A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Caccini, Giulio

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CACCINI, Giulio, a native of Rome, known also as Giulio Romano, born, according to the preface of his own 'Nuove Musiche,' in 1558 or 1560. He learned to sing and play the lute from Scipione della Palla, and in 1578 removed to Florence, where he remained till his death in 1640. Great as a singer he was still greater as a reformer in music. Though neither harmonist nor contrapuntist, it was he who, following the lead of V. Galilei, first gave countenance and importance to music for a single voice. The recitatives which he composed and sang to the accompaniment of the theorbo, amid the enthusiastic applause of the musical assemblies meeting at the houses of Bardi and Corsi in Florence, were a novelty of immense significance. They were the first attempt to make music dramatic, to use it as the expression of emotion. From such small beginnings he proceeded to detached scenes written by Bardi, and thence to higher flights. The pastoral drama of Dafne, written by Rinuccini and set to music by Caccini and Peri in 1594, and still more the 'Euridice, Tragedia per Musica,' of the same poet and the same musicians in 1600, were the beginnings of the modern opera. Other compositions of Caccini's were the 'Combattimento d'Apolline col Serpente,' 'Il ratto di Cefale' (with Peri), and 'Le nuove Musiche,' a collection of madrigals and canzone for a single voice. 'Euridice' has been published—but with the name of Peri alone attached to it—by Guidi (1863, 8vo.). Caccini's daughter Francesca was celebrated both as a singer and composer.