The Messa, Magnificat et Iubilate Deo a sette chori concertati con le trombe (1621) of Giovanni Valentini, organist, and later chapel master to the Hapsburg Emperor Ferdinand II, command attention on several counts. They are cast on more expansive a scale than any music yet to appear in print, and feature what their composer claimed was "a new way of combining trumpets with voices and instruments." While only two part-books from the collection have survived, newly discovered archival sources, contemporaneous accounts of Hapsburg court ceremony, and surviving compositions from the imperial court enable us to reconstruct a context for understanding these seven-choir compositions. Valentini's works prove to be major musical statements of political ideas, and provide a rare glimpse into the functions, conventions, and ideologies of early seventeenth-century ceremonial music. More significant, they provide a window onto a music culture of unsuspected opulence, the imperial court in Vienna under Ferdinand II.
- Copyright 1991 The American Musicological Society, Inc.