione, for example, listening to the sound of lutes, sees that vision, so vividly realistic in its fantasy, the Concerto campestre in the Louvre. Poetical emotions, the visions evoked by music, are converted into material symbols on the canvases of Titian or of Tintoretto, where the opulence of healthy female flesh and blood seems to breathe the very essence of liquid harmony. And in truth the atmosphere of Venice was favour- able to the intoxicating charm of sound.
Aron was canon of Rimini Cathedral in 1 5aa, and founded a choir, and, as it would seem, died there about i56a. Flutes and other musical instruments were sold in the streets by pedlers merceretti. Cicogna, her. I, Part II, P.
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Barbaro illustrates the way in which the wind i introduced into the pipes by hydraulic pressure. But with this exception the engraving gives us a Venetian bellows organ of the sixteenth century. The document is published in the Archivio Veneto XXIII, i49 , and affords us minute particulars as to organ building as practised in Venice at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
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Master Nicuola dai Organi fio de maistro Andrea Veronese, living in Venice in the parish of San Pantaleone, enters into contract with Fra Eliseo, prior of Santa Gaterina in Treviso, to build an organ of seven stops, " i quali registri saranno questi zove cioe prima i tenori che e de numero e tasti quarantasette. The musical academies throughout the city prided them- selves on their collections of instruments and of music ; Sansovino makes special mention of the collection of the Advocate Luigi Balbi at Santa Maria Zobenigo, of the Cavaliere Sanudo at San Giovanni Decollate; of Agostino Amadi, who, in his palace at Santa Croce, had enriched his father's artistic collections with rare specimens of musical instruments ; of Caterino Zeno il terzo registro zove la quinta decima; el quarto zove la decimanona, el quinto la vigesima-secunda, el sesto la vigesima-sesta : lo septimo li flauti, cum somier et mantesi capazi per dito organo cum la sua testadura, la qual e tra tasti e semitoni numero quarantasette.
Another important contract bears the date February 6, Arch. The work is minutely described in the contract ; it was to be five feet high, " con tre voci da basso," and with six stops, " cio e il tenor, otava, quinta, desima, desima nona, vigesima seconda et flauto.
The price was fixed at one hundred ducats of lire 6, soldi a 4 each one. As early as May a5, , Ottaviano de' Petrucci of Fossombrone obtained a patent for his invention of metal musical type 2 which was to super- sede the earlier wood-blocks ; and in i5oi he issued the collection known as Harmonices musices Odhecaton. In 1 Glaudio Merulo of Gorreggio, in partnership with Fausto Bethanio, opened a printing- press for figured music.
Fossombrone, Petrucci, pritno inventor de stampar libri de canto figwati, entered into partnership with Amadio Scoto and Wiccolo di Raffaele. Star, per Trieste, Roma, , wishes to prove that Andrea shares with Petrucci the merit of the invention. XXXIV, fasc. Gasparo di Bertolotti maestro de violini e morto et sepolto in S. Morti, I, c. The same church contains the ashes of Costanzo Antignati, organ-builder and composer. Venezia, Ongania. He reintroduced the antiphonic chant- ing of the Psalms, and paid great attention to unison ; unlike his contemporaries he laid little stress on harmony and general effect; he endowed the cantata with freshness and lightness, and set it to instrumental accompaniments ; he cultivated the madrigal in three, four, or more parts, and developed the canon and the fugue.
Willaert " the first of the moderns," as his famous pupil Zarlino calls him 2 founded the Venetian School which rivalled the Roman, and is illustrated by such names as Jacques de Buus called Giacchetto, Ciprian van Rore, Zarlino, Baldassare da Imola, Gos- tanzo Porta, Glaudio Merulo, the Gabrieli, Vincenzo Bellavere, Giuseppe Guammi, not all of equal merit, but one and all inspired by a desire to free sacred music from its artificial trammels, to endow it with emotional expression, to make it the precursor of the musical drama.
Among the Venetian masters of this period the most celebrated were the two Gabrieli, uncle 1 Caffi, Storia della musica sacra, I, Signoria, p.
Venetia, We must not omit to mention Fra Dionisio Memmo, who met with a warm reception in foreign parts. In i5i6 he went to London with uno bellissimo istrumento de sonar an organ. The skill he displayed before King Henry VIII, the queen, and the court aroused such enthusiasm that he was not allowed to depart, and he was called on to play at court festivals, where the king himself danced to the music of the friar.
See Bellimo, Giuseppe Zarlino.