Music and Spectacle in Baroque Rome: Barberini Patronage Under Urban VIII

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Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1994 - Music - 369 pages
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It has long been acknowledged that Pope Urban VIII Barberini and his nephews were the greatest artistic patrons of seventeenth-century Rome, but it is less well known that the family also supported a wide array of musical activities at the papal court. This book - the first comprehensive examination of the musical productions and festivals sponsored by the Barberini family - discusses what music was written under their patronage, why it was commissioned, and how it related to the political, religious, and aesthetic program of the family. Frederick Hammond argues that music was central to the Barberini concept of promoting the majesty, legitimacy, and moral virtue of the papacy and the reigning family. Drawing on extensive research in Italian archives as well as on the artistic, social, and cultural history of the period, and employing a wide repertory of visual materials, he describes the structure of Barberini finances and their artistic, political, and intellectual goals; the musicians, instruments, libraries, and performances in their households; and specific productions of church music and operas. The result is a fascinating portrait of one of the most ambitious and fruitful patronage programs ever to exist.

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