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Domenico Cimarosa
1749 - 1801
Italy
Picture Picture
D. Cimarosa
Domenico Cimarosa (17/12/1749 - 11/01/1801), an Italian composer, from Aversa, Naples. He was trained in Naples, became one of the more important composers of Italian comic opera in the last quarter of the 18th century. He spent some years from 1787 as maestro di cappella to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg and at the court of the Emperor Leopold II in Vienna in 1791, the year of Mozart's death. His later association with republicans in Naples led to a brief period of imprisonment before his death in Venice in 1801.
In 1798 Domenico Cimarosa (1749 - 1801) was taken seriously ill in Naples. The following year, he was imprisoned for a number of days, having taken part in the Neapolitan demonstration on the arrival of the French army in that city. After travelling to Venice to work on a new opera, death suddenly overtook him. There were rumours of poisoning on the order of Queen Caroline of Naples, on the grounds that he was a dangerous revolutionary. Subsequently, the Pope’s personal physician, Piccioli, was sent to examine Cimarosa’s corpse. Piccioli’s sworn statement was death from a gangrenous abdominal tumour.
Requiem in G minor
Period:Classicism
Composed in:1787
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:ca.60'
In memory of:the Duchess of Serra Capriola, the wife of his patron
Label(s):Phillips 442 657-2
Bongiovanni GB 2088-2
Through the Duke of Serra Capriola, the minister for Naples and Sicily to St. Petersburg, where he arrived on December 2, 1787. Only ten days later, the Duchess of Serra Capriola, the wife of his patron, died, and for the funeral Cimarosa quickly composed the Requiem in G minor. It is a singular composition. Cimarosa's music, whether secular or sacred, reflects his character: it is permeated with his serenity. Sometimes he attains seriousness, sometimes he captured a moment of melancholy, but there is never a trace of grieve. This requiem is no exception: there is no grief, let alone desperation, only consolation in the certainty of eternal life. The music has great majesty. The dotted rhythms recall the destiny that has determined the final moment of our terrestial journey. The requiem has been performed at his own funeral in 1801 as well.
From the late 17th century onwards, mainly through the contributions of leading opera composers such as Feo, Galuppi, Hasse, Pergolesi, Jommelli, Gassmann, Cimarosa and Gossec, individual movements of the requiem became gradually larger, the orchestration richer and the solo vocal writing more elaborate. In some cases, single texts, usually the sequence and the responsory, were set separately, either as independent motets or as a means of providing vivid contrast within chanted forms of the funeral service.
Author:Steven Chang-Lin Yu
This Missa pro defunctis is for SATB choir and orchestra (Oboe (2), Bassoon (1), Trumpet (2), Violin (2), Cello (1), Double bass (1), Organ (1)).