Stefano Landi

Stefano Landi

Birth
Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Death 28 Oct 1639 (aged 52)
Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Burial Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Memorial ID 22158795 · View Source
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Composer. An innovative figure of the early Baroque period. His masterpiece, "Sant' Alessio" (1632), was the earliest opera based on a historical subject and the first about a religious figure, the 5th Century Saint Alexis, who was portrayed with an attempt at psychological realism that was entirely new to the genre. Before then the plots of music dramas were derived mainly from Greek and Roman mythology. It was also the first opera to feature an overture. Landi was born in Rome, where he was baptized on February 26, 1587, and spent nearly all his life in that city. Starting out as a boy singer at the Collegio Germanico, he took minor holy orders at age 12 and eventually became a subdeacon of the Sistine Chapel and the Papal Choir. He had many noble patrons, including the powerful Borghese and Barberini families; it was the latter who commissioned and produced "Sant' Alessio". Poor health restricted his activities after 1637. Landi wasn't always a musical progressive. He was schooled in the arch-conservative Roman tradition and his earliest published pieces, including a collection of madrigals (1618), sound like holdovers from the Renaissance era. His two years in Venice (1618 to 1620) marked a turning point. Enthusiastic about the new Baroque trends he discovered there, he wrote his first opera, "La Morte d'Orfeo" (1619), and determined to introduce what he learned to a reluctant Rome. Secular opera was frowned upon by the Vatican so Landi's choice of a religious subject for "Sant' Alessio" was cagey, as was his style - a skillful blend of 16th Century polyphony with the latest in vocal forms and instrumental coloring, spiced with some inspired original touches of his own. Its tremendous success made Rome "safe" for opera. Among Landi's other works are two Masses, nine books of madrigals and arias, and several motets.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 13 Oct 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22158795
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Stefano Landi (26 Feb 1587–28 Oct 1639), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22158795, citing Chiesa Nuova, Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .