Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ah, Antonio, we hardly knew ye....

Lynn Sislo links this interesting article about lost works of composer Antonio Vivaldi. I've always found these kinds of things to be a major source of fascination: the sort of adventurous scholarship needed to search through mountains of trash in hopes of locating lost treasures.

So many times it's not even a case of someone digging through a mountain of manuscripts in hopes of finding something bearing a signature by a Vivaldi or a Monteverdi or whomever; often the works bear no sign of identification, so what has to happen is that the work has to be found by someone already intimately familiar with the person who wrote it, and then that person has to recognize those characteristics inherent within the work as being the unique stamps of authorship. All those lost works in all those piles throughout the world, awaiting either the right scholar at the right time, or the unavoidable ravages of time as they eventually crumble to dust.

Of course, I personally can't abide the music of Vivaldi, but he is a major figure in Baroque music and the article is fascinating nonetheless.

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