Product details

Vincenzo Albrici (1631–1687)
Cantate ed arie
for soprano and cembalo
Edited by Carlo Mertens


ISMN 979-0-502340-82-7
score (softcover, XXII + 24 pages)
incl. VAT plus shipping costs 19,50 EUR

During the 17th century, the princely courts of Central Europe engaged more and more musicians from Italy. One reason was the development of new musical genres and new vocal and instrumental techniques in Rome and Venice. On these grounds, also the Roman Vincenzo Albrici (ca. 1631–1687)1 left his hometown. He worked at courts in  Stockholm, London and Dresden as composer and harpsichordist. In the Saxon residence, Albrici became Kapellmeister of the Elector Johann Georg II (1613–1680) and lived there with numerous interruptions from 1656 to 1680. Many Italian musicians travelled from court to court in Europe and Albrici did so, too. The Dresden court music benefited from his journeys, which led him not only back to Rome, but also to Paris. He probably brought new singers from Italy to Dresden and also the most fashionable French dances from Paris. He definitely integrated them in his vocal compositions, including two of the following arias. [...]

The cantatas of Albrici are early examples of the “gusto riunito”, a synthesis of different regional styles: the ritornelli of Viva la Fortuna and Luci belle are French court dances – a jig and a Sarabande. Additionally one of the first biographers of Albrici emphasized around 1720 the fact that the composer played so well the harpsichord in the Italian and French manner, “that no wish was unsatisfied”. The arioso “Ahi crudel’, ‘ove ten’vai?” (O cruel one, where are you going?) in the Dido lament is especially catchy. This derives from the onomatopoeic motion between the soprano and the upper voice in the accompaniment, representing a wave. (The scene is located at the sea shore.) Breaks and rising chromatic lines are augmenting the suspension. Such ritornelli are a typical element in the structure of lamenti around 1650. Another form of the ritornello can also be found in the lamento, it could be called “Mottoritornell”. It is sung on the text “Misera è che m’avanza, estinta è la speranza.” (Misery is all I have, all hope extinguished and thus lost). As a short motto theme it reappears again and again in the concluding recitativo. This shape makes a composing of this lament in the 1670s presumable, the time in which this form was developed in the Venetian opera. [...]

Carlo Mertens
from preface of the edition


Go back