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Baroque Unit 1: Early ViolinUnit 2: Baroque Musical Period Unit 3: Classical Musical Period Unit 4: Romantic Musical Period Unit 5: 20th Century Musical PeriodUnit 6: Non Traditional

PIECE: "KYRIE" FROM MESSA A 4 CON VIOLINI

SECTION 2.9

"Kyrie" from Messa A 4 Con Violini
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s andrea
Fig. 2.10 Church of Sant’ Andrea,
Mantua

Maurizio Cazzati (1616-1678) was an Italian composer who wrote sacred and secular music. He was maestro di cappella of churches and courts such as S Andrea, Mantua; the court of Scipione Gonzaga, Prince of Bozzolo; the Accademia della Morte at Ferrara; S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo; S Petronio, Bologna; the court of the Duchess Anna Isabella Gonzaga at Mantua, and the Mantua Cathedral. Cazatti published 66 volumes of music during his lifetime, and although most of his works were sacred, he was noted for his contributions to instrumental music. [19]

Some scholars have asserted that the violin played an important role in the resurgence of the Mass in the 17th century, and composers such as Cazatti helped this occur. As described earlier in the Medieval musical period study unit, as a musical form, a Mass is a sacred vocal form of music used as part of the worship services for the Catholic Church. During the 17th century, the prominent use of violins in Masses primarily took place in messa concertata, Masses composed for festive ceremonial occasions. Music scholar Anne Schnoebelen described the violin's contribution to the revitalization of the Mass:

The violin was the favoured instrument of the ceremonial mass by the 1630s. Its role changed from providing extra-liturgical canzonas and sonatas to being incorporated into the fabric and form of the mass…The addition of violins was a turning point in the development of the mass, revitalizing it into a form that would attract composers for the next 250 years. [20]

TECHNIQUE TIPS: The excerpt chosen for this piece is taken from Cazzati's "Kyrie," one of the sections in his Messa a 4 con violini, e ripieni a beneplacito, Opera XIV, published in 1653. This music may be categorized as a messa concertata, a festive ceremonial Mass used for special occasions such as liturgical feasts. As the title of the selected piece indicates, four violins were specifically called for to perform this work. This excerpt includes three instrumental ritornello sections which were used by Cazzati to contrast with the vocal sections of the "Kyrie." At times, Cazzati's "Kyrie" instrumental music uses and reworks motives from the vocal music in preceding sections; at other times, he introduces new thematic material. Cazzati's instrumental music sections sound as if they were independent and spirited dance pieces, and you may want to try using sprightly, lively bowing to play this arrangement of Cazzati's "Kyrie."