The Music of Abbatini and Castello:
Rediscovered Treasures of the Early Baroque: Italian Sonatas and arias from 1620-1660

1991, Trinity Presbyterian Church & Cowell College UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA

  Yes! A whole concert dedicated to the music of Antonio Maria Abbatini and Dario Castello!
  Abbatini (c.1609-c.1677) was a composer, musical scholar and choirmaster at many cathedrals in Rome and central Italy. Although little known today, he was well known to his contemporaries as a composer of popular comic operas. For this concert, the Funks performed an aria from his most important surviving opera, first performed for a wedding at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome in 1653.

  Castello (fl. 1621-1649?) was a cornett player and leader of the wind musicians at Saint Mark's cathedral in Venice under the direction of Monteverdi. His compositions survive in two books of instrumental sonatas printed in 1621 and 1629. These remarkably sophisticated compositions were republished many times in Venice and Antwerp during the next 30 years. The popularity of Castello's sonatas was greater than those of any other contemporary composer in Northern Italy, even though his music was considered difficult at the time. The virtuosic solo passages attest to the incredible skills of instrumental musicians in Venice in the early seventeenth century -- the same musician who performed the great works of Gabrieli and Monteverdi. Much of the future development of European chamber music is evident in Castello's sonatas. He was among the very first to write passages specifically for the violin and bassoon in order to take full advantage of their musical potential.

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