Pier Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676).

Cavalli, to music's history, stands out as Monteverdi's successor, and made important improvements in opera, though not as Monteverdi did.. He was born in Crema, in 1602, and died in 1676 in Venice, acclaimed as one of the greatest opera composers of his century

He was probably a pupil to Monteverdi, and during his lifetime he premiered his operas in Venice (about 40 of them), and visited Paris twice, one of them for Louis the 14th wedding, with his opera "Serse".

In his music, Cavalli clearly employs Monteverdi's harmonic logic, and mainly, he innovates in the recitative/aria contrast, using he recitatives to better explore the expressive capacities of music, in accordance to the lyric text.

It is clearly with Cavalli that opera passes from the "madrigalsque" stage of Monteverdi to the form most familiar to composers such as Provenzale or Luly, and after that, Scarlatti and Haendel.

 

 

Cavalli: the manuscript of "Serse"  

Reccomended recordings: 

La Calisto: Baker, Bowman, Cortubas, Cuenod, Gottileb, Kubiak, Trama, Coro Glyndebourne, London Philarmonic Orchestra, Leonard Leppard, Decca.

Serse: Ensemble Jacobs, Harmonia Mundi.

Ercole Amante: Minton, Miller, Palmer, Cold, English Bach Festival Chours and Orchestra, Michael Corboz, Erato.

 

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