'TO MAKE OF LISBON A NEW ROME': THE REPERTORY OF THE PATRIARCHAL CHURCH IN THE 1720S AND 1730S

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Abstract

The elevation of the Portuguese Royal Chapel to the rank of Patriarchal Church in 1716 was part of a larger process of 'Romanization' - that is, of assimilation and adaptation of Roman models within Portuguese music and culture. This involved the training of numerous chaplain-singers and young Portuguese composers in Rome, as well as the importation of chant books, ministers, singers and even the maestro di cappella of the Cappella Giulia, Domenico Scarlatti. According to the anonymous 'Breve rezume de tudo o que se canta en cantochao, e canto de orgao pellos cantores na santa igreja patriarchal' (Brief summary of all that is sung in plainchant and polyphony by the singers at the holy Patriarchal Church) a document written at some point between 1722 and 1724 the repertory of the Patriarchal Church was a varied mixture of works by thirty-two identified composers, mostly Italian and Portuguese, from a period ranging from the sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century. Some of the repertory for Holy Week is also extant in three large choirbooks prepared by a copyist from the Patriarchal Church in 1735 and 1736 for use in the Ducal Chapel in Vila Vicosa. These include 'modern' additions to late sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century pieces and also some curious reworkings, made with the purpose of adjusting older works to newly 'Romanized' performance conditions and aesthetic ideals. The sources examined in this article thus show that Portuguese 'Romanization', far from being a simple transplantation of ideas and practices from the centre to the periphery, was a dynamic process of acculturation and adaptation rooted in emerging forms of historical consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-214
Number of pages36
JournalEighteenth-Century Music
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

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