Luigi Rossi

Luigi Rossi (Torremaggiore [Apulia],1597/98 - Rome, 1653) was a prolific and influential composer, organist, lutenist and singer, eminent among Roman musicians in the first half of the 17th century, and also highly esteemed in France for the expressive lyricism of his chamber cantatas, oratorios and two operas. Trained in Naples (under Giovanni de Macque), working at court before going to Rome, he knew the Florentine stile recitativo and Monteverdi’s works: the single known manuscript1 in Rossi’s hand contains Monteverdi’s Lamento di Arianna (Green Man Press, Ref. Mv 1) and Lamento d'Olimpia, the latter sometimes attributed to Rossi. By 1620 and until the end of the 1630s Rossi served Marc'Antonio Borghese in Rome. He then entered the service of Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who sponsored his 7-hour opera, Il Palazzo Incantato (1642). He followed the Cardinal to Bologna in 1643, and accepted an invitation to Fontainebleau and Paris by Jules Mazarin during the Barberinis’ exile to France, where he produced his other long opera, Orfeo (1647), after the death of his wife Costanza de Ponte, a famous harpist. In 1651, when it was no longer possible to produce operas at the French court, he returned to Rome. Absences notwithstanding, he was organist at S Luigi dei Francesi from 1633 until his death.

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