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Issue 32

(Spring 2018)






Alexandros Dionatos: The institutions of music education in the Italian Baroque. Traditional practices and innovative foundations: Venetian Ospedali and Neapolitan Conservatorii


Despite the economic turmoil and the ominous political developments of the 17th-18th centuries, Italy became the birthplace of the artistic and musical Baroque. The orgasmic growth of sacred and secular music, most notably of the opera, as well as the exuberant musical life of the Italian cities, gave birth to a unique need for musicians of any specialty, which could only be partially covered, either by the traditional musical institutions or other informal music educational modes.

The ecclesiastical institutions, indisputably, played an important role in music education, aiming primarily in covering their musical needs. Such were clerical schools, church choirs, welfare institutions established by the church (for boys), and monasteries (for girls). Other equally important means of music education were in-house teaching of children coming from families of musicians, education under the tutelage of a professional, apprenticeship in music players guilds, and private home lessons for aristocracy. Despite all that, in the early days of the 17th century new forms of musical educational institutions are emerging and flourishing, dwelling in humble welfare institutions (orphanages, penitentiaries, asylums) in Venice and Naples. The evolution of music education in the four Venetian ospedali aided their financial independence and survival, in an era of economic decline. The elevated performance of the vocal and instrumental ensembles playing in the chapels could result in larger congregations, increase of generous offers, and finally in the financial survival of the institutions. With the progressive organization of their musical schools in the early 18th century, the ospedali become highly acclaimed in Europe for the exceptional quality of musical ensembles. The starting point as well for the Neapolitan Conservatorii was the financial survival of the institutions; however, the music education in these institutions was soon associated with the productive chain and the necessity to cover the citys demanding musical needs. Neapolitan conservatories have been, among other things, the main training houses for castratos in Europe, and the cradle of major composers, who will later excel in the most significant courts in Europe. Even though the second half of the 18th century saw the descent of the Venetian and Neapolitan foundations, their contribution to the evolution of music has been crucial and their educational material a heritage treasured to our days.



Nefeli Chadouli: Mixed forms of sonata and rondo in the final movements of selected piano trios by Mendelssohn (opera 49 and 66) and Spohr (opus 133)


Triggered by the study of sonata and rondo mixtures used in the final movements of major piano trios that were composed around the fifth decade of 19th century, the present study starts with a chronological presentation and a brief overview of the basic characteristics of all the piano trios composed by Mendelssohn, Spohr and Schumann. Subsequently, the study focuses on analyses of three final movements from selected works of Mendelssohn (Piano Trio no. 1, in d minor, opus 49, and Piano Trio no. 2, in c minor, opus 66) and Spohr (Piano Trio no. 4, in B-flat major, opus 133), concluding with a review of common characteristics between them. Its ultimate goal is the extraction of general conclusions, concerning both the treatment of mixed sonata and rondo forms within these three works and the level at which the aforementioned composers show preference in these sonata and rondo mixtures.



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