Marianna Martines (1744-1813) was one of the most accomplished, prolific, and highly honored female musicians of the eighteenth century. She spent most of her life in a remarkable household that included celebrated librettist Pietro Metastasio, who supervised her education and remained a powerful and supportive mentor. She studied with the young Joseph Haydn, and Vienna knew her as a gifted, aristocratic singer and keyboard player who performed for the pleasure of the Empress Maria Theresa. The regular private concerts she held in her home attracted the presence and participation of some of Vienna's leading musicians; Mozart enjoyed playing keyboard duets with her. She composed prolifically and in a wide variety of genres, vocal and instrumental, writing church music, oratorios, Italian arias, sonatas, and concertos. Much of that music survives, and those who study it, perform it, and listen to it will be impressed today by its craftsmanship and beauty. This book, the first volume fully devoted to Martines, examines her life and compositional oeuvre. Based largely on eighteenth-century printed sources, archival documents, and letters (including several by Martines herself, most of them published here for the first time) the book presents a detailed picture of the small but fascinating world in which she lived and demonstrates the skillfulness and creativity with which she manipulated the conventions of the gallant style. Focusing on a limited number of representative works, and using many musical examples, it vividly conveys the nature and extent of her compositional achievement and encourages the future performance of her works. The late Irving Godt was Professor of Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. John A. Rice, independent scholar, is a member of the Akademie für Mozart-Forschung in Salzburg.
Subjects: History, Music
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