Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Favier, Jean [l'aîne]

(b Paris, March 1648; d Paris, ?1719). French dancing-master, choreographer, violinist and possibly composer. He came from a family of violinists and dancing-masters. He danced the role of a monkey in 1660, and by 1666 he was clearly an accomplished and versatile professional. In 1674 he choreographed a divertissement by Cambert for performance at the English court. Among his illustrious pupils was the dauphine, Marie-Anne Christine-Victoire.

Favier was one of several late 17th-century French dancing-masters to devise a dance-notation system. He used it to preserve his choreography for A.D. Philidor's Le mariage de la grosse Cathos (1688), which includes movement notation for all 28 performers, including singers and instrumentalists. Favier notation lacks the visual attractiveness and readily discernible floor patterns of Beauchamp-Feuillet notation, but it has two advantages over the latter: dances for large groups are more easily notated, since each dancer has his own ‘part’, as in a music score; and greater rhythmic precision is possible.

He may have composed the music for a number of his own ball dance choreographies, as well as for the pastrole Le triomphe de Bacchus (lost).


[L.-J. Goussier: ]‘Chorégraphie’, Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, ed. D. Diderot and others (Paris, 1753)

M.E. Little and C.G. Marsh: La Danse Noble: an Inventory of Dances and Sources (New York, 1992)

R. Harris-Warrick and C.G. Marsh: Musical Theatre at the Court of Louis XIV: le mariage de la Grosse Cathos (Cambridge, 1994)


Favola in musica

(It.: ‘tale [presented] in music’).

A term used to describe early 17th-century operas and (as ‘favola per musica’, i.e. ‘for music’) librettos. The Latin ‘fabula’ appears in titles of pastoral-mythological entertainments in the 15th century sometimes known as ‘hybrid dramas’ (‘drammi mescidati’), for example Poliziano’s La fabula d’Orpheo (1480). The classicizing label doubtless lent respectability to a genre lacking the solid precedents of classical tragedy and comedy. In the 16th century the Italian equivalent, alone or with a qualifier (‘pastorale’, ‘boschereccia’, ‘marittima’ etc.), is used for plays in the pastoral tradition, again filling a generic vacuum (but Guarini opted for the more loaded ‘tragicommedia’). Marco da Gagliano, in the preface to his Dafne (1608), described the first opera librettos as ‘favole’, placing them squarely in the context of the pastoral, although Alessandro Striggio was the first librettist to use the title in print with La favola d’Orfeo (1607). Monteverdi followed suit, coining ‘favola in musica’ for the title-page of the score of Orfeo (published 1609). The term continued to be applied to librettos in the first half of the century and beyond – La catena d’Adone (D. Mazzocchi, 1626) is a ‘favola boschereccia’, and Ormindo (Cavalli, 1644) a ‘favola regia’ – although it fell out of use as operas lost their pastoral-mythological aura.


N. Pirrotta and E. Povoledo: Li due Orfei: da Poliziano a Monteverdi (Turin, 1969, enlarged 2/1975; Eng. trans, 1982, as Music and Theatre from Poliziano to Monteverdi)

S. Reiner: ‘La vag’Angioletta (and others), i’, AnMc, no.14 (1974), 26–88

H.W. Kaufmann: ‘Music for a favola pastorale (1554)’, A Musical Offering: Essays in Honor of Martin Bernstein, ed. E.H. Clinkscale and C. Brook (New York, 1977), 163–82




See Fauxbourdon.



An Italian dance of the 16th and 17th centuries based on the same harmonic structure as the romanesca, but with diminished note values. Each of the eight main framework chords (see Ground, ex.1a) usually occupies a single triple unit (in contrast to the Romanesca, where each framework chord usually spans two bars of triple metre). The main music is followed by two standard riprese or ritornellos (see Ripresa, ex.1b); the earliest example, in Bernardino Balletti's lutebook of 1554, consists of three continuous variations on the scheme and its riprese. M.A. di Becchi in 1568 provided three separate lute examples followed by another, called ‘la sua rotta’, which has the same harmonic scheme in duple metre (both the Balletti and the Becchi pieces are transcribed by G. Lefkoff in Five Sixteenth Century Venetian Lute Books, Washington DC, 1960).

17th-century examples include one for theorbo by P.P. Melli (1616) and three variations for keyboard in the Chigi manuscripts (I-Rvat; ed. in CEKM, xxxii/3, 1968); another source (I-Bc Q34) gives the bass line as one of a series of gagliarde diverse. Chordal examples for the five-course guitar appear in tablatures of Montesardo (1606), Milanuzzi (1625), Fabrizio Costanzo (1627), Milioni (1627) and G.P. Ricci (1677) and in some manuscripts (I-Fr 2951, PEc 586 [H72] and Rsc A 247). The guitar versions are often in duple metre, followed by a rotta or tripla della favorita. Ricci curiously provided his favorita with both ‘sua ripresa’ based on I–IV–V–I and a ritornello on III–VI–VII–III. The Passamezzo della favorita printed in Oscar Chilesotti's Da un codice Lauten-Buch del Cinquecento (Leipzig, 1890), as well as Barbetta's Pavana ottava detta La favorita (1569) and Salamone Rossi's Gagliarda terza detta La favorita (1622), is harmonically unrelated to the other pieces that bear the name favorita.



L.H. Moe: Dance Music in Printed Italian Lute Tablatures from 1507 to 1611 (diss., Harvard U., 1956), 160–62, 244–7

H. Spohr: Studien zur italienischen Tanzkomposition um 1600 (diss., U. of Freiburg, 1956), esp. 48–52

R. Hudson: ‘The Concept of Mode in Italian Guitar Music during the First Half of the 17th Century’, AcM, xlii (1970), 163–83

E. Apfel: Entwurf eines Verzeichnisses aller Ostinato-Stücke zu Grundlagen einer Geschichte der Satztechnik, iii: Untersuchungen zur Entstehung und Frühgeschichte des Ostinato in der komponierten Mehrstimmigkeit (Saarbrücken, 1977), 55, 236–7


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