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CIC explores late Renaissance and early Baroque eras this fall

Posted 10/18/16

Canti e Cantici, Music in the AGe of Humanism and Scientific Revolution, Composers of the Renaissance and Baroque EraThe Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University marks its 16th year this fall with another series of talks and performances focused on the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras.

The Renaissance (“rebirth”) was a period of great flourishing of the arts, supported by the patronage of Italian city states such as Florence and Venice, and the popes in Rome. Classical Humanism stimulated the recovery, study, and translation of ancient Greek and Roman texts, and artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo infused classical principles with modern scientific procedures in their studies of anatomy and observations of the natural world.

The invention of the movable type printing press gave rise to a thriving music publishing industry. Madrigals, motets, and masses flooded the market ushering in a veritable golden age of a-cappella singing. Musicians such as Giovanni Gabrieli contributed to the expansion of instrumental music, Claudio Monteverdi pioneered the nascent opera, and Antonio Vivaldi followed with the concerto genre.

The programs start with a talk by Professor Teresa Fava Thomas entitled “The Restoration of Musical Performance Venues in Venice and Rome.” The lecture will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Kent Recital Hall in the Conlon Fine Arts Building, 367 North St. Admission is free. Thomas will discuss efforts to save and restore historic Italian churches and performance halls where musicians like Vivaldi, Palestrina, Monteverdi, and Strozzi performed their music 400 years ago.

Programming continues on Friday, Nov. 4, with a lecture and demonstration on brass music and composition with French horn player Shelagh Abate and composer Michele Caniato. That program will be held at 12:30 and 2 p.m. in Kent Recital Hall. Admission is free.

There will also be a concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Kent Recital Hall entitled “Music in the Age of Humanism and Scientific Revolution: Composers of the Renaissance and Baroque Era,” featuring Elise Groves, soprano, Caroline Rossiter Olsen, mezzo-soprano, Sean Lair, tenor, Elijah Blaisdell, baritone, and the Triton Brass Quintet. Admission is free.

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