It was used to accompany voices in the church service at St. Furthermore, Gabrieli probably intended the violino part for a large viola, which would have had more resonance than the modem instmment. Boyden also contended that Gabrieli may have doubled the violino part with more than one viola. Rossi , Gagliarde , and B. Marini ; works that were the forerunners to later more highly-organized forms. By the middle of the 17th century, composers farther south had adopted the trio sonata form, which was introduced to Modena by M. Uccellini in and to Bologna by M.
Cazzati in From these cities, interest in the form spread throughout Italy, including Rome. Corelli wrote 48 trio sonatas which were published in four sets of twelve: Op. Rome, Many composers of Italy, Germany, France, and England used the Corelli works as models for some of their compositions.
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The continuo did not imply the inclusion of the viola as it usually did in orchestral scores. The omission of the viola from the trio sonata was an unfortunate development that retarded the progress of this instrument in many ways. Not only was the viola usually excluded from the most popular and most prevalent form of instrumental chamber music of the Baroque era, but also composers were failing to recognize it as a solo instrument.
The cello, on the other hand, was always welcomed as a part of the continuo.
Late in the 17th century composers began to write solo pieces for the cello. Domenico Gabrielli c. Gambatista degli Antonii composed his Ricarate per violoncello, Op. Bagio Marini was bom in Brescia in , and died in Venice in His Affetti musicali, Op.
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I, includes the first known solo violin sonata. Giovanni Battista Fontana, who was bom in Brescia late in the 16th century, and who flourished from c. Carlo Farina was bom late in the 16th century in Mantua. His fame as a soloist resulted in his being invited to Dresden, where he The Viola and its Music in Italy during the Baroque Era 71 became court violinist from to , and later he held a similar appointment in Danzig, Thereafter, he returned to Italy. The date of his death is unknown. None of these masters composed any known solo works for the viola.
Viola Solo Literature The first solo pieces for the viola were probably borrowed or adapted from the plentiful supply of compositions for the viola da gamba. Such borrowing was commonplace in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Very few works were written specifically for the viola as a solo instrument, probably because there were very few demands for viola solos.
Gradually the cello took on more and more status as a solo instrument, and by the end of the century it had acquired a substantial solo literature. It remained for the Germans and the Austrians in the 18th century to exploit the potential of the viola as a solo instrument. The Viola in the 17th Century Italian Orchestra There was no standardized instrumentation in the Italian Baroque orchestra of the early 17th century.
The use of this instrument, however, varied from place to place, and from composer to composer. The continuo part might include a viola or violas, if the performing group was large enough to support the additional accompaniment; and if the continuo went below C, the violist would play an octave higher. Early in the 17th century some composers were already writing special parts for the viola.
Lorenzo Allegri c. The range of the Viola II part never goes below C, and the score designation suggests that the part could be played by either cello or viola, probably a large viola tenor. Giacomo Carissimi omitted violas in his oratorios, the orchestration being limited to two violins and continuo. Man- fredini used the same instrumentation as Torelli. The Continuo consisted of keyboard, cellos, gambas, and double bass, depending on availability. Concerto grosso Fmoll.
Kahnt, of Leipzig, in A comparison of the above selected works does not indicate a trend in the scoring for the viola, but rather the diversification in its use by Italian composers from c. The new art form, which combined music with theatrical representation, met with enthusiastic response. These initial attempts in opera were produced by the Florentine Camerata, a society of writers, poets, musicians, and scholars who were attempting to produce dramas in the same manner that they believed the ancient Greek plays had been performed.
The instrumentalists and the instruments they played were cast in new roles that were to exert a tremendous impact on their futures. Many of the instruments used in the early 17th century operas have been superseded by louder and more resonant instruments, a requirement necessitated when opera moved from the locale of the private salon to the much larger public theaters. The violin family ultimately The Viola and its Music in Italy during the Baroque Era 75 replaced the lutes and viols and became the nucleus of the opera orchestra.
The almost immediate acceptance of opera as a popular form of entertainment soon resulted in performances in Mantua, Rome, Venice, and other Italian cities. Monteverdi, himself a violinist from the city of Cremona, was perhaps the first to realize the resources and potential of the violin and to exploit it in his operas.
In his first opera, Orfeo, presented in Mantua in , he included parts in the score for a complete family of strings. In a succession of operas during the next thirty-three years, Monteverdi experimented with various instruments and combinations of instruments in an attempt to find instrumental color that would enhance the dramatic action on the stage. He found that the violin was one of the instruments that best suited his musical requirements. Many of the early scores do not include specific parts for the viola.
The viola, if used at all, was probably a member of the continuo group, in which case it would usually play an octave higher than the gamba, or cello, or bass viol. Adam Carse traced the instrumentation of early opera orchestras and furnished lists of the various groups that played for particular performances. This ambiguity might also be due to the fact that it was easier to assign parts after the composer found out which instruments were available.
In the second half of the 17th century, there was a definite trend for Italian opera composers to write, as Monteverdi had done in , in five parts for the string choir: Violin I and II, Viola I and II, and Continuo. His travels took him to Florence, Vienna, and Venice, where his operas were performed with great success. One of his operas, La Serenata , included the following directions for instrumentation in the manuscript score: The Symphonies should be played in the French manner, by doubling the parts: six violins, four altos [violas], four basses [cellos], and one contrabass, one spinet aigue [an octave higher than standard pitch], a harpsichord, one theorbo, and one chitarrone.
The chorus, of eight voices, was to be accompanied by the same group, plus a bass viol and a spinet aigue. He concluded by saying that the Sonatas should be played by the entire orchestra.
Hellmuth Wolff, 50 who did extensive research in early Venetian opera, found that the viola was used in several ways in the late 17th century. He explained that the viola:. At first it was used as a subordinate instrument to support the second violins or the bass in the higher octave , but was already also given its own part in Venice or appeared doubled with two obbligato parts in the opera orchestra.
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IV, for more on the French instrumentation in the 17th century. Jahrhun- derts. This is particularly true, according to Wolff, in the Sinfonia to Messalina. VI for more about the viola in Hamburg operas. The beauties and graces that are practiced on it are so great in number that it can be preferred to all other instruments, since the varieties of bowing are so delightful sometimes that one regrets to hear the end, particularly when the performance includes left hand trills tremblements and mordents flattments , which lead the listeners to agree that the violin is the king of instruments.
In Jambe de Fer had listed the haute contre and taille as the French names of the alto small viola and tenor large viola. Eighty years later, in , Mersenne added a third member to the alto-tenor group, namely, the quinte or cinquiesme. Paris: S. Cramoisy, The part pertinent to this study appears in the section entitled Des instruments a chordes, pp. Dessus Quinte or Haute- Cinquiesme Contre Taille Basse can best be clarified by reference to Michel Corrette , composer and writer of music instruction books.
Corette used the same name-order for the three middle parts that Mersenne gave in his first list, the one associated with the music of the French court Ex. Dessus Haute- Taille Quinte Basse Contre Many of the French opera and ballet scores of the 17th century do not specify the instrumentation, but use the word violons to indicate all of the string parts except the basse-continue as shown in the Cadmus score see Ex. Curt Sachs made it clear that the French terms quinte, cin- quiesme, haute-contre, and taille designated parts, and are not the names of instruments.
Anthony, op. The Lully influence went beyond the borders of France, so much so that the most authoritative descriptive account of the Lully style was written by the German organist and composer, Georg Muffat c. There appears to have been no set instrumentation in French court orchestra music until almost the middle of the 18th century, when many scores began to specify two violin parts and either one or two viola parts.
Jean-Marie Leclair scored his Concerti grossi for three violins, viola, cello, and organ. In the French scores of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, there is sometimes confusion regarding which parts are for violins and which are for violas.
Reprinted in Vol. I, 2 and Vol. I of Oeuvres completes de J.
Dissertation, Hamburg University, , p. The Viola in France and England during the 17th and 18th Centuries 83 from this instrumentation. The name tenor indicated that it had the same range and usually doubled as the human tenor voice. The term mean e was used in England during the 15th through the 17th centuries to refer to instruments that played the middle parts. In 17th century England the very large tenors were sometimes tuned an octave lower than the violin.
The smaller tenors were tuned to the same pitches as the present-day viola. The violin was known in England as early as the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I c. By fourteen violinists were listed in the Royal Band, which numbered fifty-eight musicians. The viola and other members of the violin family, however, did not enjoy as much attention or success in England in the first half of the 17th century as they did in Italy, Germany, and France.
The popularity of the viols did not leave much room for the other bowed instruments.