The Italian Cantata in Vienna

9780253010186: Hardback
Release Date: 18th October 2013

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 392

Series Publications of the Early Music Institute

Indiana University Press

The Italian Cantata in Vienna

Entertainment in the Age of Absolutism

Hardback / £52.00

Lawrence Bennett provides a comprehensive study of the rich repertoire of accompanied vocal chamber music that entertained the imperial family in Vienna and their guests throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries. The cantata became a form of elite entertainment composed to amuse listeners during banquets or pay homage to members of the royal family during special occasions. Concentrating on Baroque cantatas composed in the Habsburg court, Bennett draws extensively on primary source material to explore the stylistic changes that occurred within the genre in the generations before Haydn and Mozart.

List of Bibliographical Abbreviations
List of RISM Sigla
1. Introduction
The Role of Music in the Daily Lives of the Habsburgs
The Scope of the Book
The Secondary Literature
The Cantata Terminology
Forerunners of the Cantata in Vienna
Part I: The Cantata in Vienna, 1658-1700
2. The Political and Cultural Milieu
Historical Background
Leopold I as Patron and Composer
Habsburg Music Chapels, 1658-1700
Occasions, Places of Performance, and Performers
3. The Composers
Composers Who May Have Written Cantatas for Vienna During the Early
Reign of Leopold I
Antonio and Carlo Draghi
Filippo Vismarri
Carlo Cappellini
Giovanni Battista Pederzuoli
Antonio Maria and Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani
German-Speaking Composers
4. Repertoire and Sources
The Repertoire
The Sources
5. Text and Music
Antonio Maria Viviani
Antonio Bertali
Filippo Vismarri
Carlo Cappellini
Giovanni Battista Pederzuoli
Antonio and Carlo Draghi
Part II: The Cantata in Vienna, 1700-1711
6. The Political and Cultural Milieu
Historical Background
Joseph I as Patron and Composer
Cultural Growth
Habsburg Music Chapels, 1700-1711
Genre Designations
Occasions, Places of Performance, and Performers
Librettists and Librettos
7. The Composers
Carlo Agostino Badia
Giovanni Bononcini
Marc’Antonio Ziani
Attilio Ariosti
Antonio Maria Bononcini
Composers Who May Have Written Cantatas for Vienna
8. Repertoire and Sources
New Interest in the Cantata
The Repertoire of Cantatas by Habsburg Composers
9. Style Overview
The Style Transition
Broad Structural Plans
Selection of Voices
Recitative and Arioso
Aria Keys
Continuum (Tempo/Meter)
The Use of Devisen
Aria Designs
10. Aspects of Form
The Conventional Da Capo Design
Variants from the Conventional Design
Articulation of

Lawrence Bennett is Professor Emeritus of Music and former Chair of the Music Department at Wabash College. He founded the Western Wind, a vocal ensemble that has toured professionally throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Lawrence Bennett is the best possible scholar to explore the breadth and depth of the Italian Cantata in Vienna before Charles VI began his reign in 1711. He is a professor, choral director, and professional tenor who has studied Viennese cantatas for half a century, and can now date them stylistically and evaluate the worth of each one within its style group.

Lowell Lindgren
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This book contains a wealth of new information. It comes from a scholar who writes clearly and perceptively, and who has devoted decades of attention to the material.

Steven Saunders
Charles A. Dana Professor of Music, Colby College

The book is of great use in providing a panorama of vocal chamber music during the age of Leopold I and Joseph I, identifying the characteristics of their patronage, and giving an important overview of musical entertainments at the imperial court. . . . With this book, Professor Bennett provides scholars with an important tool for understanding the context in which cantatas were composed and performed, and in which the Hapsburgs’ important music collection . . . was created.


This is an important book. It deserves to be warmly welcomed not only by scholars but also by performers of Baroque vocal chamber music, who will find many interesting avenues to explore.

Early Music

[T]his book is to be recommended as shedding light on an important yet seldom-discussed repertory, written by someone whose expertise is unquestionable.

Music and Letters

By taking multiple analytical approaches, Bennett establishes an overall understanding while also demonstrating how individual composers approached the genre. . . . Recommended.