Giants of London: Handel and Bononcini


Ottoboni Effect

In Rome, which is one of the largest cities in Italy in its own right, art was in need of religious officials and noble families who dominated the society. There was no opera house in the city.

It was closed in 12 by the 1697th Pope Pignatelli, the architect of this reactionary effort. Tor di Nona The process that started with the theater ended with the Capranica Theater opened in 1709. This process could not prevent the influx of musicians to the city.

In addition to the demand for musical accompaniment, which is inevitable for all types of religious celebrations and liturgies, there is also a 'popularity' among the noble and wealthy amateurs among the musicThere was an unbridled enthusiasm for '.

Many chaplains had their own local orchestras. Although they did not compose themselves, they wrote texts/lyrics for the orchestras they were patrons of. The most important name among these religious officials, who stand out with his passion for music and wealth, is the nephew of Pope Alexander 8, the 'appointed' cardinal at the age of 22. Pietro Ottoboni'Dr.

Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni
(1667 - 1740)

Ottoboni staged the operas of talented young composers such as Domenico Scarlatti's father Alessandro Scarlatti, Giovanni Bononcini and Francesco Pollarolo before the ban of the 12th Pope Pignatelli.

Ottoboni's personal property Palace of the ChancelleryThe famous Wednesday music meetings held in . These links, in other words, Ottoboni affiliationhas been instrumental in all Italians involved in music going to London while Handel was there.

Opera copywriters at Handel's Theater Royal (librettist) Nicola Haym and Paolo Antonio Rolli and orchestra leader Pietro Castrucci and Muzio Scevola cellist Filippo Amadei (Pippo Mattei), the author of which were artists in the cardinal's inner circle.

The biggest gain for Handel at the Cancelleria Saray meetings was undoubtedly his meeting with Arcangelo Correlli.

Handel managed to capture a clean sound with the control techniques he learned from Correlli in a century when there were no conductors performing with the baton yet.

Domenico Scarlatti describes this disciplined management to violinist Francesco Geminiani:

 '…I was shocked by the way he conducted his orchestra, his unusual care gives the concertos an extraordinary effect...'

The most important criterion for Correlli is the simultaneous movement of the string chords playing in the orchestra. He is also famous for instantly stopping the orchestra otherwise. This harsh management style and insistence on a high professional standard later shaped Handel's musical style.

Zachow's Student Handel

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow was born in Leipzig in 1663.

The most impressive commentary on composing and performing performance is by Martin Fuhrmann Die an der Kirchen Gottes gebauete Satans-Capelle It is described as follows:

I was studying in Halle in 1692. The name Zachau was just beginning to be heard. Like an addict, I would definitely go to listen to him on Sundays. If there weren't a bridge over the Saale, I would risk swimming to listen not only to him but also to his famous student, Mr. Kirchhoff.

Handel learned not only the patterns, dynamics, strong and adventurous bass strings and choral composition techniques of an aria from his teacher Zachow, but also the elegant use of instruments, color and tone production, which he later brought to perfection with his own talent.

Although it has not survived, it is also known that there are international names such as Kerll, Froberger and Krieger in the book that Handel had while he was working with his teacher.

So what subjects did Handel take lessons on? Zachow taught his famous student contemporary period compositions with solid harmony lessons and asked him to analyze the notes and patterns of these compositions.

Colonna's Student Bononcini

Giovanni Bononcini was born on July 18, 1670 in Modena, Italy. He was the son of the well-known composer and court violinist Giovanni Maria Bononcini (1642-78).

Bononcini, who lost his father on 18 November 1678 and his mother a year earlier, had to live with his stepmother. His childhood was not as good as that of his rival.

Released when he was just 13 years old Sinfonias Op. 3 The dedication note of his work is quite remarkable:

I've taken enough lives from my family to introduce me to misery. They left me in the arms of poverty, dying when I was still a baby.

This is probably the explanation of the life that made Bononcini arrogant and proud until his death.

A native of Modena, Bononcini studied with Giovanni Paolo Colonna in Bologna. Colonna is an important musician from the rich musical tradition of the Philharmonic Academy.

Bononcini, who left Rome with the title of 'cellist and composer', went to Vienna and composed operas for the palace for 16 years.

His famous opera Astarto achieved great success and was staged 20 times. Bononcini also gained international fame thanks to opera. Thanks to Lord Burlington, who participated in the rehearsals of the opera, it was chosen as the opening piece of the 19nd Academy season, which will open in London on 1720 November 2.

Lord Burlington

May the Good One Win!

Lord Burlington had a rather cunning idea to reveal the difference in 'talent' between the two composers. For one of the new operas of the season, the Lord asked each of them to edit a part, together with Pippo Mattei. Another thesis is that academy directors supported their favorite artists by bringing personal conflicts among themselves to the stage, and baroque masters, who were already inclined to race, accelerated this process. In both cases, the fuse was lit, and the beautiful first part, which will be overshadowed by the performance of these two giants, was given to Pippo Mattei.

The theme chosen for the opera is the war of the Romans against the Etruscans, which Bononcini composed twice before. first curtain'Horatius' Bridge Defense', second 'Mutius Scevola's assassination attempt on Lars Porsenna' and the final act is about 'Cloelia and the escape of the female hostages'. As predicted, Handel's final act manages to surpass Mattei and Bononcini.

While Pippo's music is naive, it has been a short-lived and outdated first act. Bononcini's second act is quite touching and idiomatic. Although the scene where Mutius burned his hand succeeded in creating great excitement, the long-lasting melodic lines did not make a 'difference'. Handel's music attracted attention with the arias, which were performed on the right stage and place for the singers.

Act 3 has been well thought out in every aspect and has been planned in detail so that it can impress the audience as well as prove the composer's superiority. One of Handel's main aspirations was to highlight the contrast between the singers. The loud cello accompaniment accompanying Boschi's rich aria was supported by the bassoon. The oboe playing alone in the middle part is the old period. Octavia It was a good example of the motif.

The poor state of Senesino was presented by the following Adagio. The act contained two duets. The first duet was 12/8 beat, the second was 3/4 beat. The structural content was carefully distinguished. Berselli and Robinson's duet was put together after the 12-bar solos, while Senesino and Durastanti were more intertwined.

The opera premiered on April 15, 1721, and was staged nine times throughout the season. The 'nationalist' response of the Hanoverian courtier Fabrice from Flemming, Earl of Dresden, for whom he wrote the enthusiasm of the first performance, is noteworthy:

'I am glad that the German has the upper hand over other composers'


Keates, Jonathan, Handel – The Man & His Music, 1985
Ford, Anthony, The Musical Times, 1970, Vol. 111, No. 1529, p. 695-697


Your email address Will not be published.