Giulio Romolo Caccini

Italian Born 08 Oct 1551 Died 10 Dec 1618

Giulio Caccini (1551-1618) was brought to Florence as a young man by Cosimo I de' Medici, and began singing in his court.  He associated during the 1570s and 1580s with a group of poets and musicians meeting in the homes of aristocrats which was known as the Florentine Camerata.  Their praise of Greek dramatic style inspired Caccini to create a new, unornamented way of singing. Stile recitativo is one of the foundations of operatic style. 

In 1589 Caccini composed his first known piece, a song for the marriage of Duke Ferdinand I. He became music director of Medici's court in 1600, and two years later published Le Nuove Musiche, a ground-breaking collection of madrigals and solo songs.  In the preface Caccini discussed new monody, which involved a virtuoso high voice with written ornamentation, accompanied by a simple chordal bass.  This was a new genre which Caccini pioneered (although he was not the first to use these methods), and was another important step in the development of opera.  His most famous work (until the 1990s), Amarilli mia bella, came from this collection.  In recent years Ave Maria has become more well known, through versions recorded by Lesley Garrett and Charlotte Church among others.

In 1610 Caccini was made director of sacred music at Saint Nicola, and began frequently taking part in chamber concerts for Grand Duke Ferdinand de' Medici.  Although chiefly remembered for his contributions to opera, Caccini was also an influential teacher and composer of numerous madrigals.

- MIDI FILE - "Amor che attendi" (1'31'')

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