“Guerra, guerra, all’armi o guerrieri!”: Depictions of the Ottoman Conflict in Bolognese Cantatas

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    During the final decades of the seventeenth century the unfolding events of the Ottoman wars gripped Italy. While conflict between Catholic Europe and the Muslim Ottomans lasted for centuries, the crucial siege of Vienna in 1683 proved to be a turning point, and Italians keenly anticipated reports of the gains and losses in each successive year?s campaigns, which were then swiftly celebrated or lamented. Reactions to the events occur not only in the newssheets that relayed the latest news and documented official celebrations, but also in the artwork, literature, and music of the day. It is no surprise that the cantata, one of the most popular forms of chamber music at the time and a genre frequently employed for ?occasional? works, was a vehicle for comments on such captivating current events. This study examines depictions of the Ottoman conflict in cantatas by two Bolognese composers who were at the outset of their careers during the events of the 1680s and 1690s: Pirro Albergati (1663?1735) and Giacomo Antonio Perti (1661?1756). Bologna, while not playing a leading role in the same way as Venice or Rome, followed the events of the war eagerly. Furthermore, the hope of patronage outside the local orbit may have prompted both Albergati and Perti to choose to set such texts. These works, disseminated both in print and in manuscript, neatly encompass a range of poetical and musical responses to some of the defining events of the era.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Seventeenth-Century Music
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 26 Feb 2017


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