divendres, 16 de setembre de 2016

MERCADANTE, Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele (1795-1870) - Requiem breve

Francois-Marius Granet - Chor der Kapuzinerkirche in Rom (c.1808)
Obra de François Marius Granet (1777-1849), pintor francès (1)


- Recordatori de Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante -
En el dia de la celebració del seu 221è aniversari de naixement



Parlem de Pintura...

François Marius Granet (Aix-en-Provence, 17 de desembre de 1777 - Aix-en-Provence 21 de novembre de 1849) va ser un pintor francès. Fill de comerciant, es va formar en pintura en una escola d'art de J.A. Constantin, un pintor de paisatges. Va treballar més tard com a decorador abans de viatjar a París el 1796 on va ser alumne del pintor Jacques-Louis David. Allà va treballar com a pintor de murals abans de viatjar a Roma el 1802, on es va dedicar a realitzar escenes neo-clàssiques així com pintant interiors d'esglésies i convents. Van ser aquestes darreres obres, en un estil més propi d'Holanda que dels seus mestres francesos, les que el van fer conegut. El 1809 va tornar a París on va fer amistat amb Ingrés i el 1829 va ser nomenat conservador del Museu del Louvre i de la col·lecció del Palau de Versalles. Anys més tard va tornar a Aix-en-Provence on va morir el novembre de 1849. 




Parlem de Música...

Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante (Altamura, bap. 17 de setembre de 1795 - Napoli, 17 de desembre de 1870) va ser un compositor italià que es va especialitzar en l'òpera. Va estudiar música a Nàpols amb Zingarelli i ja des d'un principi va mostrar un inusitat interès per la composició. El suport que va rebre de Rossini el va decantar a compondre òpera, on ràpidament va aconseguir un èxit considerable amb la seva obra Elisa e Claudio (1821). Va treballar un temps a Viena, Madrid, Cadis i Lisboa, tornant a Itàlia el 1831. Va ser convidat per Rossini a París el 1836, on va escriure I Briganti. Allà va conèixer les òperes de Meyerbeer i Halévy que posteriorment li van transmetre una forta influència, especialment La juive d'Havély. Després del seu retorn a Itàlia el 1837, va compondre alguns dels seus treballs més importants, incloent-hi Il giuramento que es va estrenar a La Scala aquell mateix any. Temporalment en el primer pla de compositors actius a Itàlia, aviat va ser sobrepassat per Giovanni Pacini amb Saffo i Giuseppe Verdi amb unes quantes òperes, especialment Ernani. Algunes de les seves obres posteriors, especialment Orazi e Curiazi, també van obtenir prou èxit. El 1840 fou nomenat director del conservatori de Nàpols, on va tenir notables alumnes, entre ells Constantino ParravanoGiovanni ValenteGaetano BragaPaolo Serrao i el també cantant Tosti. La seva vista va començar a fallar quan tenia 60 anys, i a partir del 1863 va perdre la quasi totalitat de visió. En les dècades posteriors a la seva mort, la seva producció va romandre oblidada en bona part fins la segona meitat del segle XX, si bé no va assolir la popularitat dels seus contemporanis DonizettiBellini, Rossini o Verdi. I tot i que a Mercadante se'l va conèixer principalment per la seva obra teatral, el cert és que també va escriure gran quantitat de música instrumental, des de concerts i obra de cambra fins a simfonies i música d'orgue. Alhora, també va escriure gran quantitat de música religiosa, entre ella, diverses misses, himnes i motets. Va morir a Nàpols el desembre de 1870.

OBRA:

Vocal secular:

L'apoteosi d'Ercole (19.8.1819 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Violenza e costanza, ossia I falsi monetari (19.1.1820 Teatro Nuovo, Nàpols) [també com: Il castello dei spiriti (1825, Lisboa)]
Anacreonte in Samo (1.8.1820 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Il geloso ravveduto (10.1820 Teatro Valle, Roma)
Scipione in Cartagine (26.12.1820 Teatro Argentina, Roma)
Maria Stuarda regina di Scozia (29.5.1821 Teatro Comunale, Bolonya)
Elisa e Claudio, ossia L'amore protetto dall'amicizia (30.10.1821 Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Andronico ( 26.12.1821 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Il posto abbandonato, ossia Adele ed Emerico (21.9.1822 Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Amleto (26.12.1822 Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Alfonso ed Elisa (26.12.1822 Teatro Nuovo, Màntua) [rev. com: Aminta ed Argira (1823, Reggio Emilia)]
Didone abbandonata (18.1.1823 Teatro Regio, Torí)
Gli sciti (18.3.1823 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Costanzo ed Almeriska (22.11.1823 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Gli amici di Siracusa (7.2.1824 Teatro Argentina, Roma)
Doralice (18.9.1824 Karntnertortheater, Viena)
Le nozze di Telemaco ed Antiope (5.11.1824 Karntnertortheater, Viena) [pasticcio]
Il podestà di Burgos, ossia Il signore del villaggio (20.11.1824 Karntnertortheater, Viena)
Nitocri (26.12.1824 Teatro Regio, Torí)
Ipermestra (29.12.1825 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Erode, ossia Marianna (12.12.1825 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Caritea, regina di Spagna (Donna Caritea), ossia La morte di Don Alfonso re di Portogallo (21.2.1826 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Ezio (3.2.1827 Teatro Regio, Torí)
Il montanaro (16.4.1827, Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
La testa di bronzo, ossia La capanna solitaria (3.12.1827, priv. Teatre de Barone di Quintella a Laranjeiras, Lisboa) [llibret escrit el 1816 per Soliva]
Adriano in Siria (24.2.1828 Teatre S. Carlos, Lisboa)
Gabriella di Vergy (8.8.1828 Teatre S. Carlos, Lisboa) [rev: 1832, Gènova]
La rappresaglia (21.2.1829 Teatro Principal, Cadis)
Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio (10.2.1830 Teatro Principal, Cadis)
Francesca da Rimini (1831, probablement no representada)
Zaïra (31.8.1831 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols) [llibret escrit 1829 per Bellini]
I normanni a Parigi (7.2.1832 Teatro Regio, Torí)
Ismalia, ossia Amore e morte (27.10.1832, Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Il conte di Essex (10.3.1833, Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Emma d'Antiochia (8.3.1834 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Uggero il danese (11.8.1834 Teatro Riccardi, Bèrgam)
La gioventù di Enrico V (25.11.1834, Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
I due Figaro (26.1.1835 Teatro Principe, Madrid) [composta 1827-29]
Francesca Donato, ossia Corinto distrutta (14.2.1835 Teatro Regio, Torí) [rev.1845, Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols]
I briganti (22.3.1836 Théâtre Italien, París) [rev. 1853]
Il giuramento (11.3.1837, Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
Le due illustri rivali (10.3.1838 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Elena da Feltre (1.1.1839 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Il bravo (La veneziana) (9.3.1839 Teatro alla Scala, Milà)
La vestale (10.3.1840 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
La solitaria delle Asturie, ossia La Spagna ricuperata (12.3.1840 Teatro La Fenice, Venècia)
Il proscritto (4.1.1842 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Il reggente (2.2.1843 Teatro Regio, Torí) [rev. 11.11.1843, Trieste]
Leonora (5.12.1844 Teatro Nuovo, Nàpols)
Il Vascello de Gama (6.3.1845 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Orazi e Curiazi (10.11.1846 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
La schiava saracena, ovvero Il campo di Gerosolima (26.12.1848 Teatro alla Scala, Milà) [rev. 1850 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols]
Medea (1.3.1851 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Statira (8.1.1853 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Violetta (10.1.1853 Teatro Nuovo, Nàpols)
Pelagio (12.2.1857 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols)
Virginia (7.4.1866 Teatro S. Carlo, Nàpols) [composta 1845-55]
L'orfano di Brono, ossia Caterina dei Medici [només primer acte]

Cantatas and hymns with orchestra:
MSS in I-NC* unless otherwise stated
L’arte che pria divisi, chorus, orch, Naples, Fondo, 1818;
Ridente e fausto di (L. Ricciuti), 2 solo vv, chorus, orch, Naples, 1818, for the Duchess of Noja’s name day;
Gia veloce anzitempo (N. Mogardi), 4 solo vv, chorus, orch, Rome, 1825, for the coronation of Charles X, Rsc*;
Esulta Iberia, 12 solo vv, chorus, orch, Cádiz, 1829, for the wedding of Ferdinand VII, Nc;
Cantata for the Queen of Spain’s new baby, 1830;
Come suon d’arpa dolente, terzetto, 3 solo vv, chorus, orch, in: In morte di Maria Malibran (cant., A. Piazza), Milan, Scala, 17 March 1837 (Milan, 1837), Mr*;
Inno a S Irene, male chorus, org/orch, 1844, Chorus, org/orch, ALTsm*, Nc* inc.;
Inno a Pio IX (M. d’Arienzo), chorus, orch, 1850 (Naples, n.d.);
Inno funebre per Monsignor Somma, chorus, orch, 1851;
La danza augurale (N. Sole), 5 solo vv, chorus, orch, Naples, S Carlo, 1859, for the accession of Francis II;
Inno popolare all’unisono a Dante, chorus, orch, 1863;
Inno all’armonia, chorus, orch, 1864;
Inno a Rossini, male chorus, orch, 1864 (Milan, n.d.)
Chorus dedicated to the people of Cádiz, S, T, B, orch, Nc;
Divina scintilla regina de cori, chorus, orch, Nc* inc.;
Inno a Francesco II e Maria Sofia, chorus, orch, Nc;
Inno a Vittorio Emanuele (L. Tarantino), chorus, insts (Naples, n.d.);
Inno militare, Maria, Maria, chorus, orch;
Jesu corona virginum, inno a S Cecilia, 4 solo vv, chorus, orch, Rsc*;
O fra la tenebre, inno alla vergine, 5 solo vv, orch, Mc, Nc*;
Il pianto di Aretusa, 4 solo vv, chorus, orch;
Dal sangue tiene, T, orch;
Un sospiro sulla tomba di Monsignor Scotti, chorus, orch;
Viva l’Italia, Inno a Garibaldi (E. Delpreite), chorus, orch (Milan, n.d.), Mc* (sketches), Nc*;
Un voto, for A. Starace (M. d’Arienzo), 6vv, orch

Other vocal:
for voice and piano unless otherwise stated; many MSS in F-Pn and I-Nc
33 ariette, incl.: 6[5] Ariette, 1 Ah rammenta o bella Irene, 2 Tra un sol mia bella Clori, 3 Co’ sguardi lusinghieri, 4 So che induce a piangere, 5 Freddo sasso che racchiude (Vienna, 1824);
Misero tu non sei (P. Metastasio), 1836;
Serate italiane, 8 ariette e 4 duetti, 1 Il desiato ritorno, 2 La primavera, 3 L’asilo al pellegrino, 4 Il pastore svizzero, 5 La serenata del marinaro, 6 Il zeffiro, 7 Lamento del moribondo, 8 La zingarella spagnuola, 9 La pesca, 10 Il galop, 11 Il brindisi, 12 La caccia (Crescini and Pepoli) (Paris, 1836);
La madre (G. Regaldi), 1842;
Le lagrime de l’otto (A. Marsini), v, hp, 1851;
La mesta tacente (D. Anselmi), 1852 (Milan, 1865);
Nol sai (M. Tancredi), 1860 (Milan, n.d.);
La fidanzata del bandito, 1861;
Un estate a Sorrento, album (Naples, n.d.: Milan, 1865);
La fidanzata del demonio (Milan, 1865);
19 romanze incl.: L’abbandonata, 1868 (pubd in Album per F.M. Piave, Milan, n.d.);
Domando a queste fronde (Milan, n.d.);
Placido zeffiretto;
Il sogno di Torquato Tasso (Milan, n.d.);
Tutto il dolor perdonati (pubd in Fleurs d’Italie, Paris, n.d.)

Other works incl.:
A retella mia, 4 canzone napoletane, 1 La palomma, 2 La rosa, 3 Lu zucchero d’amore, 4 Lu marenaro (M. d’Arienzo) (Naples, 1849; Milan, n.d.);
Su marciamo, marciamo, inno a Garibaldi (F. Barilla) (Naples, 1861);
Giovanottin che di qua passate, stornello (Naples, n.d.; Milan, 1865);
4 canzone napoletane (Naples, n.d.);
Luna e stelle (S. Pellico), coro, 4vv (pubd in 100 Canti popolari, Milan, n.d.);
Di nube oscure ed adre, coro, TTB, pf (Milan, n.d.);
Serenata per l’esposizione marittima (G. Milli), SAB, pf;
26 terzettos, arias, romanze on themes from operas by Mayr, Donizetti, Mercadante, Meyerbeer, Pacini, Rossini, Vacchai;
various other arias, duets, terzettos

Vocal religiosa:

For chorus and orchestra/organ unless otherwise stated:
MSS in I-Nc and/or NOVd/NOVg unless otherwise stated; many are autographs
Giaele, azione sacra, 3 solo vv, chorus, orch, Lanciano, 1841, Rome, 1855, Rf;
Le sette ultime parole (Le tre ore d’agonia) di Nostro Signore, S, T, B, chorus, (2 va, vc, b)/pf (Milan, 1841);
De profundis (It. trans., Tommaseo) (Milan, 1845), Rsc;
Cantantibus organis Cecilia, antiphon, S, chorus, orch, 1847, Rsc*;
Beatus vir, B, chorus, orch;
Benigne fac, chorus, 1849;
Ag, 3 solo vv, 1850, D-Bbs*;
Tibi soli peccavi, chorus, 1850;
3 cori religiosi (D. Anselmi), 3 S, pf, 1855 (Naples, n.d.), F-Pn* (nos.1 and 2);
Christus e Miserere, chorus, eng hn, hn, bn, hp, 1856 (Naples, n.d.);
Dunque del padre ancor, quarta parola di N.S.J.C. sulla croce, 5 solo vv, orch, 1857
Ave Maria, chant, orch, I-VIGsa;
Ave maris stella, T, chorus, orch;
Ave verum corpus, T, T, B, org (Paris, n.d.);
Benigne fac, S, hmn, eng hn, va, vc, b (inc.);
Canzoncine alla vergine;
Confitemini Domino, MEs;
Del ciel regina, T, chorus, pf, Mde Micheli;
Cum sancto spirito;
Domine Deus, 3vv, orch;
Domine, Domine, motettone;
Domine filii, 2 A, orch;
Domine salvum fac;
Dominus a dexteris, chorus;
Eripe me, graduale, A, orch;
Erubescant et reversantur, communio, T, B, 2 va, vc, b;
Et incarnatus est, T, chorus, orch, I-SAsd;
Exurge Domine, graduale, A, 2 va, vc, b;
Gaudeamus omnes in Domine;
Gloria;
Gloria patri, S, A, T, B (inc.);
Iste confessor
Judica me Deus, introit;
Ky, Gl, Cr;
Lauda Jerusalem, T, T, B, chorus, org/orch;
Laudate Dominum, MEs;
Libera me, chorus, in: Zingarelli, Christus e Quoniam;
6 Motettoni pella esposizione del SS Sacramento;
Nisi Dominus;
Non volle offesa, canzoncine alla vergine, chant, pf, Mc;
Redde mihi laetitiam, Miserere e Versetto, chorus;
Responsori pel Mercoldi Santo, A, T, B, chorus, ob, 2 va, vc, b;
Rogazione, S, A, T, B;
Saluto alla SS vergine, S, B, pf (Naples, n.d.);
Tecum principum (inc.);
Tota pulchra es;
Veni sponsa Christe, 4 solo vv, chorus, orch, Mc, Nf;
Virgam virtutis, T, B, orch
12 Cr, 2 Dixit, 3 Dixit Dominus, 4 Domine e Dixit, 3 Gratias agimus, 4 Ky, 3 Laudamus te, 2 Laudate pueri, 2 Litania de Beata Vergine, 13 Mag, 28 masses, 14 motets, 3 Qui tollis, 4 Quoniam, 5 Regina coeli, 4 Salve Maria, 7 Salve Regina, 31 Tantum ergo, 2 TeD, 2 Vespro, 2 Veni creator spiritus

Instrumental:

Orch.:
MSS mainly in I-Nc; many are autographs
20 concs. incl.:
5 concs., fl (ob, cl)/2cl, hn, 1817–?20;
Fl Conc., no.1, E, op.49, 1813, arr. fl, pf (ed. P. Spada, Rome, 1978), no.2, e, op.57, 1814 (ed. A. Girard, Milan, 1973), no.4, G, 1816, no.6, D, 1817 (Naples, 1817), arr. fl, pf (ed. P. Spada, Rome, 1983);
Cl Conc., no.1, e, op.76, 1815, arr. cl, pf (ed. G.C. Ballola, Milan, 1975), no.2, B, op.101, arr. cl, pf (ed. P. Spada, Rome, 1988);
Vn Conc., G, 1815;
Ob Conc., 1816;
Hn Conc., C, arr. hn, pf (ed. E. Leloir, Milan, 1972)

c60 sinfonias and fantasias incl.:
Sinfonia caratteristica spagnuola no.1, 1826 (ov. to I due Figaro);
Sinfonia caratteristica spagnuole no.2 (ov. to Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamaccio) (Milan, n.d.);
Sinfonia caratteristica napoletano, ?1830, arr. pf (Milan, 1832), rev. 1841;
Fantasia (sinfonia) funebre, 1835 (Novara/Milan, 1844; ed. R. Longyear, New York, 1983);
Il zampognaro napoletano, 1841 (Milan, n.d.);
Sinfonia su motivi dello Stabat Mater di Rossini, 1843 (Milan, 1844);
La schiava saracena, sinfonia caratteristica no.1, 1848, rev. as Il campo dei crociati, 1850;
L’aurora, sinfonia caratteristica no.2, c1850/60;
Il lamento dell’arabo, sinfonia caratteristica no.3, c1850/60;
La religione, sinfonia caratteristica no.4, c1850/60;
Ricordi di Donizetti, sinfonia caratteristica no.5;
Sinfonia sulla 2a caratteristica napoletana, sinfonia caratteristica no.6, c1850/60;
La rimembranza, c1849;
Omaggio a Bellini, 1860, arr. pf (Milan, 1861);
Sinfonia fantastica, c1860 (Milan, n.d.);
L’amore, 1861;
Garibaldi, 1861, arr. pf (Milan, n.d.);
Il lamento del bardo, 1862 (Milan, n.d.);
Insurrezione Polacca, 1863;
Sinfonia a Rossini, 1864, arr. pf (Milan, n.d.);
La caccia, 1865;
Sacro e profano, 1866;
Omaggio a Pacini, 1868, arr. pf (Milan, n.d.);
Omaggio a Rossini, 1868, arr. pf (Milan, n.d.);
Sinfonia marcia, 1869

Other works incl.:
Il giuramento, divertimento/mazurka;
3 divertimenti, 1848;
La caccia, gran marcia militare, 1863;
Passo doppio, 1863;
Polka-marcia, 1863;
Dolori e gioie, valzer fantastico, 1865;
La melancolia, mazurka di concerto, red. (Milan, 1865);
La danza, valzer di concerto, 1870;
Gran marcia per il re di Greca;
La passione, serenata caratteristica spagnuola;
Il telegrafo elettrico, capriccio, arr. pf (Naples, n.d.);
more than 15 other variations, romanze, capriccios

Chbr.:
MSS mainly in I-Nc; many are autographs
17 qts incl.:
3 Qt, fl, cl, hn, bn, op.50, 1813;
Qt, fl, vn, va, vc, op.53, 1813 (ed. G.L. Petrucci, Padua, 1988);
8 other works for 4 insts incl.:
Aria con variazioni, La ci darem la mano, fl, vn, va, vc;
3 melodie, 1859 (Milan, n.d.; ed. P. Spada, Rome, 1988);
Cavatina, fl, vn, va, b;
La serenata (f), fl, eng hn, vc, pf/hp;
Notturno, E , 2 cl, hn, bn

9 trios incl.: no.1, 2 fl, bn (ed. G.L. Petrucci, Padua, 1988);
other works for 3 insts: 3 serenate, 3 fl (Milan, 1825);
Duetto nell orat Mosé in Egitto (Rossini), 2 fl, vc (Naples, 1818);
Fantasia sull’opera Franceso Donato, fl, vn, pf

35 works for 2 insts incl.:
3 Sonate (C, F, D), fl, fl/vn (Naples, c1817);
6 divertimenti facile, fl, fl/vn (Naples, 1818);
3 duetti concertanti, 2 fl (Naples, 1819);
5 sets of Pezzi scelti, 2 fl [on themes from various operas] (Naples, 1819–21);
Elegia (d), vc, pf (Milan, 1865; ed. P. Spada, Rome, 1985);
4 Cavatinas, cl/bn, pf [on themes from operas by Mercadante];
fantasias, romanze

Solo insts:
3 Arie variate (Rossini, Carafa, Mozart), fl (Naples, 1818);
3 Arie variate (Rossin, Paer, Rossini), fl (Naples, 1818);
4 Arie variate (Rossini), fl (Naples, 1819;
arias 1–10, ed. G.L. Petrucci, Padua, n.d.);
Potpourri (dall’opera Elise e Claudio), fl (Milan, 1822);
12 Variazioni (sul coro nell’opera Elisa e Claudio), fl (Milan, 1823);
20 Capricci, fl (ed. A. Piguet, Leipzig, 1910);
14 works for pf incl.: Il riposo, melodia, 1845;
Scherzo, 1853;
Andante, 1862; Marcia;
6 polkas (Naples, n.d.);
2 polka-mazurkas (Naples, n.d.);
Valtz originale (Novara, n.d.)

Pedagogical:
[7] Esercizi di canto con aggiunti di vari [9] solfeggi (Vienna, 1829);
70 vocalizzi, v, pf (Milan, 1830);
3 pezzi di concorso, 1850–61;
Melodie preparatorie al canto drammatico, v, pf, 1859 (Naples, n.d.; ed. P. Pisa, Lucca, 1991);
studies, fugues, solfeggi

Font: En català: Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) En castellano: Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) In english: Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) Altres: Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) 



Parlem en veu pròpia o en veu d'altri...

Mercadante’s extraordinary fame during his lifetime was followed by comprehensive oblivion after his death. His works never became part of the established operatic repertory in the second half of the 19th century, and in the 20th century he was at best seen as a precursor of Verdi. This narrowly aesthetic judgment of his operas ignores the commercial context in which Mercadante worked, which was more akin to the world of modern show business. While some revivals of his works in recent years have led to a general revision of this assessment, however, there has been no new musicological interpretation of his work. Firmly bound as he was to the 18th-century tradition, Mercadante saw composition as a craft to be practised by a professional rather than a genius, able to write outstanding music in all fields; in this respect he did not value his operas more highly than his compositions in other genres. He thought the 19th-century focus on opera in Italy a mistake, which as director of the conservatory he sought to rectify. Indeed, he began and ended his career writing instrumental music, and his years as an opera composer were to an extent the result of the economic conditions of 19th-century Italian musical life. In terms of his craft, he had no difficulty in accepting the commercial orientation of opera, and the need to adapt to the changing preferences of the public, but he did find it a problem that the development of Italian opera in part ran counter to his nature as a composer and his fundamental position on musical aesthetics. 

His evolution as an operatic composer can be seen as an attempt to reconcile these opposing ideas. Mercadante was influenced by Zingarelli’s training, which consisted essentially in teaching good musical craftsmanship in relation to a specifically Neapolitan musical aesthetic, its ideological heart being the absolute primacy of melody over harmony and counterpoint. As his many extant sketches show, Mercadante composed in two stages: the first entailed working out the whole of the main melodic line, and the second harmonizing and orchestrating it. Reasonable as such an approach was in terms of composition in the 18th and early 19th century, its application to the advanced harmony and instrumentation that characterized the mid-19th century became a problem, particularly as Mercadante’s musical ideas were thematic rather than melodic, and as his real gift was for harmony and instrumentation. The strength of his operas tends to lie in more concertante forms such as introduction, finale, quintet and quartet, and in descriptive musical character pieces such as the romanza and preghiera; conversely, his writing in the more dramatic forms of scene ed aria or duet is not always equal to that of Bellini or Donizetti. Mercadante was well aware of this fact, and his chief criterion in his choice of librettos was a distribution of ensemble and solo numbers that suited his talents. 

Mercadante’s church music still awaits revival. In the tradition of Durante and Zingarelli, it is chiefly indebted to contemporary operatic style and contains little complex polyphony. However, in transferring the stylistic and technical development of his operas to his sacred music, Mercadante also made significant changes. Writing initially in the bel canto style of the early 1830s, he turned later (after his visit to Paris) to the canto dramatico typical of his reform operas in his sacred works – it is tempting to term his dramatization of settings of the mass ‘reform masses’. After 1840 he finally achieved the Classical monumentality that presented problems in the late operas in his masses and psalm settings; to a composer with his particular gifts, the text of the mass resembled an ideal libretto. In terms of the history of the genre, his church music forms a link between Donizetti’s Missa di gloria and Verdi’s Requiem. Mercadante’s songs also deserve mention; composed in the years from 1820 to 1870, they provide a good summary of his development in composition and in vocal style. There is some personal tragedy in the fact that by freeing himself from conformity with the operatic standards of the time in order to emphasize his (retrospective) ideals, Mercadante was sowing the seeds of their oblivion and his own. However, it seems time to abandon the superficial musicological notion that the repertory obeys the laws of natural selection, and allow Mercadante his proper place as one of the most significant Italian composers of the 19th century.

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Informació addicional... 

INTERPRETS: I Laudis Cantores; Massimo Scapin
RECICLASSICAT: MERCADANTE, Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele (1795-1870)
AMAZON: MERCADANTE, S. - Le sette ultime parole di Nostro Signore
SPOTIFY: MERCADANTE, S. - Le sette ultime parole di Nostro Signore



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