Precursores de Adrian Willaert – Giovanni D’Alessi – Parte 1

Apesar da idade desse texto (publicado em 1959), ainda é considerado um texto relevante para a discussão da gênese do Cori Spezzati (como visto em Charteris, 1990, “Indications in Early Sources”).

Página 187: “coro spezzato (also called coro battente) was not a novelty introduced by Adriano Willaert”
– “As has been observed, the question does not concern the ancient practice of the Church of performing the Psalms with two choirs, alternately answering each other in chanting verses, but rather a custom introduced in the early part of the 16th century; while the ancient tradition of two alternating choirs was maintained, the Gregorian chant came to be supplanted by polyphonic verses, generally entrusted to two vocal quartets (cantus, altus, tenor, bassus).”
– “the double choir, as used in the 16th century, might take three different forms:
1. Two choirs, one of which performs the Gregorian chant, while the other responds with polyphonic verses.
2. Two choirs that respond alternately, each one with “closed” polyphonic verses, i.e., compositions complete in themselves and not related to each other, except in so far as they preserve the mode and psalm tone.
3. Two choirs that alternate with closely interwoven polyphonic verses, so that the entire Psalm forms a single composition. Although each of the two choirs lives its own life, in dialogue with the other, they are nevertheless framed into a unitary composition and sometimes unite to form a complex of eight voices, especially toward the end, or even at some other point, in order better to enhance the sense of the text. Psalms composed in such a way form coro spezzato in the true sense.”

Página 188: [Zarlino 1552] “Sometimes it. happens that some Psalms are composed in such a way that they are called coro spezzato, which many times it is a custom to sing in Venice at Vespers and other hours of the solemn feasts; and they are arranged and divided into two, or three, choirs, in each of which four voices sing, and the choirs sing first one and then the other in alternation, and sometimes (depending upon the intention) all together, especially at the end, and this has a very fine effect. And since such choirs are stationed at some distance from each other, the composer will take care (to the end that there be no ugly dissonances between the parts in any of them) to form the composition in such a manner that each choir is consonant, i.e., that the parts of one choir are arranged in such a way as the piece would be composed for four simple voices, without consideration of the other choirs, having regard, however, in arranging the parts, that they are all in concord and there is no dissonance. For if the choirs are composed in such a manner, each one may be sung separately by itself, and nothing will be heard that might offend the ear. This advice is not to be scorned, for it is of great convenience; and it was formulated (ritrovato) by the most excellent Adriano.”

Página 189: “Since the Istitutioni harmoniche had a didactic character, Zarlino found it opportune to remind the student of this advice, since Willaert, working in a field already prepared by tradition, understood how to provide a new and very definite stylistic model for the employment of coro spezzato, by keeping it closer to the nature of psalmody and to the spirit of the liturgy. Thus the novelty of the discovery of the Flemish master has no reference to its having been he who first used the coro battente but rather to his particular form of treating it, as distinct from that adopted by the composers who had preceded him in the same practice and to whom I shall refer later.”
– [Zarlino 1552] “Then let such a Psalm be composed so that its verses can be sung with another choir in alternation, as Jachetto and many others have composed; or again everything may be composed as a whole, as Lupo composed the Psalms In convertendo Dominus captivitatem Syon and Beati omnes qui timent Dominum in four voices in the eighth mode; or they may be composed for two choirs, like the Psalms of Adriano’s Laudate pueri Dominum, Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, and many others, which are called for coro spezzato.”
– “the third [type on page 189], i.e., the true coro spezzato.”

Página 190: “Mass in eight voices for coro spezzato with the title Missa super verbum bonum by a certain Ruphinus, whom he identified, with good reasons, with Fra Ruffino Bartolucci of Assisi, maestro di cappella at the Padua Cathedral from 1510 to 1520 and then for some years at the Cappella del Santo”
– “a collection of all sorts of sacred compositions by composers flourishing at the end of the 15th and in the first part of the 16th century (Andrea de Silva, Jean Mouton, Josquin des Prez, Gombert, Lheritier, Claudin, Lupus, etc.).”
– [Monsig. Casimiri] “After I transcribed the eight parts,” he writes, “and reconstructed the score, there resulted a composition for double coro battente, with animated and rapid dialogue; yet with some technical life there is still something a little primitive, so that it gives rise to some critical reflections.”
– [Mosig. Casimiri] “The date of the manuscript miscellany which contains the Missa super verbum bonum and which, as I have said above, might be ascribed from its writing to the first quarter of the 16th century; the presence of Ruffinus at Padua, as chapel master of the Cathedral from 1510 to 1520 and then for some years at the Cappella del Santo; the preservation of the manuscript in the archive of a city in Veneto; the internal criterion of style, which reminds us of the first part of the I6th century–all these points suggest, I venture to say with certainty, that in the name Ruphinusis to be recognized Fra Ruffino of Assisi, and the work is to be attributed to the period when he held his post in Padua. Now if this is true, it was an Italian, a son of green Umbria, a Franciscan, who was practicing the form of dialogue for double choir, even in the first years of the 16th century.”

Página 191: “nine Psalms for coro spezzato by “Frater Ruflinus Patavinus” contained in a manuscript in the library of the Liceo Musicale G. Donizetti in Bergamo, the drafting of which was certainly prior to 1550″
– [Prof. Giuseppe Pedemonti 1943] “these are compositions for double coro battente.”

Página 192: “The existence of this codex [Ms. 1207-8, 1524-1542] containing Psalms for coro spezzato, written for the use of the choir of the chapel of S. Maria Maggiore at the period of the major activity of De Albertis, shows conclusively that in Bergamo at that time Psalms for coro spezzato not written by Willaert were being performed.”
– [Pietro Aaron, 13/3/1536, Convent of S. Leonardo in Bergamo] “All the Vespers were performed on the day of the Most Blessed Gregory, the day when, may it please God, I took the habit of the Order of the Crosachieri, honored and respected by many people. For the sake of the love that these musicians and singers have for me, Maestro Gasparo, the chapel master, came here voluntarily with twenty-two singers to honor me, and they sang Vespers most excellently with two choirs and psalmi spezzati.”
– [Fra Ruffino] “the Mass Super verbum bonum, the Bergamo Psalms, and particularly the Dixit and the Laudate pueri, which I was able to score. These are complete for two choirs, so that they offer the possibility of showing the way in which he [Fra Ruffino] treated the coro battente, a way very different from that of Willaert.
As the nature of antiphonal singing requires, Fra Ruffino preserves the tone and mode of the Gregorian melody and in the construction of the verses, which reveal certain technical traits of the first decades of the 16th century, he sometimes uses the imitative style but for the most part has the parts proceed with simultaneous declamation of the text. In the alternation of the choirs he does not always respect the structural unity of the individual verses; more often he breaks them with a give and take between the two choirs. Profiting by their contrast and echo effects with repetition of words, he gives life to a rapid dialogue, briefly articulated, lively, and concerted. In both of the Psalms he unites the two choirs twice-at the fifth verse and the final Doxology of the Dixit, and at the second verse and the Gloria of the Laudate pueri.”

Página 195: “The Gloria (…) is attacked simultaneously the two choirs and then proceeds in a very rapid dialogue(…).”

D’ALESSI, Giovanni. Precursors of Adriano Willaert in the Practice of Coro Spezzato. In Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Autumn, 1952). California: University of California Press, 1952, p. 187-210.

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