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Patronage, Sacrality and Power at the Court of Vittoria della Rovere: Antonio Veracini's Op. 1 Trio Sonatas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Abstract

During the seventeenth century, the Medici family sought to legitimize its power by using art to communicate a political message, referring constantly to a precise code of sacred imagination and religious devotion. This article focuses on Antonio Veracini – a violinist in the service of Vittoria della Rovere – and on his op. 1, which shows a perfect agreement with the aesthetic ambitions of the grand duchess and with her double role of regent and defensor fidei. In the light of recent studies that reconsider the traditional historiographical approach to what has been called the ‘bigotry’ of Cosimo III, Antonio Veracini's sonatas – in comparison with two other coeval collections of trio sonatas dedicated to Grand Prince Ferdinando (by Pietro Sanmartini and Giovan Battista Gigli) – show a full awareness of the expressive potential of the sonata, transforming it into a musical genre capable of conferring not only ‘pleasure’ and ‘delight’ but also symbolic significance within specific cultural contexts.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Musical Association

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Footnotes

This material was first presented as a paper entitled ‘Solido diletto e mirabile accordamento di tutte le virtù: L'op. I di Antonio Veracini e la sonata a tre alla corte medicea (1688–1692)’ at the Congress ‘Il genio musicale a Firenze e in Toscana tra Sei e Settecento’, held in Florence on 26 May 2007. I would like to thank Franco Piperno for his invaluable advice and help in the preparation of the extended and revised version published here. My gratitude goes also to John Walter Hill for his comments and suggestions, to Paola Gibbin, Director of the Sala Musica at the Biblioteca Nazionale, Florence, and to Kathryn Bosi, Music Librarian at Villa I Tatti, Florence, for her assistance with translation.

References

1 Among the most recent studies of theatrical activities in Florence in this period, see in particular those by Sara Mamone, especially ‘Accademie e opere in musica nella vita di Giovan Carlo, Mattias e Leopoldo de’ Medici, fratelli del granduca Ferdinando’, Lo stupor dell'invenzione: Firenze e la nascita dell'opera, ed. Piero Gargiulo (Florence, 2001), 119–38; Dei, semidei, uomini: Lo spettacolo a Firenze tra neoplatonismo e realtà borghese (XV–XVII secolo) (Rome, 2003); and Serenissimi fratelli principi impresari: Notizie di spettacolo nei carteggi medicei: Carteggi di Giovan Carlo de’ Medici e di Desiderio Montemagni suo segretario (1628–1664) (Florence, 2003). See also John W. Hill, ‘Le relazioni di Antonio Cesti con la corte e i teatri di Firenze’, Rivista italiana di musicologia, 11 (1976), 22–47; Alessandra Maretti, ‘Dal teatro del principe alla scena dei virtuosi: Indicazioni sul mecenatismo di Mattias de’ Medici (1629–1666)’, Medioevo e Rinascimento, 6 (new ser., 3) (1992), 195–209; Anna Maria Testaverde, ‘Palcoscenici fiorentini per Antonio Cesti (1661)’, La figura e l'opera di Antonio Cesti nel Seicento europeo (Florence, 2003), 63–78; and Nicola Michelassi, ‘Regi protettori e virtuosi intrattenimenti: Principi medicei e intellettuali fiorentini del Seicento tra corte, teatro e accademia’, Naples, Rome, Florence: Une histoire comparée des milieux intellectuels italiens (XVII e–XVIII esiècles), ed. Jean Boutier, Brigitte Marin and Antonella Romano (Rome, 2005), 445–72. A number of dissertations (tesi di laurea and tesi di dottorato) defended at the University of Florence that focus on the Medici correspondence have been of great assistance. They include Alessia Alessandri, ‘Il carteggio di Leopoldo de’ Medici come fonte per la storia dello spettacolo’ (1999–2000); Leonardo Spinelli, ‘Il principe in fuga: Mecenatismo, collezionismo e impresariato teatrale del Gran Principe Ferdinando de Medici (1663–1713)’ (2002–3); and Francesca Fantappiè, ‘Un garbato fratello et un garbato zio: Teatri, cantanti, protettori e impresari nell'epistolario di Francesco Maria Medici (1680–1719)’ (2004). On artistic and musical patronage focusing on Maria Maddalena of Austria (1589-1631) and her mother-in-law, Christina of Lorraine, see Kelley Harness, Echoes of Women's Voices: Music, Art, and Female Patronage in Early Modern Florence (Chicago, IL, 2006).

2 For a radically revised assessment, see Marcello Fantoni, ‘Il bigottismo di Cosimo III: Da leggenda storiografica ad oggetto storico’, La Toscana nell'età di Cosimo III: Atti del convegno, Pisa–San Domenico di Fiesole (Fl), 4–5 giugno 1990, ed. Franco Angiolini, Vieri Becagli and Marcello Verga (Florence, 1993), 389–402. See also the more recent study by Angiolini, ‘Il lungo Seicento (1609–1737): Declino o stabilità?’, Il principato mediceo, ed. Elena Fasano Guarini, Storia della civiltà toscana, 3 (Florence, 2003), 41–76.

3 Francesca Fantappiè, ‘Accademie teatrali fiorentine nel quartiere di Santa Croce tra Sei e Settecento: Tra attori dilettanti, gioco d'azzardo e primi tentativi impresariali’, Annali di storia di Firenze, 3 (2008) (<http://www.dssg.unifi.it/SDF/annali/annali2008.htm>, accessed 22 June 2010).

4 Among the many studies of Grand Prince Ferdinando as musical patron with respect to the operas performed at the Pratolino, see in particular Mario Fabbri, Alessandro Scarlatti e il principe Ferdinando de’ Medici (Florence, 1961); Maria Letizia Strocchi, ‘Pratolino alla fine del Seicento e Ferdinando di Cosimo III’, Paradigma, 2 (1978), 419–38; Elvira Garbero Zorzi, ‘I teatri di Pratolino’, Il giardino d'Europa: Pratolino come modello della cultura europea, ed. Alessandro Vezzosi (Milan, 1986), 93–9; Marcello De Angelis, ‘Ferdinando de’ Medici: “L'Orfeo” dei principi’, ibid., 102–6; idem, ‘Il teatro di Pratolino tra Scarlatti e Perti: Il carteggio di Giacomo Antonio Perti con il principe Ferdinando de’ Medici (1705–1710)’, Nuova rivista musicale italiana, 21 (1987), 605–40; William C. Holmes, Opera Observed: Views of a Florentine Impresario in the Early Eighteenth Century (Chicago, IL, 1993); Warren Kirkendale, The Court Musicians in Florence during the Principate of the Medici (Florence, 1993); Francesco Giuntini, I drammi per musica di Antonio Salvi: Aspetti della riforma del libretto nel primo Settecento (Bologna, 1994); and De Angelis, ‘Il gran principe Ferdinando, le feste barocche, 1688–1713’, Lo spettacolo meraviglioso: Il Teatro della Pergola: L'opera a Firenze (Florence, 2000), 146–55.

5 The most detailed and complete essay on Florentine oratorio to date is John Walter Hill, ‘Oratory Music in Florence, I: Recitar cantando 1583–1655’, Acta musicologica, 51 (1979), 108–36; ‘II: At San Firenze in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, ibid., 246–67; and ‘III: The Confraternities from 1655 to 1785’, ibid., 58 (1986), 129–79. See also idem, ‘Florentine Intermedi Sacri e Morali, 1549–1622’, La musique et le rite sacré et profane: Actes du XIII eCongrès de la Société Internationale de Musicologie, Strasbourg, 29 août–3 septembre 1982, 2 vols. (Strasbourg, 1986), ii: Communications libres, ed. Marc Honegger and Paul Prevost, 265–301, and the more recent studies by Jean Grundy Fanelli, ‘Aesthetic and Practical Influences on the Tuscan Oratorio of the Late Baroque’, L'oratorio musicale e i suoi contesti, ed. Paola Besutti (Florence, 2002), 323–39, and Katharina Piechocki, ‘Teatri delle lotte presenti: Il corpo mancante e le tracce della dinastia medicea nell'oratorio fiorentino alla fine del Seicento’, Studi Secenteschi, 47 (2006), 207–44.

6 The only study of instrumental music within the Medici ambience is again by Hill: ‘Antonio Veracini in Context: New Perspectives from Documents, Analysis and Style’, Early Music, 18 (1990), 545–62.

7 These include the violinist and composer Jakob Walther, who in 1676, a few years after his first Florentine sojourn (1670–73), published his Scherzi da violino solo at Dresden with a dedication to Cosimo III; Giuseppe Torelli, whose Sinfonie op. 3 (Bologna, 1687) were dedicated to the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici; and John Ravenscroft, whose Sonate a tre op. 1, published in Rome in 1695, bore a similar dedication. See Claudio Sartori, Bibliografia della musica strumentale italiana stampata in Italia fino al 1700 (Florence, 1978), nos. 1676a (p. 480), 1687c (p. 537), 1695c (p. 585).

8 For an overview of Arcangelo Corelli's output see Peter Allsop, Arcangelo Corelli: New ‘Orpheus’ of our Time (Oxford, 1999), and Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica, ed. Gregory Barnett, Antonella D'Ovidio and Stefano La Via, 2 vols. (Florence, 2007). The most comprehensive study of the trio-sonata genre is Peter Allsop, The Italian ‘Trio’ Sonata: From its Origins until Corelli (Oxford, 1992). See also William Newman, The Sonata in the Baroque Era (Chapel Hill, NC, 1959).

9 See John Walter Hill, ‘Veracini, Antonio’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, rev. edn, 29 vols. (London, 2002), xxvi, 420–2, and idem, The Life and Works of Francesco Maria Veracini, 2 vols. (Ann Arbor, MI, 1979); see also idem, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 555–61.

10 Sartori, Bibliografia della musica strumentale, nos. 1692c (p. 566), ant. 1696 (p. 592), 1696d (p. 595). The printed source of op. 2 is undated.

11 Pietro Sanmartini's first published work was the Mottetti a voce sola, op. 1, printed in Florence in 1685 and dedicated to Vittoria della Rovere.

12 See above, note 8.

13 Franco Piperno, ‘Cristina di Svezia e gli esordi di Arcangelo Corelli: Attorno all'opera I (1681)’, Cristina di Svezia e la musica (Rome, 1998), 99–132, and idem, ‘Modelli stilistici e strategie compositive della musica strumentale del Seicento’, Enciclopedia della musica, ed. Jean-Jacques Nattiez, 5 vols. (Turin, 2001–5), iv: Storia della musica europea (2004), 430–46.

14 Gloria Staffieri, ‘Pietro Ottoboni, il mecenate-drammaturgo: Strategie della commitenza e scelte compositive’, Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica, ed. Barnett, D'Ovidio and La Via, i, 139–65 (p. 140).

15 On Pietro Sanmartini, see Amerigo Parrini, Dalle ricerche sul liuto ad un sinfonista sconosciuto del '600 (Florence, 1925). A more recent work focusing on Sanmartini's sacred production is Stefano Lorenzetti, ‘Un huomo valentissimo nella professione dell'insegnare e comporre in musica: Pietro Sammartini maestro di cappella in Santa Maria del Fiore (1686–1700)’, Cantate Domino: Musica nei secoli per il duomo di Firenze, ed. Piero Gargiulo, Gabriele Giacomelli and Carolyn Gianturco (Florence, 2001), 219–45. See also John Walter Hill, ‘The Musical Chapel of Florence Cathedral in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century: Vitali, Comparini, Sapiti, Cerri’, ibid., 175–94.

16 The use of the term ‘Canzona’ to designate a fugato movement in duple metre is regularly found in trio sonatas from the Roman repertory, including those of Lelio Colista and Carlo Ambrogio Lonati, composers active in Rome before Arcangelo Corelli. See Antonella D'Ovidio, ‘Alle soglie dello strumentalismo corelliano: Colista, Lonati, Stradella: Studio storico-analitico e edizione critica delle sonate a tre’, 2 vols. (Ph.D. thesis, Università di Pavia, 2004), i, 65–184, and Allsop, The Italian ‘Trio’ Sonata, 192–210.

17 Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 547.

18 Grand Prince Ferdinando's harpsichord teacher was Giovanni Maria Pagliardi. See Mario Fabbri, ‘Due musicisti genovesi alla corte granducale medicea: Giovanni Maria Pagliardi e Martino Bitti, musicisti piemontesi e liguri’, Chigiana, 16 (1959), 79–94.

19 Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, Musica antica 92.

20 The grand duchess was also the dedicatee of Pietro Sanmartini's collection Mottetti a voce sola, op. 1 (1685). See Lorenzetti, ‘Un huomo valentissimo’, 230–1.

21 Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 546.

22 Vittoria spent her first years in this convent with her mother, who had retired there after she was left a widow in 1623. On the education of Vittoria della Rovere and the persistence of educational models connected to domestic virtues as well as morality at the Medicean Court, see Maria Pia Paoli, ‘Di madre in figlio: Per una storia dell'educazione alla corte dei Medici’, Annali di storia di Firenze, 3 (2008), 61–148 (<http://www.dssg.unifi.it/SDF/annali/annali2008.htm>, accessed 22 June 2010).

23 For the dynastic and political significance of the marriage, and the consequent devolution of the artistic heritage of the Della Rovere family to the Medici, see Monica Miretti, ‘Dal ducato di Urbino al granducato di Toscana: Vittoria della Rovere e la devoluzione del patrimonio’, Le donne Medici nel sistema europeo delle corti, XVI–XVIII secolo, ed. Giulia Calvi and Riccardo Spinelli, 2 vols. (Florence, 2008), i, 313–26.

24 For biographical data on Vittoria besides that found in Miretti, ‘Dal ducato di Urbino al granducato di Toscana’, see Lea Rossi Nissim, Donne di casa Medici (Florence, 1993), 71–82.

25 See Eric Cochrane, Florence in the Forgotten Centuries, 1526–1800 (Chicago, IL, 1973); John R. Hale, Florence and the Medici: The Pattern of Control (London, 1977); Furio Diaz, Il granducato di Toscana: I Medici (Turin, 1976), 363–511; and Harold Acton, The Last Medici (London, 1980).

26 Cochrane, Florence in Forgotten Centuries, 192, declares the Grand Duchess Vittoria to be ‘a stiff-necked religious bigot’.

27 See Marcello Fantoni, La corte del granduca (Rome, 1994); Angiolini, ‘Il lungo Seicento’; and, in particular, Marcello Verga, ‘Appunti per una storia politica del granducato di Cosimo III’, La Toscana nell'età di Cosimo III, ed. Angiolini, Becagli and Verga, 335–76.

28 For a reconsideration of the Medici women within this new historiographical perspective, see above all Le donne Medici, ed. Calvi and Spinelli. For a more general picture of the role of the regents and the women of the ruling families of the European courts, see Queenship in Europe 1660–1815: The Role of Consort, ed. Clarissa Campbell Orr (Cambridge, 2004), and Maria Teresa Guerra Medici, Donne di governo nell'Europa moderna (Rome, 2005). More specifically on the education of Vittoria della Rovere, see also Paoli, ‘Di madre in figlio’.

29 This term is taken from Alessandra Contini, ‘Il ritorno delle donne nel sistema di corte’, Le donne Medici, ed. Calvi and Spinelli, i, 5–11. On the patronage of music theatre by Medici regents of the first half of the seventeenth century see Harness, Echoes of Women's Voices, and Janie Cole, ‘Self-Fashioning in Early Seventeenth-Century Florence: Music-Theatre under the MediciWomen’, Ledonne Medici, ed. Calvi and Spinelli, ii, 691-708.

30 See above all the contributions by Riccardo Spinelli, especially ‘Vittoria della Rovere’, Il giardino del granduca: Natura morta nelle collezioni medicee, ed. Marco Chiarini (Turin, 1997), 155–203; ‘Vittoria, principessa d'Urbino, granduchessa di Toscana’, Fasto di corte: La decorazione murale nelle residenze dei Medici e dei Lorena, ed. Mina Gregori, 3 vols. (Florence, 2005–7), ii: L'età di Ferdinando II de' Medici (1628–1670) (2006), 145–50; and ‘Vittoria della Rovere’, ibid., iii: L'età di Cosimo III de’ Medici e la fine della dinastia (1670–1743) (2007), 9–49.

31 For a historical and political reappraisal of Vittoria della Rovere, see Giovanna Benadusi, ‘Carteggi e negozi della granduchessa Vittoria della Rovere, 1634–1694’, Le donne Medici, ed. Calvi and Spinelli, i, 415–31. I am most grateful to the author for letting me read her study before its publication.

32 ‘La religiosità medicea tardo-seicentesca affonda dunque le proprie radici in un sostrato economico, sociale ed ideologico, i cui codici sono, in Toscana come in buona parte dei paesi cattolici, fattori imprescindibili della realpolitik e della rappresentazione del potere’ (Fantoni, ‘Il bigottismo di Cosimo III’, 391).

33 Barbara Riederer-Grohs, ‘Feste e apparati’, Gli ultimi Medici: Il tardo barocco a Firenze, 1670–1743, exhibition catalogue (Florence, 1974), 25; Fantoni, ‘Il culto dell'Annunziata e la sacralità del potere mediceo’, Archivio storico italiano, 147 (1989), 771–93.

34 ‘L'affannosa ricerca di surrogati simbolici di divinizzazione’. Fantoni, ‘Il culto dell'Annunziata’, 775.

35 For this reason, the relationship with the papacy was of crucial importance in Tuscan politics in the seventeenth century, just as, on the cultural plane, Baroque Rome represented for the Florentine grand-ducal court a model of efficacious religious and political propaganda, filtering through a complex system of sacralization of power which had at its centre the universal figure of the pope. See Roberto Ciardi, ‘L'attività artistica della Toscana di Cosimo III: Alcune osservazioni’, La Toscana nell'età di Cosimo III, ed. Angiolini, Becagli and Verga, 357–61, and Marina Caffiero, ‘Istituzioni, forme e usi del sacro’, Roma moderna, ed. Giorgio Ciucci (Rome and Bari, 2002), 143–80. For the relationship between sacrality and power in general, see Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies, ed. David Cannadine and Simon Price (Cambridge, 1987); Sergio Bertelli, Il corpo del re: Sacralità del potere nell'Europa medievale e moderna (Florence, 1990); and Marina Caffiero, La politica della santità: Nascita di un culto nell'età dei lumi (Rome and Bari, 1996).

36 The Congregazione delle Montalve was founded in Florence in 1650 by Eleonora Ramirez de Montalvo. By courtesy of Ferdinando II, the Congregation was able to establish its seat at the Villa La Quiete. It was for the church of the Conservatorio delle Montalve that Cosimo III commissioned from the sculptor Giovan Battista Foggini a monument to his mother Vittoria della Rovere, in order to testify to the Medici family's connections with the Montalve Congregation. See Karla Langedijk, ‘Giovann Battista Foggini: The Monument to Vittoria Della Rovere at the Villa La Quiete and the Busts from Poggio Imperiale’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 23 (1979), 347–55; eadem, The Portraits of the Medici, 15th to 18th Centuries, 3 vols. (Florence, 1981–7), i (1981), 195–6, and ii (1983), 1500–2 (nos. 110/52–3).

37 Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici, ii, 1478.

38 Carlo Dolci, portrait of Vittoria della Rovere, Florence, Galleria Palatina, Inv. Pal., n. 404.

39 Francesca Baldassari, Carlo Dolci (Turin, 1995), 175–7 (note 149). An intensely pious artist, Dolci imbued his paintings with a tormented sensibility, being inspired above all by sacred and devotional subjects. The profoundly religious basis of his pictorial inspiration caused him to become one of the favourite artists of Cosimo III and his mother Vittoria. According to Baldassari, Carlo Dolci painted the grand duchess on at least two other occasions. Vittoria possessed all of 13 paintings by Dolci. Some were acquired directly from the artist after 1667; others were bought from the artist's heirs after his death in 1686. See Spinelli, ‘Vittoria della Rovere’, Fasto di corte, iii, 19–20.

40 Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici, ii, 1475–1511. See also the exhibition catalogue Sustermans: Sessant'anni alla corte dei Medici (Florence, 1983), 35–43.

41 See Barbara Marx, ‘Politica culturale al femminile e identità medicea’, Le donne Medici, ed. Calvi and Spinelli, i, 147–67.

42 On the theory of a ‘double body’ of the king in contemporary portrait painting, see Edouard Pommier, Il ritratto: Storia e teorie dal Rinascimento all'Età dei Lumi (Turin, 2003), 153: ‘Il principe come il santo costituisce una categoria fuori dalla norma: il ritratto del principe non è un'immagine di vanità, ma l'immagine di un rappresentante di Dio. E’ la teoria del ritratto regale all'epoca dell'assolutismo. Gli autori, d'altra parte, introducono la tesi del “doppio corpo” del Re […]: persona privata (che non è per forza un modello di virtù) e persona pubblica (che deve essere rispettata e obbedita). E’ il corpo pubblico, che incarna il potere trasmesso da Dio, il soggetto del ritratto’ (‘The prince, like the saint, is a category beyond the norm: the portrait of the prince is not an image of vanity but the image of a representative of God. This is the theory of the regal portrait in the epoch of absolutism. The authors [that is, painters and theorists], on the other hand, introduce the theory of the “double body” of the king […]: a private person (not necessarily a virtuous one) and a public person (who must be respected and obeyed). It is the public body representing the power transmitted by God which is the subject of the portrait’).

43 On the importance of images and visual evidence in historical research see Peter Burke, Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence (London, 2001).

44 Cesare Ripa, Iconologia (Rome, 1603; facsimile edn Hildesheim, Zurich and New York, 1984), 143.

45 The engraving shows on the right three unidentified characters in a bucolic landscape, amongst whom we can perceive a satyr and, on the left, probably (to judge by his winged helmet) the god Mercury.

46 Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 vols. (Leipzig, [1907]–50), ii (1908), 50.

47 See Flavia Matitti, ‘Il cardinale Pietro Ottoboni mecenate delle arti: Cronache e documenti’, Storia dell'arte, 84 (1995), 156–243, and Tommaso Manfredi, ‘Il cardinale Pietro Ottoboni e l'Accademia Albana’, Arcangelo Corelli, fra mito e realtà storica, ed. Barnett, D'Ovidio and La Via, 117–36. Among the works by Francesco Aquila connected with the Ottoboni musical environment, we might recall the engraved title page of the libretto of the oratorio Per la passione di Nostro Signor Gesù Cristo (1706), based on a drawing by Francesco Trevisani.

48 Although we have no evidence, it is very probable that on one of these two journeys Antonio Veracini came into contact with Arcangelo Corelli within the musical circles of Rome. This supposition is reinforced by the presence of portraits of Roman composers (Corelli, Colista, Cappellini and Pasquini) in Antonio Veracini's possessions from his father's third testament of 1715. Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 562, and The Life and Works of Francesco Maria Veracini, ii, 791. On Antonio Veracini's two trips to Rome see ibid., i, 26–7.

49 ‘Serenissima Altezza. Che l'Anima umana, altro non fosse, che una Armonia, fu parere d'Aristosseno antico Musico e Filosofo. Questa opinione si verifica nella grand'Anima di V.A.S. nella quale un mirabile accordamento di tutte le virtù perfettamente risuona. Quindi è, che ella pasce lo Spirito di questa nostra Musica, che in Suoni, e Canti, passeggieri consiste; ma è solido il suo diletto, mentre si serve di quella, non per solleticamento semplice dell'orecchio, ma per rimetter l'Anima nella contemplazione dell'Immortale, e Celeste; e quindi passare alla considerazione della Divina; e dal movimento misurato delle Sfere innalzarsi al concento meraviglioso, che formano gli Eletti, e gli Angeli intorno a Dio Principe al superno Coro. Il Patrocinio, che V.A. tiene della mobilissima Professione della Musica è ben'argomento d'un animo, come il suo, divinamente armonizzato. Di questo ho provati unicamente e potentemente gli effetti; e i miei poveri talenti non hanno altro pregio se non il riconoscersi figli della Real munificenza di V.A.S. Onde pieno di confidente umiltà, questi miei musicali Concerti le dedico, del suo gloriosissimo Nome fregiandoli; sicuro, che un benigno sguardo di V.A. ravvisandoli come suoi, gli farà comparire al Mondo, e più armoniosi, e più vaghi. Mentre io con questo umile tributo sono a supplicare la medesima A.V.S. di continuare sopra di me l'onore della sua reverita Protezione profondamente inchinato, bacio a V.A. il lembo della Veste. Di V.A.S., Firenze 8 dicembre 1692’ (emphasis added). It has not been possible to discover a symbolic meaning for the date that follows the dedication, or to identify a religious event celebrated in Florence on that day. The Immaculate Conception was celebrated on 8 December, but only from the nineteenth century onwards.

50 See William Newman, The Sonata in the Baroque Era (4th edn, New York, 1983), and Manfred Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York, 1947). For more recent studies, see below, note 51.

51 Among the numerous studies published by Peter Allsop on this subject in recent years, see in particular The Italian ‘Trio’ Sonata; Arcangelo Corelli; ‘Sonata da chiesa – A Case of Mistaken Identity?’, The Consort, 53 (1997), 4–14; and ‘The Italian Sonata and the Concept of the “Churchly”’, Barocco padano, ed. Alberto Colzani, Andrea Luppi and Maurizio Padoan, 4 vols., Contributi musicologici del Centro Ricerche dell'A.M.I.S., 13–16 (Como, 2002–6), i, 239–47.

52 Allsop, ‘The Italian Sonata and the Concept of the “Churchly”’, 239.

53 Allsop, ‘The Italian Sonata and the Concept of the “Churchly”’, 243.

54 Gregory Barnett, ‘Church Music, Musical Topoi and the Ethos of the Sonata da chiesa’, Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica, ed. Barnett, D'Ovidio and La Via, 529–65 (p. 529). See also Barnett, ‘Topoi, Tonality and the Churchly’, The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music, ed. Tim Carter and John Butt (Cambridge, 2005), 507–13; ‘Sonata (da chiesa) Terminology and its Implications’, Barocco padano, ed. Colzani, Luppi and Padoan, iv, 119–44; and ‘Da chiesa and Da camera’, Bolognese Instrumental Music, 1660–1710: Spiritual Comfort, Courtly Delight, and Commercial Triumph (Aldershot, 2008), 163–94.

55 Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 554.

56 Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 555.

57 See my article ‘Sonate a tre d'altri stili: Carlo Mannelli, violinista nella Roma del tardo Seicento’, Recercare, 19 (2007), 147–203.

58 Confirmation of the way in which the compositional conception of op. 1 is strictly tied to the public image of Vittoria is found, moreover, by comparing the style of these sonatas with those of the two sets published successively by Antonio Veracini after the death of Vittora della Rovere. Both collections are made up of sonate da camera, as is explicitly declared on their relative frontispieces; but beyond the specification of the genre, however important, the stylistic language used – above all in op. 3 – is very different from that of op. 1. Even if the op. 3 sonatas are structured following a regular formal scheme, with the alternation of slow and fast movements (dance movements, are absent, however), they have a lighter style, without long contrapuntal movements and inclining towards a homophonic texture or the frequent use of cantabile melodic lines. To this we should add that, unlike the dedication of op. 1, the dedication of op. 3 to Giangastone de’ Medici makes use of formulaic expressions typical of dedications of the time and does not go beyond a generic request for protection and benevolence. For an overview of the sonatas of opp. 2 and 3, see Hill, ‘Antonio Veracini in Context’, 555–60.

59 From the vast bibliography on imprese and emblems in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, see in particular Mario Praz, Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery (Rome, 1939; 2nd edn, 1964); Gennaro Savarese and Andrea Gareffi, La letteratura delle immagini nel Cinquecento (Rome, 1980); Giancarlo Innocenti, L'immagine significante: Studio sull'emblematica cinquecentesca (Padua, 1981); Ezio Raimondi, Il colore eloquente: Letteratura e arte barocca (Bologna, 1995); Guido Arbizzoni, ‘Un nodo di parole e di cose’: Storia e fortuna delle imprese (Rome, 2002); and John R. Snyder, L'estetica del barocco (Bologna, 2005).

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