Italy, Spain and the Rest of Europe

  • Charles Osborne


Solosongin Italy emerged with the troubadors of the 15th and 16th centuries, with the songs of such composers as the lutenist Marchetto Cara (d. 1527); the singer and composer Giulio Caccini (1545–1618) whose Euridice was one of the first operas, and whose song ‘Amarilli’ is perhaps the oldest still to retain a place in the modern concert repertoire; the lutenist Andrea Falconieri (1586–1656) and many others. If some of the songs and arias of these composers still find a place in modern recital programmes, this is largely due to their inclusion in the collection of Arie antiche published by Alessandro Parisotti. However, many of these pieces now so frequently used by singers to begin their recitals are not really songs but arias from operas or cantatas. Among the most frequently encountered of them are ‘Le violette’, ‘Gia il sole dal Gange’ and ‘O cessate di piagarmi’ by Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725), ‘Vittoria! Vittoria!’ by Giacomo Carissimi (1605–1674), the passionate ‘Gome raggio di sol’ by Antonio Caldara (1670–1736) who spent the most fruitful years of his life as Court Composer in Vienna, the gay ‘Danza, danza, fanciulla gentile’ by Francesco Durante (1684– 1755) and ‘Nina’ (’Tre giorni son che Nina in letto senesta’), once thought to be by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) but now usually attributed to Vincenzo Ciampi (1719–1762) whose authorship of this melodious and graceful song is, however, by no means certain.


Folk Song Instrumental Music Song Output Immense Popularity Solo Song 
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© Charles Osborne 1974

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  • Charles Osborne

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