Carissimi, Giacomo

Carissimi, Giacomo

b. in 1604 at Marino in the Papal States; d. 12 Jan., 1674, in Rome

The most influential and prolific Italian composer of his time. After completing his musical education in Rome, Carissimi became choirmaster at Assisi, and, in 1628, he was appointed to a like position at the church of St. Apollinaris in Rome. He is considered the father of the modern oratorio form, which had its origin in the simple laudi sacri composed by Palestrina and Annimuccia for St. Philip Neri's meetings of young people, held in his oratorio or place of prayer. By imparting a lyric quality to the recitative, lending variety to the orchestral accompaniments, and dramatic movement to the whole, he developed this form to the point where it was taken up and carried to its perfection by Händel and Bach.

Although many of Carissimi's oratorios and other works have been lost, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris contains the following oratorios in manuscript: "Le mauvais riche", "Jonas". An almost complete collection of the works of this master made by Dr. Henry Aldrich (1647-1710) is found in the library of Christ church College, Oxford. Of Carissimi's settings to liturgical texts two printed collections of motets for two, three, and four voices, and masses for five and nine voices are mentioned. An eight-part "Nisi Dominus" and a "Lauda Sion" in manuscript are preserved in the Santini Library in Rome. Among Carissimi's pupils were Alessandro Scarlatti, J.K. Kerll, Johann Ph. Krieger, Chr. Bernard, and M.A. Charpentier.
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A virtuoso aria with ground bass
£3.95
Simple strophic song for soprano
£2.95
Carissimi: Ferma, lascia ch'io parli (Lamento di Maria Stuarda)
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL MS Harley 1265

An extensive lament for soprano and continuo with range from e to c'' (!!)

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Carissimi: Filli, non t'amo più
Forces: soprano & continuo

This virtuoso piece on a ground bass caught the attention of some editors of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, including Riemann: 3 editions from 1877 to 1923 are cited by new Grove, but apparently none since. The source of this edition is MS. 51 Christ Church College, Oxford, undoubtedly a product of the intense cultivation of Carissimi's music by Henry Aldritch and Richard Goodson.
Range: d'-a''

Editor: Rosalind Halton

A virtuoso aria with ground bass
£3.95
Carissimi: Si dia bando alla speranza
This short song by Carissimi (1605-74) appears in Ms. 51, Christ Church Library, pp.79-81, a manuscript given entirely to solo cantatas and songs by Carissimi for soprano, with a few for bass and continuo.

Some of the Carissimi's most profound and substantial works are given in this manuscript, and Si dia bando alla speranza may be counted as one of the lightest and most appealing pieces in the manuscript, which also contains a copy of the popular Bel tempo per me se n’andò.

Simple strophic song for soprano
£2.95
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