Accademia degli Arcadi, 2022
This Week in Classical Music: November 14, 2022. Rome. On one among our latest walks in Rome, whereas coming down the Janiculum Hill (the Belvedere on the high affords a powerful view of the town), we got here throughout an indication on a gate, Accademia degli Arcadi. The gate was closed and led, it appeared, into the gardens. That was puzzling: might it’s the Academy? Wasn’t it dissolved a few years in the past? We needed to examine, and the solutions had been shocking – however first let’s look again at what Accademia degli Arcadi was about and when. The beginnings of the Academy return to the time of Queen Christina of Sweden’s sojourn to Rome. Christina, who abdicated the Swedish throne in 1654 however stored a lot of her riches, transformed to Catholicism, settled in Rome within the Palazzo Farnese and surrounded herself with probably the most illustrious Roman intellectuals – poets, composers, philosophers. She turned a patron to lots of them. On January 24th of 1656 she opened an Academy, offering an area within the Palazzo Farnese, and known as it Accademia degli Arcadi; it was a society dedicated to cultural and mental affairs; its member met to debate issues they deemed essential, whether or not in poetry, music or arts. A lot of it in these days was directed towards the predominant Baroque fashion.
After Christina’s loss of life in 1689 the Academy needed to transfer a number of instances and, in 1723, because of the generosity of King John V of Portugal, it settled in a newly constructed villa in a backyard on the slope of the Janiculum, known as Bosco Parrasio. The gate resulting in the villa was what we noticed on our stroll down the hill. The Academy functioned as an essential cultural establishment for a few years however with time it turned much less related, and, by the tip of the 19th century, fairly conservative. It nonetheless exists to this present day, however as an alternative of being a spot the place new concepts are generated and new arts promoted, it turned a analysis establishment, branching into such fields as historical past and archeology. It additionally moved, and Bosco Parrasio stays principally empty, although some live shows are being performed there sometimes. The Academy’s new headquarters are positioned not removed from Piazza Navona, within the Biblioteca Angelica on Piazza di S. Agosino.
In the course of the Academy’s early, and most vigorous, days, many outstanding composers had been its members, amongst them Alessandro Scarlatti, Arcangelo Corelli, Giovanni Bononcini, and brothers Alessandro and Benedetto Marcello. The well-known opera librettist Pietro Metastasio additionally was a member. The younger Handel, whereas he lived in Rome, attended its conferences. Let’s hear a few of the music created by the Arcadians. Alessandro Scarlatti was well-known for his operas, however he additionally wrote some church music. Right here’s Credo, from his Messa di Santa Cecilia. Maurice Abravanel leads the Utah Symphony Orchestra and the College of Utah Refrain. Giuseppe Valentini, one other Arcadian, was born in 1681; he isn’t as well-known as Scarlatti however his Concerto in A minor, op. 7, no. 11 is pleasant. Right here it’s, within the efficiency by the Musica Antiqua Köln.