Venice Music - Past and Present

For centuries, music has been an important part of Venetian culture. Musicians and composers flocked to Venice, particularly in the 1500s, encouraged by the advent of music publishing.

They created a music style all their own. This style made use of the unique acoustics, sound delay, of the Basilica San Marco in which the organ unites groups of singers and instruments playing in opposition.

But music performed in churches was not the only innovation in Venice. Before the 1590s, composers such as the father of opera, composer Claudio Monteverdi, only presented operas for private audiences.

When Monteverdi moved to Venice from Mantua he brought with him the concept of opera for the masses. The people of Venice, and the world, saw its first performances in the new Teatro Tron, the first opera house opened to the public.

Music in Venice Today

Today, travelers can enjoy the music of Venice at San Vidal Church. The Interpreti Veneziani, plays works of Vivaldi, Mozart, among others. Also, the Musica in Maschera group performs opera selections in Venice while dressed in 18th century costumes and masks at Scuola di Carmini.

The newly restored Teatro La Fenice opera house in Venice presents opera as well as orchestral concerts and hosts events for the Venice Biennale Festival.

Historical Music Artifacts

Music lovers can get a further treat at exhibitions throughout Venice.

On the island of San Giorgio Maggiore manuscripts of Antonio Vivaldi are preserved by the Giorgio Cini Foundation. The foundation also houses historic musical instruments such as a grand Beethoven fortepiano made in 1823, an 18th-century Neapolitan organ, among others.

In Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, the Levi Foundationn maintains a library housing 19th century handwritten and printed scores as well as first editions of operatic works by the publisher Ricordi. The Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana also houses music manuscripts of Venetian composers.

The orgphanage, Ospedale della Pieta, which doubled as a music conservatory with Vivaldi as its head music master, displays Vivaldi documents and artifacts.

See also:
Chiesa di San Vidal Concerts

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