Salamone Rossi

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Opening of Rossi's Madrigaletti, Venice, 1628

Salamone Rossi or Salomone Rossi (Hebrew: סלומונה רוסי or שלמה מן האדומים‎) (Salamon, Schlomo; de' Rossi) (ca. 1570 – 1630) was an Italian Jewish violinist and composer. He was a transitional figure between the late Italian Renaissance period and early Baroque.

Life[edit]

As a young man, Rossi acquired a reputation as a talented violinist. He was then hired (in 1587) as a court musician in Mantua, where records of his activities as a violinist survive.

Rossi served at the court of Mantua from 1587 to 1628 as concertmaster[1] where he entertained the ducal family and their highly esteemed guests. The composers Rossi, Monteverdi, Gastoldi, Wert and Viadana provided fashionable music for banquets, wedding feasts, theatre productions and chapel services amongst others. Rossi was so well-thought of at this court that he was excused from wearing the yellow badge that was required of other Jews in Mantua.

Rossi probably died either in the invasion of Austrian troops, who defeated the Gonzagas and destroyed the Jewish ghetto in Mantua, or in the subsequent plague which ravaged the area.

Rossi's sister, Madama Europa, was an opera singer, and possibly the first Jewish woman to be professionally engaged in that area. Like her brother, she was employed at the court in Mantua; she is thought to have performed in the intermedio Il Ratto di Europa, by Chiabrera and Gastoldi, during the wedding festivities for Francesco Gonzaga in 1608.[2] She also disappeared after the end of the Gonzaga court and subsequent sack of the ghetto.

Works[edit]

Italian[edit]

His first published work (released in 1589) was a collection of 19 canzonettes, short, dance-like compositions for a trio of voices with lighthearted, amorous lyrics. Rossi also flourished in his composition of more serious madrigals, combining the poetry of the greatest poets of the day (e.g. Guarini, Marino, Rinaldi, and Celiano) with his melodies. In 1600, in the first two of his five madrigal books, Rossi published the earliest continuo madrigals, an innovation which partially defined the beginning of the Baroque era in music; these particular compositions included tablature for chitarrone.[3]

Rossi published 150 secular works in Italian, including:

Canzonette a 3, Libro primo

  • I bei ligustri, for 3 voices - Boston Early Music Ensemble
  • Correte amanti, for 3 voices - Boston Early Music Ensemble
  • S'el Leoncorno, for 3 voices - Boston Early Music Ensemble

Madrigali a 5, Libro primo

  • Cor Mio, madrigal for 5 voices - Boston Early Music Ensemble
  • Dir mi che piu non ardo, madrigal for 5 voices - Boston Early Music Ensemble

Instrumental[edit]

In the field of instrumental music Rossi was a bold innovator. He was one of the first composers to apply to instrumental music the principles of monodic song, in which one melody dominates over secondary accompanying parts. His trio sonatas, among the first in the literature, provided for the development of an idiomatic and virtuoso violin technique. They stand midway between the homogeneous textures of the instrumental canzona of the late Renaissance and the trio sonata of the mature Baroque.

Works published, and preserved today include:

  • Il primo libro delle sinfonie e gagliarde a 3–5 voci (1607)
  • Il secondo libro delle sinfonie e gagliarde a 3–5 voci (1608)
  • Il terzo libro de varie sonate, sinfonie (1613)
  • Il quarto libro de varie sonate, sinfonie (1622)

Hebrew[edit]

Rossi also published a collection of Jewish liturgical music, השירים אשר לשלמה (Ha-shirim asher li-Shlomo, The Songs of Solomon) in 1623. This was written in the Baroque tradition and (almost) entirely unconnected to traditional Jewish cantorial music. This was an unprecedented development in synagogal music. The biblical Song of Solomon does not appear within The Songs of Solomon, hence the name is probably a pun on Rossi's first name (Rikko 1969). Rossi set many Biblical Hebrew texts to music in their original Hebrew language, which makes him unique among Baroque composers. His vocal music resembles that of Claudio Monteverdi and Luigi Rossi, but its lyrics are in Hebrew.

  • Adon 'olam (8v) piyyut — Boston Camerata, Milnes Vol. I,
  • 'Al naharot bavel (4v) Ps. 137 — Profeti della Quinta (2009) Milnes Vol. II,
  • Barekhu (3v) prayer — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Boston Camerata, Milnes Vol. I,
  • Barukh haba beshem Adonai (6v) Ps. 118:26–29 — Boston Camerata Milnes Vol. II,
  • Eftah na sefatai (7v) piyyut — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Eftah shir bisfatai (8v) piyyut — Boston Camerata, Milnes Vol. II,
  • Ein keloheinu (8v) piyyut — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Ele mo'adei Adonai (3v) Lev. 23:4 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Elohim hashivenu Ps. 80:4, 8, 20 — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Milnes Vol. I,
  • Haleluyah. Ashrei ish yare et Adonai (8v) Ps. 112 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Haleluyah. Haleli nafshi (4v) Ps. 146 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Haleluyah. Ode Adonai (8v) Ps. 111 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Hashkivenu (5v) prayer — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Milnes Vol. I,
  • Keter yitenu lakh (4v) Great kedusha — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Milnes Vol. I,
  • Lamnatseah 'al hagitit (5v) Ps. 8 — Profeti della Quinta (2009) Milnes Vol. II,
  • Lamnatseah 'al hasheminit (3v) Ps.12 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Lamnatseah binginot mizmor shir (3v or 4v) Ps. 67 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Lemi ehpots (3v) Wedding ode — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Milnes Vol. II,
  • Mizmor le'Asaf. Elohim nitsav (3v) Ps. 82 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Mizmor leDavid. Havu l'Adonai (6v) Ps. 29 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Mizmor letoda (5v) Ps. 100 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Mizmor shir leyom hashabat (6v) Ps. 92 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Odekha ki'anitani (6v) Ps. 118:21–24 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot. Ashrei kol yere Adonai (3v) Ps. 128 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot. Ashrei kol yere Adonai (5v) Ps. 128 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot. Ashrei kol yere Adonai (6v) Ps. 128 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot. Beshuv Adonai (5v) Ps. 126 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot leDavid. Lulei Adonai (6v) Ps. 124 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Shir hama'alot. Esa'einai (5v) Ps. 121 — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Yesusum midbar vetsiya (5v) Isaiah 35:1–2, 5–6, 10 — Milnes Vol. II,
  • Yigdal Elohim hai (8v) piyyut — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Yitgadal veyitkadesh (3v) Full kaddish — Milnes Vol. I,
  • Yitgadal veyitkadesh (5v) Full kaddish — Profeti della Quinta (2009), Milnes Vol. I,

Recordings[edit]

  • Rossi: (1) Vocal Works, (2) Madrigals, (3) Canti di Salomone. 3CD licensed from Tactus Records Italy to Brilliant Classics, Netherlands. BLC 93359
Madrigaletti op. XIII - Ensemble L'aura soave. Diego Cantalupi TC.571802 2000
Primo libro di madrigali a 4 voci - Arie a voce sola dal I Libro dei Madrigali a 5 voci - Ut Musica Poësis Ensemble Director: Stefano Bozolo TC.571803 2001
Canti di Salomone a 3 parti - Sonata e Salmi di Henry Purcell - Mottetto di André Campra - Ensemble Hypothesis Director: Leopoldo d'Agostino TC.571804 2003
  • The Songs of Solomon. Corvina Consort dir. Zoltan Kalmanovits, Hungaroton 2006
  • The Songs of Solomon, Volume 1: Music for the Sabbath. Pro Gloria Musicae PGM 108
  • The Songs of Solomon, Volume 2: Holiday and festival music Jewish sacred music from 17th-century Italy by Salamone Rossi, New York Baroque; dir. Eric Milnes. Troy, NY; Dorian, 2001
  • The Songs of Solomon Profeti della Quinta, Ensemble Muscadin, PAN Classics, Switzerland (2009) - libretto with Hebrew texts.
  • Salamone Rossi Hebreo Boston Early Music. dir. Prof. Joshua R. Jacobson
  • Salomone Rossi - Illumine Our Hearts Sursum Corda. MSR Classics. 2010-02-09

on collections

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schwarz, Boris (1983). Great Masters of the Violin. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 35–36. ISBN 0-671-22598-7. 
  2. ^ Harran, Madama Europa, Jewish Singer in Late Renaissance Mantua
  3. ^ Haar, et al.

Sources[edit]

  • Birnbaum, Eduard (1978) Jewish musicians at the court of the Mantuan dukes, 1542–1628, Tel Aviv : Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Fine Arts, School of Jewish Studies, 1978, c. 1975
  • James Haar, Anthony Newcomb, Glenn Watkins, Nigel Fortune, Joseph Kerman, Jerome Roche: "Madrigal", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  • Harran, Don (2003). Salamone Rossi: Jewish Musician in Late Renaissance Mantua. Oxford University Press. 332 pages. ISBN 0-19-816271-5
  • Nettle, Paul and Theodore Baker (1931). "Some Early Jewish Musicians" in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1. (Jan., 1931), pp. 40–46. ISSN 0027-4631
  • Rikko, Fritz (1969). "Salamon Rossi, Hashirim Asher L'shlomo (The Songs of Solomon)" in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 269–275

External links[edit]