Carissimi - Dives Malus
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Label: Newton Classics
Cat No: 8802151
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 28th April 2014
A master of the early Italian baroque era, Giacomo Carissimi was born into a large and tragically poor family in Marino, and was baptized on April 18th, 1605. Whilst details of his youth and early musical training are unclear, he became a member of the Tivoli Cathedral Choir at the age of 18, and was later (in 1625) appointed organist.
Throughout his career he appears to have received a number of offers to take up notable positions within the Italian music industry. In his role as maestro di cappella – responsible for the musical education of the choristers and composing works suitable to the church's calendar – Carissimi was to shun the increasingly popular taste for purely instrumental music, which was gathering momentum in early 17th century Italy. His musical abilities would instead lend themselves to two legacies: as a musical tutor through his compositions, his influence was to spread far and wide, saturating even the works of the French master Marc-Antoine Charpentier with its innovative style; and, more importantly, he was to become the true pioneer of the oratorio genre.
If the evolution from cantata to oratorio was itself something of a natural transition, then Carissimi's specific musical inputs should be noted as defining features of a form that was, a century later through the likes of Handel, one of the most popular outlets for European composers.
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