Sancta Maria Concerto A 5

Composer: Franzoni, Amante Arranger: Siler, Nathan
Instrumentation: Solo and Trombone quartet Instruments: Trombone, Voice
Genre: Baroque

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Sancta Maria Concerto A 5
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    Amante Franzoni’s date of birth can be placed around 1575. By 1607, he was already in the service of the Gonzaga family, holding close ties to the musical circle at court, becoming supervisor of court music from 1619. A brief stay stay in Forlí in 1611 produced his first book of madrigals, which earned him the title of Accademico Olimpico, where he was maestro di cappella at the Duomo of Forlí.[1] By October, 1612, he had returned to Mantua to become maestro di cappella of the ducal chapel of Santa Barbara, where he would remain until 1630.[2]


    After a period of political unrest brought upon by the death of various dukes, Franzoni found his champion in Duke Ferdinando, who had a great love and expertise in music and had the entire Gonzaga musical archive (lost completely during the Lanzichenecchi’s siege of the city in 1630) reorganized.[3]


    In Mantua, under the rule of Ferdinando, musical realities directly placed upon the Gonzaga family were two types, one linked to sacred music taking place in the Basilica di Santa Barbara dependent upon the Chapter of that same basilica (the Chapter was responsible for reimbursement and accommodation of musicians), and the other concerning court music directly controlled by the duke. Ferdinando gave great care to the staffing of both musical chapels: he gave stability of the basilica, amassing huge forces, selecting Franzoni as maestro of polyphony and hiring many skilled musicians at the court, including Girolamo Frescobaldi, who remained in Mantua only a few months.[4]


    The Apparato musicale: di messa, sinfonie, canzoni, motetti and letanie della Beata Vergine a otto voce: Mantua, 1613 is without a doubt his greatest work. This publication was significant in that it contained a complete setting for two choirs of music for the Mass liturgy that consisted not only of mass ordinary items, but also several substitutes for the proper items, these being motets and four- and eight part instrumental works bearing the name entrada, ricercar, canzone, and sonata.[5]


    Of particular interest is a setting of Sancta Maria, one that appears in Franzoni’s table of contents as “Concerto a cinque da suonarsi con Quattro Tromboni cioè Tre Bassi, un Tenore, &il soprano sempre canta” (“Concerto for five [parts] to be played with four trombones, that is, three basses and one tenor, and the soprano always singing”)[6]

    [1] Franzoni, Amante, “Apparato musicale: di messa, sinfonie, canzoni, motteti and letanie della Beata Vergine a otto voci: Mantova, 1613, ed. Luca Colombo. Milan: Biblioteca del Conservatorio G. Verdi, 2011.

    [2] Fenlon, Iain. “Amante Franzoni” In The New Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., Vol. 8, London: MacMillan Publishing, Ltd., 2001.

    [3] Franzoni, viii

    [4] Ibid, viii

    [5] George Kay Halsell, “North Italian sacred ensemble music of the first third of the seventeenth century calling for participation by one or more trombones: An annotated anthology with historical introduction and commentary” (Doctoral diss., University of Texas at Austin, 1989) 22.

    [6] Ibid, 22-23.

    More Information
    SKU CM2882
    Price 40.00
    Composer Franzoni, Amante
    Arranger Siler, Nathan
    Instrument Trombone, Voice
    Instrumentation Solo and Trombone quartet
    Genre Baroque
    Publisher Cimarron Music Press
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