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Cat. No. CHAN 0660 Price: £5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0660 - Marini: Affetti Musicale
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Available From: 17 August 2000
When Biagio Marini published his Opus One, the ‘Affetti musicali’ in 1617, he had been living in Venice for two years, employed by the City Council as a musician and by St Mark’s as a violinist. This is significant because, as the famous Claudio Monteverdi had been the ‘Maestro di cappella’ at St Mark’s since 1613, there is every possibility that Marini studied with the great Cremonese master as well as with Giovanni Battista Fontana, his teacher in his home town of Brescia.

The book contains twenty-seven compositions, of which twenty-six are by Marini himself and one (added here as an appendix) by Giacinto Bondioli, a Dominican friar who preached in Brescia and was Marini’s uncle. Each piece is named after and dedicated to an important Venetian family or individual member of it. Most of the instrumental genres current at the time are represented in the publication. They fall into two categories, defined by the terms ‘da chiesa’ (‘for the church’) and ‘da camera’ (‘for the chamber’, implying secular use). The distinction is important because at the time, in the early seventeenth century, the two were just beginning to move apart. The ‘da chiesa’ works in the ‘Affetti musicali’ are defined as ‘Sinfonie, Sonate’ and ‘Canzoni’, the ‘da camera’ ones as ‘Balletti’, ‘Arie’, ‘Brandi’, ‘Gagliarde’ and ‘Correnti’.

The sonata was the most prevalent genre on the seventeenth century, and its greatest development took place during this period. Its form was not clearly defined to begin with, the term often being interchangeable with sinfonia or canzone. It is in these very sonatas that the reason behind Marini’s title for this collection is seen most clearly. The ‘Affetti musicali’ are in fact those technical means, typical of Italian baroque music, that enable the passions inherent in the music to be expressed, the character of each section within the work to be distinguished.

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