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Introduction


Fano Cathedral Choir presents "Lodovico Grossi da Viadana - Maestro di Cappella", a biannual celebration (2010 - 2012) for the fourth centenary of the presence in Fano Cathedral of Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, famous composer and musician, as Director of Music, from 1610 to 1612..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tommaso Lodovico Grossi da Viadana - The composer


Lodovico Grossi da Viadana (born in 1560 in Viadana near Parma and died in 1627), is placed among greatest composers of seventeenth century. His music is characterized by freshness, smoothness and a remarkable expressive quality. Its importance is due to strong impulses to the genre of ecclesiastical vocal concert, accompanied by basso continuo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tommaso Lodovico Grossi da Viadana - Life


He was a member of Grossi family and took the name of Viadana only when he entered the order of Friars Minor, around 1588. It seems that he was a pupil of the famous composer Costanzo Porta, even if it is not confirmed by any documents. In his life he was Director of Music in several Italian cities. From 1594 to 1597, he was in Mantua (where also was Claudio Monteverdi) and near the end of sixteenth century, we could find him in Rome and Padua. In 1602 he became Director of Music at the Convent of St. Luca in Cremona, and from 1608 to 1609 he was employed in the city of Concord (near Venice) at the local cathedral. From 1st July 1610 to March 1612, he was appointed Director of Music in Fano by the Cathedral Chapter of Canons, while he was living with his brother at the near monastery of St. Maria Nuova. In 1614 he was appointed definer of his religious order for the province of Bologna. In 1623 he was moved to Busseto but he died in the monastery of St. Andrea Gualtieri (near Reggio Emilia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tommaso Lodovico Grossi da Viadana - His works


In Viadana music production, sacred vocal compositions are predominant. He wrote music in an a cappella polyphonic style and, from his Op. 12, he added a basso continuo part for the organ in order to help voices. The style of these compositions ranges from severe counterpoint to falso bordone (omorythmic polyphonic style). The functionality and simplicity of writing does not detract anything from its effectiveness and success. Even most elaborated music in polyphonic style is rather modest, in respect to the total of his production, we can see a sign of a style evolution closer to the baroque music of the cantatas and oratorios. Three works are particularly worthy of attention: the Masses written in 1596, Lamentationes op. 22, characterized by the use of a very expressive melodic writing, and finally the Completorium Op.16, with the brilliant use of the polychoral texture.
Concerti Ecclesiastici (Sacred concerts) op. 12 of 1602, is chronologically the first publication to include the use of basso continuo in sacred music. These concerts, as Viadana says in the preface of the work, were written and meant to be executed with different possibilities of a vocal and/or instrumental organic (he mostly refers to the organ), so that the harmonic and contrapuntal structure of the song was not distorted due to the lack of singers. In concerts for three voices the basso continuo to the organ (which is partly enriched with musical figured passages) is essential to have a complete harmony, but in the motects for four voices, if the choir is complete, it can be omitted: Viadana wrote a similar recommendation.
The melodic style of these compositions has little in common with the recitative style of opera: it is a simple melodic line that is influenced by the a cappella polyphonic style, sometimes decorated with virtuoso coloratura phrases. The chromatism is sporadic and occasionally appears in concertante style.
The success of Op. 12 and the following volumes of Concerti Ecclesiastici was widely due to their modern concept: these works, in fact, follow the evolution of composing techniques of the early seventeenth century. Considerable is the Missa dominicalis, in the second volume of Concerti Ecclesiastici (1607): this Mass for one voice and continuo is the first work that introduces the monody (solo singing) in the main ritual of Catholic mass on Sunday. Viadana wrote one of his latest works in a concertante style, Psalms Op.27 for four choirs, one of five favorite solo singers, three four-voiced choirs and instruments (three organs and a chitarrone to realize the harmonies of the basso continuo, strings, horns , trombones and bassoons doubling the vocal parts in supporting singers), obtaining an impressive stereo effect, full of vitality and richness of color: there's an alternation of choral recitative style, solo passages with rich embellishments. This composition may also be executed with only two choirs: the very versatile executivity of Viadana music is the most distinctive feature of his creativity, which anticipates the instrumental concert.
Compared to the great production of choral sacred music, secular compositions are less : each of them, mostly inspired by the style of the instrumental song, has a title referred to an Italian city (the Genovese, the Romana, etc. .),from where probably came the original theme.
The catalog of his works includes:

· Vespertina omnium solemnitatum psalmodia, 5vv (1588)
· Missa defunctorum, 3vv, b.c. (org) (1592)
· Falsi bordoni, 5vv (1596);
· Missarum liber primus, 4vv (1596);
· Missa Sine nomine, ed. A. Bank (Amsterdam, 1950)
· Motecta, 8vv, op.10 (1597)
· Completorium romanum, liber primus, 8vv (1597)
· Officium defunctorum, 4vv, op.11 (1600)
· 100 concerti ecclesiastici, 1-4vv, b.c., op.12 (1602),
· Psalmi omnes ad Vesperas, liber secondus, 5vv, b.c. (org), op.13 (1604)
· Officium ac Missa defunctorum, 5vv, op.15 (1604)
· Letanie, 3-8, 12vv, bc (org), op.14 (1605)
· Completorium romanum, liber secondus, 8vv, b.c. (org), op.16 (1606)
· Concerti ecclesiastici, libro secondo, 1-4vv, b.c., op.17 (1607)
· Salmi a 4 voci pari con 2 Magnificat, b.c. (org), op.20 (1608)
· Completorium romanum, liber primus, 4vv, b.c. (org), op.21 (1609)
· Lamentationes, 4vv, op.22 (1609)
· Responsoria ad lamentationes, liber primus, 4vv, op.23 (1609);
· Il terzo libro de' concerti ecclesiastici, 2-4vv, b.c., op.24 (1609);
· Salmi campagnoli con li sicut erat, 4, 8vv, b.c. (org), opp.25, 26 (1612)
· Salmi per cantare e concertare, 4 cori, b.c., op.27 (1612)
· Falsi bordoni con i sicut erat, 4, 8vv, b.c. (org), op.28 (Roma, 1612)
· 100 concerti, 1v, op.30 (Venezia, 1614)
· 24 Credo a canto fermo (1619)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Il Progetto - Tommaso Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, Maestro di Cappella


Il Progetto "Tommaso Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, Maestro di Cappella" si propone come finalità, la presentazione, nel corso di un biennio (2010-2012), delle più belle composizioni corali del Viadana. Si vuole così realizzare un'operazione di riscoperta e diffusione dell'opera di questo importante autore, non molto frequentato nelle sale da concerto o chiese in Italia.
Si è altresì scelto di eseguire e proporre gradualmente queste composizioni nel corso di un biennio, poiché tale è stata la durata della permanenza a Fano del Viadana in qualità di Maestro di Cappella in Duomo.
Si auspica così, di far nascere un nuovo interesse nel pubblico per la produzione corale di questo compositore, in un percorso di crescita collettiva della comunità cittadina. Per realizzare questo, la Cappella Musicale del Duomo di Fano, si impegna a presentare le musiche dell'autore, in ogni suo concerto realizzato a Fano, all'interno del calendario delle Stagioni Concertistiche 2010-2011 e 2011-2012. L'iniziativa culminerà nel 2012 con la realizzazione di una importante composizione dell'autore in un concerto estivo monografico, a ricapitolazione di un percorso proposto nel corso di un biennio. Infine si realizzerà anche una registrazione su CD a chiusura delle Celebrazioni.

 
     
     
 
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