Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/80
68 ANIMUCCIA. .
benefactor with great ingratitude. In his own turn he experienced the. fickleness of the Roman public of that day, and quitting, first the capital, and afterwards Italy, brought out a long string of operas in Paris, London, Prague, and Berlin, with varying success. He returned to Italy in 1784, and to Rome itself in 1787. Tiring of the stage, he sought for and obtained the post of Maestro at the Lateran, and held it till his death [App. p.523 "Feb. 1797"].
The music of Anfossi was essentially ephemeral; he was the fashion in his day, and for a time eclipsed his betters. But, although a musician of undoubted talent, he was destitute of real creative power, and it is not likely that his reputation will ever be rehabilitated. He composed no less than forty-six operas and one oratorio, besides certain pieces of church-music, some of which are in the collection of the Lateran and others were in that of the Abbé Santini.Mozart composed two airs for soprano and one for tenor, for insertion in Anfossi's opera of 'Il Curioso indiscrete' on the occasion of its performance at Vienna in 1783, and an arietta for bass for the opera of 'Le Gelosie fortunate' at the same place in 1788. (See Köchel's Catalogue, Nos. 418, 419, 420, 541.) [App. p.523 "See also Curioso Indiscreto."]
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ANIMUCCIA, Giovanni, an Italian composer, born at Florence at the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century. He studied music under Claudeo Goudimel, and in 1555 was made Maestro at the Vatican, retaining that post until his death. He died beyond all question in 1571, for, although Poccianti in his 'Catalogus Scriptorum Florentinorum' places his death in 1569, Adami, Pitoni, and Sonzonio all give the date 1571. But better than any such authority are two entries in the Vatican Archives, one of his death in March 1571, and the other of the election of Palestrina in his place in April following. There can be no doubt, although his fame and his work were so soon to be eclipsed by the genius of Palestrina, that his music was a great advance upon the productions of the Flemish school. More than one passage in the dedications of his published pieces show too that he was touched by the same religious spirit of responsibility which filled the soul of Palestrina; and the friendship of Saint Filippo Neri, which they both shared, is alone an indication of that similarity. The saint's admiration of Animuccia may be gauged by his ecstatic declaration that he had seen the soul of his friend fly upwards towards heaven.
Animuccia composed the famous 'Laudi,' which were sung at the Oratorio of S. Filippo after the conclusion of the regular office, and out of the dramatic tone and tendency of which the 'Oratorio' is said to have been developed. Hence he has been called the 'Father of the Oratorio.' It is strange that a form of music which Protestantism has made so completely its own should have been adopted, even to its very name, from the oratory of a Catholic enthusiast in the later ages of the Church's power.
Several volumes of his works, comprising masses, motetti, madrigals, Magnificats, and some of the 'Laudi,' were published in his lifetime by the Dorici and their successors, by