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    Review: Papal Patronage under Urban VIIIAuthor(s): Iain FenlonReviewed work(s):

    Music and Spectacle in Baroque Rome: Barberini Patronage under Urban VIII by FrederickHammond

    Source: Early Music, Vol. 24, No. 3, Early Music from Around the World (Aug., 1996), pp. 497

    498Published by: Oxford University PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3128264

    Accessed: 07/10/2008 22:09

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    BookreviewsIain FenlonPapalpatronageunder UrbanVIIIFrederickHammond,Music andspectaclen BaroqueRome:Barberinipatronageunder UrbanVIII(Yale University Press, 1995), ?25FrederickHammond s Music and spectacle n BaroqueRome s a welcome additionto the growingliteratureonmusicin RomeduringthepontificateofMaffeo Barberini,who took the title of UrbanVIII in 1623.As both pontiffand the head (in both economic and political terms) ofone of the most powerful amilies n the city,Urban spat-ronageof the artsoperated n the comparatively omesticsphereof the household and the officialenvironment oftheVatican.At the QuattroFontane, he newfamilypalaceon the slopes of the Quirinale on the city s outskirts(illus.i), theatmospherewasone of enlightenedcultureonthe patternof the Renaissanceprince,a model advocatedby the literatureof manners and one which was, by thistime,deeplyembedded n the traditional urriculumof ar-istocratic education. The tone is nicely caught by theVenetianambassador,AlviseContardini,who wrote: he[Urban]loves life; in the morning he discussespleasantthings, mainlypoetry;and he delights n hearinghis Latincompositionsset to music . This image of the temporalprinceas the key to Urban smotivationshelps to explainhis approachnot only to the arts,but also to publicaffairsanddiplomacy.AsLeopoldRanke erselyputsit: ClementVIIIwasgenerallyound busiedin the studyof StBernard,Paul V in that of Justinianof Venice;but the table ofUrbanVIII was covered with the newestpoems, or withplansof fortifications.Theprivate ideof thisequation,the musicaladjunct othe newestpoems , survivesin the comparatively mallrepertoryof settings of Urban s own poetry by Vitali,DomenicoMazzochiandKapsberger.Morefamously, t isimmortalized in Andrea Sacchi s allegoricalportraitofPasqualini thefavourite ingerof Urban sbrother,Cardi-nalAntonio),castin the role of shepherdcaught n the actof being crowned with the traditional aurelwreathby alyre-carryingApollo. As the direct consequencesof en-lightenedpatronage his does not addupto much; n prac-tice it wasreallyUrban snephewCardinalFrancescowhoset both tone and styleof the Barberinimusicalestablish-

    z 7 0. -, -luc -

    1 QuattroFontane, he Romanpalazzoof the Barberiniment at the QuattroFontane.Placed under the directionof VirgilioMazzochi,this groupincludedKapsbergerndFrescobaldi(whom Francesco skilfully retrieved fromMediciservice).For his part,CardinalAntonio wasalso amajorparticipant; e supported inanciallya successionofvirtuoso composer-performers,ncludingVitali, Sances,Marazzoli and Luigi Rossi, though in practicemany ofthese men divided their careersbetweena number of dif-ferentemployments.One of the most fascinatingdetailsofHammond sbook, the culmination of many years workon the Barberininterestin music, is his painstakingre-construction of how the networksof powerfulcardinalsoperated,allowingthem to achieve fine artistic(and pub-licity-attracting)results,often for a comparatively malloutlay.Forexample,when Frescobaldi eturned romFlo-rence, it was through Cardinal Francesco s nterventionthat his salaryat the CappellaGiuliawas increased.Simi-larly,StefanoLandi,who,althoughnot technicallya mem-berof anyBarberini ousehold,servedboth Urbanandhisnephews,was imposed on the CappellaPontificiaby thepope as an alto castrato, his fee paid by CardinalFrancesco; e was also givenadditionalwork at the cardi-nal s titularchurch. As exercisesof powerthese were cer-tainly patronalactions;whetherthey were enlightened ,or were evenprimarilymotivatedby artisticconcerns, s aseparatequestion.The repertorial consequences of Barberini domesticpatronageof musicians, nevitablyand inextricablynter-twined with the family s activities in other spheres ofRoman musical ife, arenotable.Nevertheless,a principalfocus of the family s nterest n the artswas theirability o

    EARLY MUSIC AUGUST 1996 497

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    formpartof a richlyevocativelanguagecapableof under-scoringthe advantagesand specialcharacteristics f Bar-berini rule. No one who has steppedinside the palaceattheQuattroFontanecan everforget heoverwhelmingm-pressionof splendour,of magnificentia nd munificentia,characteristic rincelyvirtueswhichwere ashighlyvaluedin 17th-centuryRome astheyhad been at the court of LeoX. At the centre of the architectural cheme, magisterialevenby Romanstandardsof the time (it involved,atvari-ous stages,Maderno,Borromini and Bernini),stands thecentralpalacebuilding.Thisin turnhouses,at its physicalcentre, the magnificentsalone whose ceiling frescoes,byPietro da Cortona, place a relentless emphasis on thepowerand achievementsof the Barberini, ndparticularlyof Urbanhimself,guidedby DivineProvidence the dom-inating presence of the centralpanel). Symbolicallyandstrategically lacedabove the major public receptionareaof the palace, Cortona s complicatedand visually over-powering allegoryprovidesa neat synthesisof a dynasticvocabulary hat Urban s artisticadviserswere to call onelsewhere n buildingand decorative chemesboth privateandpublic.It was while Cortona sceiling frescoeswere still beingcompletedthat planswere laid to produceLandi ssacredopera II Sant Alessio n Cardinal FrancescoBarberini santeroomadjoiningthe salone.The firstperformance, n1632, was to set the pattern for subsequent Barberinioperas, not least through the employment of GiulioRospigliosi as librettist. Only two were published, IISant Alessiotselfand Erminia ulGiordano, textinspiredby Tasso s Gerusalemme iberataand set to music byMichelangeloRossi.As Hammond astutelyremarks, thepresentationof a chivalricepic ratherthan a saint s lifereflected he secularside of the Barberiniprogram-theirpretensionsto the style of the Renaissanceprinces,theirmilitary ambitions, and their ascension to the Romanbaronialnobility .In termsof propaganda,however, t wasIISant Alessio,xpandedwith a new prologuethat placesgreatemphasison the themeof submission o thepowerofRome and on the old commonplaceof the triumphof thenewcityoverthe greatnessof itspaganpredecessorof clas-sical antiquity,that received more attention. Performedin this new version at the Quattro Fontane in 1634,thede-luxeillustrated corewasavailablebythe followingJuly(for the not inconsiderablesum of loo scudi, as one ofHammond s many new archivalreferencesreveals).As apiece of book production,the Sant Alessiocore is in thetraditionof Monteverdi sL Orfeo r, to cite an examplecloser to home, the Roman La catena d Adoneof 1626.

    formpartof a richlyevocativelanguagecapableof under-scoringthe advantagesand specialcharacteristics f Bar-berini rule. No one who has steppedinside the palaceattheQuattroFontanecan everforget heoverwhelmingm-pressionof splendour,of magnificentia nd munificentia,characteristic rincelyvirtueswhichwere ashighlyvaluedin 17th-centuryRome astheyhad been at the court of LeoX. At the centre of the architectural cheme, magisterialevenby Romanstandardsof the time (it involved,atvari-ous stages,Maderno,Borromini and Bernini),stands thecentralpalacebuilding.Thisin turnhouses,at its physicalcentre, the magnificentsalone whose ceiling frescoes,byPietro da Cortona, place a relentless emphasis on thepowerand achievementsof the Barberini, ndparticularlyof Urbanhimself,guidedby DivineProvidence the dom-inating presence of the centralpanel). Symbolicallyandstrategically lacedabove the major public receptionareaof the palace, Cortona s complicatedand visually over-powering allegoryprovidesa neat synthesisof a dynasticvocabulary hat Urban s artisticadviserswere to call onelsewhere n buildingand decorative chemesboth privateandpublic.It was while Cortona sceiling frescoeswere still beingcompletedthat planswere laid to produceLandi ssacredopera II Sant Alessio n Cardinal FrancescoBarberini santerooma

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