bella e perduta: music, italy, & the jews

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Posts Tagged ‘jewish music’

From the Bimah to the Stage, and Back: Jews, Christians, Synagogues and Opera in Modern Italy

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2009/12/15

Following is the abstract of a paper I will be presenting a the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, which will meet in Los Angeles next week.

From the Bimah to the Stage, and Back: Jews, Christians, Synagogues and Opera in Modern Italy

My paper investigates the roles of synagogue music and of musical theater in creating a complex social space shared among Jews and Christians in Italy during the Emancipation process, beginning in the late 18th century and ending with the rise of Fascism in the early 20th century.

Since their inception, the Italian ghettos created a paradoxical situation for each of the groups they tried to separate. While Jews left the ghettos to further their opportunities of professional and social advancement, Christians entered them to find services and knowledge. On each side, synagogues and theaters presented two poles of social interaction revolving around the inherently inclusionary nature of “performance.” Synagogue liturgy presented non-Jews with the unique chance to acquire a direct experience of what they believed were the vestiges of an ancient Jewish past, directly linked with the origins of Christianity. Theater, and especially Italian Opera, presented the Jews with a secular cultural sphere that was not only religiously acceptable, but also desirable as an opportunity for unmediated contact with non-Jews.

This social exchange can be understood through a combination of sources and methodologies. Documental sources detail non-Jewish attendance at synagogues services and other music-related (and often nocturnal) performances inside the ghettos, as well as the Jewish attempts to illegally leave the ghettos at night to attend theatrical performances. Ethnographic and musical sources substantiate the operatic influences on Italian synagogue song, the ways in which Jewish composers learned their profession from their Christian counterparts, and how Opera composers were hired by Jewish communities to renew their liturgical “sound.” Anthropological considerations applied to these sources explore the synagogue and the theater as spaces of nocturnal inter-ethnic interactions revolving around specific performance practices.

A historical overview of these sources provides the basis to understand how, once the Emancipation was accomplished, the synagogue absorbed the theatrical experience and remained central to Jewish-Christian interactions, as a space in which major political and social events, like the celebration of the Festival of Emancipation (each year on March 29), weddings and birthdays of the House of Savoy, and the inauguration of new synagogue buildings, were performed through liturgical music and ritual.

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Salamone Rossi’s “Double Life” — La “doppia vita” di Salamone Rossi

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2009/12/06

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (“Discovering Jewish Music,” by columnist Bari Weiss, November 26, 2009) about Charles Krauthammer’s role in animating Pro Musica Hebraica, a Washington, DC association devoted to “presenting lost and forgotten masterpieces of Jewish classical music in a concert-hall setting,” and that last month presented a very interesting concert devoted to Jewish music from Italy and Amsterdam, which included music by Salamone Rossi,  Abraham Caceres, Benedetto Marcello, and the anonymous cantata for Hosha’na rabah from Casale Monferrato (1733), includes a brief comment about the famed Italian Jewish composer of the Late Renaissance, Salamone Rossi (active in Mantua, ca. 1570- ca. 1630) that I think should be re-framed:

On Nov. 5, Pro Musica Hebraica presented the Apollo Ensemble of Amsterdam, whose performance featured 17th- and 18th-century baroque music from Italy and the Netherlands. The night began with a sonata by Salamone De Rossi, a composer who lived in the Jewish ghetto of 17th-century Mantua and rose to prominence as a court musician for the Duchy of Gonzaga. As far as we know, he was the first man to compose classical music for the synagogue, introducing Western-style polyphonic choral music into the prayer service.

While De Rossi lived something of a double life—writing music for his aristocratic patrons and, separately, for the synagogue-goers he lived among—other composers wrote hybrid music that captured the encounter between Jewish tradition and European modernity.

I find the notion of Salamone Rossi’s supposed “double life” absolutely fascinating. The passage quoted above contains two related assumptions: that Salamone Rossi composed “classical music for the synagogue” introducing it into the prayer service; and that he had two distinct audiences, Catholic aristocrats in Mantua’s court, and Jews in the synagogue. Both assumptions could be challenged. First of all, there is only scant evidence that Rossi’s music was ever performed in a synagogue setting until it was re-discovered by German-Jewish intellectuals in the 19th century. But, more importantly, it is the idea that only Jews attended synagogue services inside the Italian ghettos that is not entirely correct. We have some very clear testimonies, like the 17th century descriptions by Giulio Morosini (aka Samuel Nahmias, 1612-1687, in Derekh Emunah: Via della fede mostrata agli ebrei , Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1683) and continuing into the 18th and 19th centuries, about how Christians entered the ghettos to attend religious (and musical) ceremonies. Historian Benjamin Ravid devoted very interesting pages to this phenomenon.

In other words, the whole idea of a Jewish composer like Rossi leading a “double life” – bridging two otherwise separate worlds – needs to be reconsidered. The “classical music” introduced into the prayer service was most likely presented to the ears of an inter-ethnic cast of Jewish and Catholic synagogue-goers, and possibly even specifically geared to the latter’s musical taste. Who were these non-Jews who took part in synagogue life? What was their agenda? How much did their presence influence Italian synagogue music?

For now, I’d rather leave these questions unanswered. My impression, however, is that today’s crowds that populate the old synagogues of Italy during the European Days of Jewish Culture have something in common with the early-modern Catholics who attended synagogue services inside the ghettos.

= = =

Un articolo pubblicato di recente nel Wall Street Journal (“Discovering Jewish Music,” by columnist Bari Weiss, November 26, 2009) a proposito del ruolo di Charles Krauthammer nella creazione di Pro Musica Hebraica, un’associazione culturale con sede a Washington, DC dedicata a “presentare i capolavori perduti e dimenticati della musica classica ebraica nelle sale da concerto”, e che il mese scorso ha presentato un interessante concerto dedicato a musica ebraica Italiana e di Amsterdam, con composizioni di Salamone Rossi,  Abraham Caceres, Benedetto Marcello, la cantata anonima di Hosha’na rabah di Casale Monferrato (1733), racchiude un breve commento a proposito del famoso compositore ebreo italiano del tardo Rinascimento, Salamone Rossi (attivo a Mantova, ca. 1570- ca. 1630) che penso debba essere riconsiderato:

Il 5 Novembre scorso, Pro Musica Hebraica ha presentato l’Apollo Ensemble of Amsterdam, con un’esecuzione dedicata alla musica barocca italiana e olandese dei secoli XVII e XVIII. La serata è iniziata con una sonata di Salamone De Rossi, un compositore vissuto nel ghetto ebraico di Mantova nel XVII secolo, e che fiorì come musicista alla corte del Ducato dei Gonzaga. Per quanto ne sappiamo, egli fu il primo a comporre musica classica per la sinagoga, introducendo lo stile corale polifonico occidentale nella liturgia.

Mentre De Rossi visse una sorta di doppia vita – scrivendo musica per i suoi mecenati aristocratici e, separatamente, per coloro che frequentavano la sinagoga, con cui viveva – altri compositori scrissero ibridi musicali che catturarono l’incotro tra la tradizione ebraica e la modernità europea.

Trovo la nozione di una presunta “doppia vita” di Salamone Rossi assolutamente affascinante. Il brano citato qui sopra contiene due assunti correlati: che Salamone Rossi abbia composto “musica classica per la sinagoga” introducendola nella liturgia; e che egli abbia avuto due audiences distinte, gli aristocratici cattolici alla corte mantovana, e gli ebrei in sinagoga. Entrambi gli assunti possono essere oggetto di disputa. Prima di tutto, vi è ben poca evidenza che la musica di Rossi sia stata effettivamente eseguita all’interno di una sinagoga sino a quando non venne riscoperta da intellettuali ebrei tedesci nel corso del XIX secolo. Ma, il che è ben più importante, è l’idea che solo gli ebrei frequentassero le sinagoghe all’interno dei ghetti italiani a non essere del tutto corretta. Possediamo alcune testimonianze piuttosto dettagliate, come le descrizioni settecentesche di Giulio Morosini (precedentemente noto come Samuel Nahmias, 1612-1687, nel suo Derekh Emunah: Via della fede mostrata agli ebrei , Roma, Propaganda Fide, 1683) e proseguendo anche nei secoli XVIII e XIX, della frequentazione di riti religiosi ebraici all’interno dei ghetti da parte di cristiani. Lo storico Benjamin Ravid ha dedicato pagine interessanti a questo fenomeno.

In altre parole, l’idea che un compositore ebreo come Rossi conducesse una “doppia vita” – una vita che metteva in comunicazione due mondi altrimenti separati – va interamente riconsiderata. La “musica classica” introdotta nella liturgia fu assai probabilmente presentata alle orecchie di un pubblico interetnico formato da frequentatori di sinagoghe ebrei e cattolici, e presumibilmente adattato ai gusti musicali di questi ultimi. Chi erano dunque questi non-ebrei che prendevano parte alla vita sinagogale? Quali erano i loro obiettivi? Quanto la loro presenza influenzò la musica sinagogale italiana?

Per ora, preferisco lasciare queste domande senza risposta. La mia impressione è, ad ogni modo, che le folle che ai giorni nostri popolano le antiche sinagoghe italiane durante le Giornate della Cultura Ebraica abbiano qualcosa in comune con i frequentatori di sinagoghe cattolici nei ghetti agli albori della modernità.

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Italian Synagogue Music and the Politics of Jewish identity

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2009/11/10

This weekend I will be the “Jeffrey A. Miller” scholar in residence at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco, giving two talks and teaching a workshop on the role of synagogue music in representing social identity and political processes. Services will include a panoply of melodies from the synagogues of Italy, arranged a performed by Sharon Bernstein with Ruth Rainero and the synagogue’s excellent choir.

While the inspiration of these talks is indeed drawn from the Italian Jewish experience, I am also addressing them to the complex of multi-layered identities that compose the Jewish mosaic of the San Francisco Bay Area, and especially of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. For me, this represents a wonderful opportunity to bring the study of synagogue life back to, well, synagogue life, but also to test the idea that Italian Jewish modernity, as experienced and crafted within synagogue and congregational life since the 16th century, can speak directly to the “melting pot” of contemporary Jewish life in America.

See the announcement on the Congregation’s website.

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Sounds of Two Cultures: Music, Synagogue Life, and Jewish‐Christian Relations in Italy

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2009/11/02

Web announcement of Francesco Spagnolo's lecture at the Center for Jewish Studies of the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California), Nov. 2nd, 2009.

Following are my notes for the talk (these are only notes to guide my presentation, which lasted approximately 70 minutes, and no, I did not have a “powerpoint”).

  1. Most of the research about Italian Jewish musical culture has focused, since the mid-19th century, on the scant written sources from the [late] Renaissance (16th-17th centuries), more than on the wealth of later, often written and oral sources. This is also true of other, non-musical, scholarly endeavors on Italian Jewry (i.e., the 18th and 19th centuries have been researched somewhat less than previous epochs). There are indeed very good reasons supporting this choice of focus: the “Renaissance” is a period that defined the modes of production of what we commonly call “Jewish culture” in modern times. Music rests at the core of those modes of production.
  2. Researchers have focused more on defining the cultural products of this era (how are they “Jewish”? are they “art”? etc.) than on the ways in which they were produced. (By “musical production” I refer to three aspects: 1. Composition and creation of musical sources; 2. Performance; 3. Reception). The historiography of Jewish music has thus generated a narrative populated by cultural heroes (“Jewish musicians” fighting cultural assimilation and religious conversion: first and foremost Salamone Rossi) and acts of cultural heroism (the performance of “art music” in the Italian ghettos as acts of defiance against anti-Semitism).
  3. An understanding of the modes of production of Italian Jewish musical culture can benefit from a shift of focus, geared towards the specific context in which music was produced: synagogue life. (Synagogue life in a broad sense includes the architectural spaces, the performance of text, the symbolic roles of its “cast of characters,” and the coexistence of assembly, study and worship). This shifts prompts us to reconsider the notions of “Jewish musician” [or artist] and “Jewish art music” [or art] within the broader context of music-making inside and around the synagogues of Italy.
  4. How does one study music in the context of synagogue life?
  • Two stories: 1. The Rabbi and the congregants arguing over whether the shema’ yisrael ought to be recited while sitting or while standing [How many traditions does it take to create a “tradition”?]; and 2. The guy who cannot say “I don’t know” without using his hands [Jewish music occupies the liminal space between text and performance];
  • Intersecting sources (oral, written and literary) and methodologies (ethnography, history and sociology), and an anti-chronological approach.

5. The context of synagogue life allows for the emergence of previously unidentified roles involved in the production of “Jewish music.” Among them are:

  • Rabbis and rabbinic authorities
  • Lay community leaders
  • Young community members vs. old community members: an intergenerational dynamics
  • “Marginal” roles: 1. Women; 2. Children; and 3. Non-Jews (members of the Catholic majority), the latter involved at all levels of musical production (Production; Performance; Reception).

 

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Purim and Subversiveness in a Song from Livorno — Purim e Sovversione in un canto ebraico livornese

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2009/03/10

Mi pare che il canto ebraico livornese, Wal viva, viva, nostro Burino!  – che pubblico qui sotto, e che ho incluso nell’antologia Tradizioni musicali degli ebrei italiani – sia un ottimo esempio dell’immaginario sovversivo degli ebrei. Basta leggere le invettive rivolte ad Haman, che viene chiamato “cane” e della cui sorte cruenta si gioisce nel testo, per convincersene.

Secondo lo storico israelo-americano Elliott Horowitz (“The Rite to Be Reckless: On the Perpetration and Interpretation of Purim Violence” in Poetics Today, Vol. 15, No. 1, Purim and the Cultural Poetics of Judaism. (Spring, 1994): 9-54, e poi in un suo libro), le espressioni di violenza contenute nelle manifestazioni “popolari” della celebrazione di Purim sono state nei secoli rivolte alla maggioranza cristiana (o islamica), e più tardi all’oppressione antisemita. Elliott suggerisce che queste espressioni vadano prese sul serio, oltre la sfera prettamente rituale. E ha ragione nel notare che gli storici, soprattutto nel XX secolo, hanno cercato di occultarle. 

Di certo è che questo canto livornese del XVII secolo (noto come Cantica di Purim alla moresca) – sul quale ci sarebbe parecchio altro da dire (per esempio riguardo al fatto che probabilmente si faceva beffa degli ebrei immigrati dal Nord Africa a Livorno, che pronunciavano la “p” come “b” e dunque “Burino” invece di “Purim,” e vengono caratterizzati attraverso espressioni in Arabo “maccaronico”…) – indirizza l’immaginario carnascialesco ebraico verso un epoca in cui gli ebrei erano in grado di manifestare, seppure in forma rituale, il loro disappunto verso una società e una cultura a loro sostanzialmente ostili. E ci fa pensare a come la pubblica espressione del disappunto verso il potere (una sorta di “I would prefer not to” alla Bartelby, per intenderci), sia sempre e comunque sovversivo. 

–––

It seems to me that the Livornese Jewish song, Wal viva, viva, nostro Burino!  – which I am posting below, and that I’ve included in the anthology, Italian Jewish Musical Traditions – is an excellent example of the subversive imagination of the Jews. It’s sufficient to read the invectives uttered against Haman, who is called a “dog” and whose gruesome end causes endless joy in the lyrics, to be convinced of this. 

According to the Israeli-American historian, Elliott Horowitz (“The Rite to Be Reckless: On the Perpetration and Interpretation of Purim Violence” in Poetics Today, Vol. 15, No. 1, Purim and the Cultural Poetics of Judaism. (Spring, 1994): 9-54, and later in a book), the expressions of violence found in the “popular” manifestations of Purim celebrations have over the centuries been turned towards the Christian (or Muslim) majority, and later on to anti-Semitic oppressors.  Elliott suggests that these expressions ought to be taken very seriously, and that they reach beyond the ritual sphere. And he is right when he notes that historians, especially in the 20th century, tried to hide them. 

What is sure is that this Livornese 17th-century song (known as Cantica di Purim alla moresca) – on which a whole lot more could be said (for instance, about the fact that it probably made fun of the Jews who immigrated to Livorno from North Africa, who pronounced “p’s” as “b’s,” as in “Burino” instead of “Purim” and who are stereotyped in pidgin Arabic…) – points the carnival imagination towards a time in which Jews were able to display, even if in a ritual form, their disappointment about a society and a culture that were essentially hostile to them. And this makes us think about how the public display of disappointment about power (a sort of “I would prefer not to” à la Bartelby, to be clear) is always subversive. 

 

Wal viva, viva, nostro Burino! (or, Cantica di Purim alla Moresca)

Wal viva, viva, nostro Burino! (or, Cantica di Purim alla Moresca)

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The Thorny Issue of “Jewish Music” (English Only)

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2008/12/20

Below is the original text of my notes for tonight’s concert, Pomegranate and Figs, at Cal Performances in Berkeley, California. I am grateful to a new friend, Kaila Flexer, for including me in the program. (The published version of the concert notes can be downloaded here

I always felt that the “Italian link” in understanding the history of the notion of “Jewish music” deserves better attention, and here I tried to plug it into a general overview of the subject. 

Today, the thorny question of what makes music “Jewish” is often avoided (and feared) by scholars, musicologists and cultural historians alike, but it does occasionally spark heated discussions on e-mail lists, and gathers the attention of bloggers worldwide. It is indeed a question with a thousand possible answers, and one that generates additional questions, which in turn end up blending and overlapping with one another… Invariably, the answers fail to consider the world of sounds, and instead raise issues concerning the many Jewish identities and cultures that surround us.

However, it was not so in the past, when European scholars – Christian and Jewish – shaped the modern notion of Jewish music, and in a way almost invented it. The first interest in the musical world of the Jews – and especially in what Jews sang in their place of worship, the synagogue – arose since the 16th century among Christian humanists, to whom we owe the very notion of musica hebræorum (in Latin, “music of the Hebrews”). These scholars, who immediately understood that the music of the Jews had long been transmitted by way of oral tradition, hoped to find within Jewish liturgy the traces of Hebraic antiquity, and thus the roots of Christianity itself. Instead, what they found was a universe of diverse sounds (a ”world music” of sort) generated by the fact that Jews had lived in Diaspora for many centuries. In the fourth volume of his Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinica (Rome, 1693), Father Giulio Bartolocci listed three different ways in which the Jews of his times chanted the Torah (the Hebrew Bible), and provided musical transcriptions according to the “German,” “Spanish” and “Italian” traditions, de facto stating the cultural differences between Jews who originated from ancient Palestine and those who lived in Central Europe (also known as Ashkenazi Jews) or that descended from the Iberian Jews who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal after 1492 (Sephardic Jews). Other Christian researchers followed in this path and by the 19th century, when Jewish scholars also became interested in the topic, it was very clear that there was no such thing as one “Jewish music” that characterized all Jews living across the four corners of the earth, and that Jews sang and played a host of musical traditions, almost all transmitted orally, which shared their traits more with the host non-Jewish cultures than among themselves. This diversity preoccupied Jewish intellectuals, whom in the midst of the Romantic and nationalistic fervors of 19th-century Europe were instead trying to prove, once and for all, the unity and distinctiveness (and thus the intrinsic value) of Judaism. The study of Jewish music by Jews themselves was therefore initially aimed at creating a place for Jewish musical culture, and not just for its supposedly ancient Hebraic construct, within the canons Western cultural history. This preoccupation, and especially the rise of Zionism, led to a progressive focus on the diversity of the oral tradition and on the importance of non-European Jewish cultures. In 1907, when Abraham Zvi Idelsohn (1882-1938), the founder of modern Jewish musicological research, moved to Palestine, he was confronted with an overwhelming variety of Jewish oral traditions, which included liturgical music, folk songs and instrumental practice by Jews originating from Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian peninsula and Central Asia. Already then, the Eurocentric dicotomy between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish musical worlds was proving insufficient: Arab music, its modes (or maqamat) and aesthetic sensibilities were equally essential to Jewish musical history and required a whole new consideration. Throughout the 20th century, Idelsohn’s quest for the unifying traits in this panoply of sounds has morphed into a research field that combines musicology, ethnography and anthropology, and that examines the variables of musical production in the context of the cultures of the Jews in the Global Diaspora.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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Italian Jews and the Origins of the Symphony – Gli ebrei italiani e le origini della sinfonia

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2008/09/18

So, I went to another conference last weekend. In Alessandria, Italy. A very interesting international symposium on Italian composer Antonio Brioschi (who florished around 1730-1750) that had many different institutions involved: the Music Department of the University of Milan (my alma mater), Ricordi, Sony BMG, and Atalanta Fugiens, an early music ensemble conducted by Vanni Moretto, who also happens to be an old friend (whom I had not seen in 20 years, yes t-w-e-n-t-y…).

Nu, what was I doing there? It so happens that one of the earliest sinfonie by Brioschi, an obscure composer whom, along with Sammartini, is at the origins of the new genre of the sinfonia (at a time when people were actually doing something interesting in Milan, my hometown: they were busy “inventing” human rights and the symphony – not bad, uh?) – so, one of Brioschi’s symphonies appears as an ouverture of a Hebrew cantata for Hosha’na rabbah, performed in Casale Monferrato in 1733.

I will post later on this cantata, which was performed in the synagogue of Casale Monferrato for the first time since 1733 last Sunday, September 17, 2008. Right now I am just copying the program of the entire, two-day conference below.

E così me ne sono andato a un altro convegno lo scorso fine settimana. Ad Alessandria. Un convegno molto interessante sul compositore italiano Antonio Brioschi (fiorito nel 1730-1750), che vedeva diverse istituzioni coinvolte: il Dipartimento di Musica dell’Università di Milano (la mia alma mater), la Casa Ricordi, la Sony BMG, e Atalanta fugiens, un ensemble di musica “antica” diretto da Vanni Moretto, che poi è un vecchio amico (che non vedevo da ben 20 anni, sì, proprio così).

E allora, che ci facevo lì? Beh, si tratta del fatto che una delle prime sinfonie del nostro Brioschi, un oscuro compositore che, insieme con Sammartini, è all’origine del nuovo genere della sinfonia (in un’epoca in cui la gente faceva cose interessanti a Milano, la mia città: tipo “inventare” i diritti umani e la sinfonia – mica male, no?) – allora, si dà il caso che una felle sinfonie di Brioschi sia stata inclusa, come ouverture, in una cantata ebraica per Hosha’na rabbah, eseguita a Casale Monferrato nel 1733.

Scriverò più avanti di questa cantata, che è stata eseguita nella sinagoga di Casale per la prima volta dal 1733 la scorsa domenica (17 settembre, 2008). Per ora copio qui di seguito il programma completo della conferenza, che è durata due giorni.

==================================================================

http://www.antoniobrioschi.org/seminario.php

Convegno Internazionale

Antonio Brioschi e il nuovo stile musicale del Settecento lombardo:
ricerca storico-critica, prassi esecutiva, aspetti produttivi

Alessandria, Palazzo Cuttica, 20 e 21 settembre 2008

* Associazione Atalanta Fugiens

* Sezione Musica del Dipartimento di Storia delle arti, della musica e dello spettacolo dell’Università degli Studi di Milano

* Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria

La riscoperta di Antonio Brioschi (fl. 1725 ca. – 1750 ca.) è lo spunto e l’occasione per una complessiva riconsiderazione del Settecento strumentale lombardo. Intorno a questo tema s’incentra il convegno, orientato da due direttrici di fondo. Da un lato, la verifica di un’ipotesi di lavoro o, se si preferisce, di una sfida critica e storiografica che riguarda il ruolo di Brioschi e degli altri autori milanesi – o comunque operanti in Lombardia – nella definizione di un nuovo stile strumentale di rilevanza europea; dall’altro, l’intento di accompagnare e integrare la ricerca musicologica con lo studio sulla prassi esecutiva. Il convegno segna del resto un primo importante momento di riflessione nell’ambito del progetto «Archivio della sinfonia milanese», che si propone di raccogliere il repertorio sinfonico del Settecento lombardo al fine di promuoverne lo studio, l’esecuzione e la diffusione. Il progetto punta infatti a coordinare gli aspetti della ricerca storico-critica, della prassi esecutiva, dell’organizzazione musicale e della produzione editoriale e discografica coinvolgendo diversi soggetti e istituzioni: anzitutto l’Associazione Atalanta Fugiens, la Sezione Musica del Dipartimento di Storia delle arti, della musica e dello spettacolo dell’Università degli Studi di Milano, Casa Ricordi, la Sony BMG Music.

Tra gli obiettivi principali del progetto vi sono:

* la creazione di un centro di ricerca dedicato alla raccolta sistematica, alla digitalizzazione delle fonti e allo studio dei compositori milanesi o comunque operanti in Lombardia nel corso del Settecento, e in particolare di quegli autori che manifestano un orientamento stilistico progressivo e una personalità di respiro europeo;

* la pubblicazione di una collana, edita da Ricordi, delle composizioni più significative di questi autori (i primi volumi saranno dedicati ad Antonio Brioschi, Fortunato Chelleri, Nicola Antonio Zingarelli); l’intento della collana è di offrire testi che corrispondano a limpidi criteri critici e musicologici e che, al contempo, soddisfino le esigenze della prassi esecutiva;

* la pubblicazione, in parallelo, di una collana discografica da parte della Sony BMG Music;

* l’organizzazione di corsi e seminari dedicati alla prassi esecutiva storica.

Sabato 20 settembre

ore 9.30

Saluti di benvenuto delle Autorità

Apertura dei lavori

Gianfranco Pittatore, Presidente Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria

Presiede Vanni Moretto

Cristiano Ostinelli

Luciano Rebeggiani

CESARE FERTONANI, La sinfonia “milanese” e il contributo allo sviluppo di un nuovo stile strumentale.

LUCA AVERSANO, Classicismo e musica strumentale nel Settecento italiano

BERTIL VAN BOEHR, A radical change; The influence of Brioschi on the Development of the Swedish Symphonies of Johan Helmich Roman

RENATO MEUCCI, Strumenti e strumentisti intorno a Mozart a Milano.

Ore 15.00

Presiede Bertil Van Boer

VANNI MORETTO, La sinfonia milanese del Settecento: aspetti e problemi di prassi esecutiva.

RUDOLF RASCH, Gli anni 1730 fra barocco e preclassicismo: la variazione formale nel repertorio sinfonico del centenario del Teatro di Amsterdam (1738).

FRANCESCO SPAGNOLO, Il mondo in Sinagoga. Dialoghi musicali tra ebrei e cristiani a Casale Monferrato (XVIII-XIX sec.)

MATTEO GIUGGIOLI, Intorno ad alcuni esempi di ‘sinfonismo’ lombardo: strategie retoriche a confronto.

Ore 21.00

Concerto, Cattedrale di San Pietro di Alessandria

Domenica 21 settembre

ore 9.30

Presiede Cesare Fertonani

SARAH MANDEL YEHUDA, Issues of Authenticity in Eighteenth- Century Sources of Symphonies: The Case of Antonio Brioschi.

BATHIA CHURGIN, A Brioschi Borrowing from Sammartini: The Andante from his Trio Symphony, Fonds Blancheton, Op. II , 61.

Interventi del “Gruppo di ricerca del Dipartimento di Storia delle Arti, della Musica e dello Spettacolo dell’Università degli Studi di Milano”.

DAVIDE DAOLMI, coordinatore

Luca Civelli Jacopo Franzoni Matteo Magarotto

Ore 17.00

Concerto, Sinagoga di Casale Monferrato

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Bibliografia sulla musica ebraica in Italia – Italian Jewish Music Bibliography

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2008/09/11

Il mio saggio biografico sulla musica ebraica in Italia, scritto per il CDEC, è disponibile anche su bellaeperduta, per ora solo in versione italiana.  

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Note to the English readers: my bibliographic essay on Italian Jewish music is available on this blog, for the moment in Italian only.

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Giornata europea della cultura ebraica – European Day of Jewish Culture 2008

Posted by Francesco Spagnolo on 2008/09/02

I will be leaving for Italy tonight, for a short and intense lecture tour that involves stops in Siena, Florence, Padua, and Milan. I will update on each event soon.

The lectures are part of the program for the European Day of Jewish Culture, which is celebrated every year in about thirty countries across Europe. The theme for this year’s program is, surprise surprise, music. I will do my part in counterbalancing a plethora concerts featuring Klezmer music (which, by the way, I love) by presenting in the musical traditions of the Jews of Italy, and to explore their local and regional flavors.

For a list of venues, go here.

I have also happily collaborated with CDEC, the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation based in Milan since 1955, in the creation of an online resource that I hope will be useful to many. It is a bibliography in thirty titles that I believe are a must read for those interested in Italian Jewish music. For now, it is only in Italian, but I hope to make an English version available soon. It is called Songlines: Thirty Titles to Discover Jewish Music in Italy, and you can read it here.

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Questa sera parto per l’Italia alla volta di un breve ma intenso giro di conferenze con fermate a Siena, Firenze, Padova e Milano. Nei prossimi giorni scriverò degli aggiornamenti su ciascun evento.

Le conferenze fanno parte del programma della Giornata Europea della Cultura Ebraica, che viene celebrata ogni anno in circa trenta paesi in tutta Europa. Il tema quest’anno è, indovinate un po’, la musica. Per parte mia, farò del mio meglio per bilanciare la massa di concerti di musica Klezmer (una musica che, per altro, adoro), e parlerò invece delle tradizioni musicali degli ebrei in Italia, esplorando le loro varianti locali e regionali.

Per una lista completa degli eventi, leggete qui.

Ho anche felicemente collaborato con il CDEC, il Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, che esiste a Milano dal 1955, alla realizzazione di una risorsa disponibile in rete, e che spero sia utile a molti. Si tratta di una bibliografia in trenta titoli che penso vadano letti da chiunque sia interessato alla musica ebraica italiana. Per ora, il testo è solo in italiano, ma mi auguro di renderlo disponibile anche in inglese quanto prima. Si intitola Le vie dei canti: Trenta titoli per scoprire la musica ebraica in Italia, e lo potete leggere qui.

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