Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Zedler, Andrea, and Magdalena Boschung. “‘Per l’allusione alle correnti cose d’Italia’: Antonio Caldaras römische Weihnachtskantaten für Papst und Fürst.” Musicologica Brunensia 49, no. 1 (2014): 89-120.

Antonio Caldara’s three surviving Christmas cantatas from his years working in Rome (1709-1716) exemplify several aspects of early eighteenth-century Italian music, as well as the patronage system and political issues of the time. Caldara composed two of the cantatas—Vaticini di pace and Amarilli vezzosa—for his patron, Prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli, while Vo’ piangendo e sospirando was written for Pope Clement XI’s Christmas celebrations at the papal court. Although all of these works draw on Italian Christmas traditions such as the pastorale, their allegorical texts, characters, and dramatic action draw a direct connection between the Pope and the newborn Jesus, who will bring peace to the world. Not only did this depiction of Clement XI communicate Ruspoli’s support of the papacy, but it was also overtly political and, like many other artistic works of the time, promoted the Pope as a peacemaker in the final years of the War of Spanish Succession. Additionally, the three cantatas are connected in other ways: the plots and characters of Vaticini di pace and Vo’ piangendo e sospirando share many similarities, and Caldara also reused some of the music from Amarilli vezzosa for Vo’ piangendo. We can only speculate about the significance of the latter case, as Caldara rarely reused existing music for his new works, but it may have been a way to musically link the courts of Ruspoli and the papacy, or to further emphasize Ruspoli’s loyalty to Pope Clement.

Works: Caldara: Vo’ piangendo e sospirando (104-5, 110-17).

Sources: Caldara: Vaticini di pace (104-5, 114-17), Amarilli vezzosa (110-17).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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