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Notes 60.1 (2003) 277-278



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Masses by Giovanni Andrea Florimi, Giovanni Francesco Mognossa, Bonifazio Graziani. Edited with an introduction by Anne Schnoebelen. (Seventeenth-Century Italian Sacred Music, 8.) New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. [Gen. introd., p. vii-viii; editorial methods, p. ix-x; vol. introd., p. xi-xxvii; scores, 247 p. Cloth; acid-free paper. ISBN 0-8153-2414-6. $140.]
Masses by Domenico Scorpione, Lorenzo Penna, Giovanni Paolo Colonna. Edited with an introduction by Anne Schnoebelen. (Seventeenth-Century Italian Sacred Music, 9.) New York: Garland Publishing, 1999. [Gen. introd., p. vii-viii; editorial methods, p. ix-x; vol. introd., p. xi-xxi; scores, 215 p. Cloth; acid-free paper. ISBN 0-8153-2415-4. $160.]
Masses by Pietro Degli Antoni and Giovanni Battista Bassani. Edited with an introduction by Anne Schnoebelen. (Seventeenth-Century Italian Sacred Music, 10.) New York: Garland Publishing, 1999. [Gen. introd., p. vii-viii; editorial methods, p. ix-x; vol. introd., p. xi-xx; scores, 245 p. Cloth; acid-free paper. ISBN 0-8153-2416-2. $155.]

This review provides a brief and largely major-key coda to my earlier review in Notes (56, no. 1 [September 1999]: 228-33) of the first seven volumes in Anne Schnoebelen's anthology of Masses, which comprise the first ten parts of Garland's twenty-volume set Seventeenth-Century Italian Sacred Music. The latest three volumes retain many of the virtues of the earlier editions, while revealing fewer of their shortcomings.

Schnoebelen devotes the concluding editions to Masses from the last third of the seventeenth century, with the earliest work, by Giovanni Andrea Florimi, dating from 1668, and the latest, by Giovanni Battista Bassani, from 1698. Since there are several thousand printed settings of the Mass Ordinary from the seventeenth century, with many more preserved in manuscript, selecting works for the arduous process of transcription represents something of an act of faith. Yet Schnoebelen's choices prove consistently informed and interesting. Highlights in these volumes include Florimi's ornate Messa à 5 voci concertata con violini detta Protector meus (1668); Bonifazio Graziani's Missa S. Maria de Victoria concertata à 5 (1674), with its poignant, suspension-laden Crucifixus; and Bassani's richly scored Messa prima concertata (1698).

Like Masses in the previously issued volumes, these pieces document a variety of seventeenth-century performance practices, particularly in works with optional or flexible scorings. Lorenzo Penna's Messa detta L'infiammata (1678) is particularly fascinating in this respect. Scored for double choir (CATB/CATB) plus basso continuo, it ingeniously deploys the voices so that the middle parts in choir I and the outer parts in choir II are entirely optional.

Schnoebelen's commentaries on the pieces resemble those in the earlier volumes; yet her use of the vocabulary of common-practice tonality seems less anachronistic in these volumes than it did in those dedicated to pieces from the early seicento. The introduction to volume ten is particularly convincing and eloquent, since it deals with two concerted Masses [End Page 277] from Bologna, a city whose musical life Schnoebelen has studied extensively.

In my earlier review, I praised the decision to rethink several of the editorial policies midway through the series, and applauded the adoption of the very thoughtful editorial approach used by Jeffrey Kurtzman in his editions of Vespers and Compline music in this same series; indeed, Schnoebelen's volumes six and seven reprint the section on editorial methods from Kurtzman's volumes. Yet volumes eight through ten strangely restore the original editorial methods, thus reverting to guidelines that fail to address a number of fundamental problems that arise in editing seventeenth-century vocal music, particularly issues concerning accidentals (as explained in my earlier review). In addition, Schnoebelen's concentration on the application of accidentals based on musica ficta in her editorial methods, including recommendations that perfect fourths and fifths be maintained, provides a somewhat incongruous introduction to late-seventeenth-century Masses, some of whose most expressive moments turn upon intervals of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 277-278
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-19
Open Access
No
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