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‘Obtained by peculiar favour, & much difficulty of the Singer’: Vincenzo Albrici and the Function of Charles II's Italian Ensemble at the English Restoration Court

  • Ester Lebedinski

Abstract

This article discusses the function of Vincenzo Albrici and Charles II's Italian ensemble at the English Restoration court. The article cites newly discovered archival evidence to suggest that Albrici arrived at the English court in 1664 to become the leader of an exclusive ensemble performing Italian chamber music. The employment of the Italian ensemble imitated Mazarin's patronage of Italian music at the French court, arguably to rehabilitate the recently restored Stuart dynasty in the eyes of Continental courts. The article suggests that the ensemble performed chamber music privately at court, and also occasionally appeared in the queen's Catholic chapel after 1666. The recruitment of Albrici and the Italian ensemble shows that the English court participated in Continental musical fashions after the Restoration, and illustrates the complex webs of cultural exchange in mid-seventeenth-century Europe.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Footnotes

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Several people have contributed to this article by reading drafts and discussing Albrici with me in all levels of detail. I am grateful to Lars Berglund, Samantha Blickhan, Mary Frandsen, Matthew Laube, Matteo Messori, Stephen Rose, Maria Schildt, Colin Timms and Jonathan Wainwright, and to the two anonymous reviewers of the journal, whose generous feedback has greatly improved the article.

Footnotes

References

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1 Roger North, Roger North on Music: Being a Selection from his Essays Written during the Years c.1695–1728, ed. John Wilson (London: Novello, 1959), 350.

2 See, for instance, Richard Luckett, ‘Music’, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New and Complete Transcription, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols. (London: Bell & Hyman, 1983), x: Companion, ed. Latham, 258–82 (pp. 264–5), and Peter Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers: The Violin at the English Court (1540–1690) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 288–91.

3 Jean-Baptiste Lully, born Giovanni Battista Lulli (1632–87).

4 North, Roger North on Music, ed. Wilson, 350.

5 This is not to say that there was no ‘French’ music at the French court (French harpsichordists and lutenists, for instance, had already developed a distinctive style), but simply that Italian music was a significant aspect of Parisian musical culture at this time.

6 Jérôme de La Gorce, ‘Lully’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 4 October 2013).

7 Margaret Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England (1660–90)’, Music and Letters, 67 (1986), 237–47 (pp. 237–9).

8 Peter Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza, 1662–92’, Early Music, 29 (2001), 570–87.

9 Some letters are mentioned in passing by Helen Jacobsen, but my research is the first to analyse and cite them in their entirety, and to identify the musicians mentioned. See Jacobsen, ‘Luxury Consumption, Cultural Politics, and the Career of the Earl of Arlington, 1660–1685’, Historical Journal, 52 (2009), 295–317 (pp. 304–5).

10 R. Malcolm Smuts, ‘Introduction’, The Stuart Court and Europe: Essays in Politics and Political Culture, ed. Smuts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 1–19 (p. 1).

11 Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations, trans. Edmund Jephcott, rev. edn, ed. Eric Dunning, Johan Goudsblom and Stephen Mennell (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), 190.

12 Donald Krummel, ‘Venetian Baroque Music in a London Bookshop: The Robert Martin Catalogues, 1633–50’, Music and Bibliography: Essays in Honour of Alec Hyatt King, ed. Oliver Neighbour (London: Bingley, 1980), 1–27 (p. 2); Lorenzo Bianconi, Music in the Seventeenth Century, trans. David Bryant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 76–7; R. Malcolm Smuts, Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in Early Stuart England (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987), 8; Smuts, ‘Art and Material Culture of Majesty in Early Stuart England’, The Stuart Court and Europe, ed. Smuts, 86–112 (pp. 97–8); Edward Chaney, The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance (London: Frank Cass, 1998), 86.

13 See Margaret Murata, Operas for the Papal Court, 1631–1668 (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1981), 13–47; Frederick Hammond, Music and Spectacle in Baroque Rome: Barberini Patronage under Urban VIII (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994); and Peter Rietbergen, Power and Religion in Baroque Rome: Barberini Cultural Policies (Leiden: Brill, 2006), esp. pp. 7, 10.

14 Sergio Durante, ‘The Opera Singer’, Opera Production and its Resources, ed. Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane, The History of Italian Opera, 2/4 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 345–417 (pp. 353–4).

15 Roger Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 40–1.

16 Claudio Annibaldi, ‘Introduzione’, La musica e il mondo: Mecenatismo e committenza musicale in Italia tra Quattro e Settecento, ed. Annibaldi (Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino, 1993), 9–48. The main argument of Annibaldi's essay was published in English as ‘Towards a Theory of Musical Patronage in the Renaissance and Baroque: The Perspective from Anthropology and Semiotics’, Recercare, 10 (1998), 173–82 (pp. 174–6).

17 Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 215. See also Freitas, ‘Singing and Playing: The Italian Cantata and the Rage for Wit’, Music and Letters, 82 (2001), 509–42.

18 Kristiaan P. Aercke, Gods of Play: Baroque Festive Performances as Rhetorical Discourse (New York: State University of New York Press, 1994), 5–6, 33.

19 Anthony Newcomb, The Madrigal at Ferrara, 1579–1597 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980), 4; Hammond, Music and Spectacle, 10, 77.

20 Hammond, Music and Spectacle, 59, 77, 84–5.

21 ‘L'exemple de ses “padroni” l'a convaincu pour toujours que la grandeur d'un règne ne se mesure pas seulement par la puissance au dehors, la concorde au dedans, mais qu'il faut encore le rayonnement d'une civilisation.’ Madeleine Laurain-Portemer, ‘La politique artistique de Mazarin’, Colloquio italo-francese Il Cardinale Mazzarino in Francia (Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1977), 41–76 (pp. 41–2). Also quoted in Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 44–5. Translations throughout this article are my own unless otherwise stated. I am grateful to Clémence Destribois for checking my translation of this quotation.

22 On the Barberini in France, see Frederick Hammond, The Ruined Bridge: Studies in Barberini Patronage of Music and Spectacle (Sterling Heights, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2010), 153–89.

23 The main work on Roman music in France is still Henry Prunières, L'opéra italien en France avant Lully (Paris: Champion, 1975), esp. pp. 86–191. The only study of Roman cantatas in France is Alessio Ruffatti, ‘Les cantates de Luigi Rossi (1597–1653) en France: Diffusion et réception dans le contexte européen’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Padua and Paris-Sorbonne University, 2006); for music during the Mazarin era, see esp. chapter 5, ‘La musica di Rossi in Francia prima la morte di Mazarino’ (pp. 125–82).

24 Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 46–9.

25 Letter from Atto Melani to Mattias de’ Medici, 22 November 1644 (Florence, Archivio di Stato, Biblioteca, MdP, 5433/240), quoted from Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 47.

26 A number of biographies deal with various aspects of Charles II's life. The most detailed accounts of his youth in exile are Antonia Fraser, Charles II: His Life and Times (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979), 3–176, and Ronald Hutton, Charles the Second: King of England, Scotland and Ireland (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 1–132. The first chapter of John Miller, Charles II (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991), 1–20, gives a briefer account.

27 Hutton, Charles the Second, 20.

28 Venanzio Leopardi to the duke of Modena, 26 April 1647, transcribed and discussed in Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 131, 382. ‘Questa notte si è rappresentato di nuovo l'Orfeo nel Palazzo reale con l'assistenza della Regina e Re, con il Sig.re Cardinale, Madamoisella e tutte le Prencipesse, riuscita al solito senza intoppo e S.M. vole si reciti ancora due volte per la Regina d'Inghilterra e per la numerosa nobilità di Parigi devote alla Corte e familiari.’ I am grateful to Stefano Fogelberg Rota for checking my translation of this and the following quotation.

29 Ruffatti, ‘Les cantates de Luigi Rossi’, 125–39.

30 Venanzio Leopardi to the duke of Modena, 13 February 1647, transcribed and discussed in Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 100–1, 380. ‘Si entrò nel gabinetto dove era la Regina, il Sigr Cardinale, il Sigr Duca p. d'Anguien. Il figlio unico Principe di Gales d'Inghilterra sedeva dirimpetto della Regina.’

31 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 60–6, 82, 91–9, 138.

32 Gascoigne to Bennet, 7 June 1664 (Castello). The National Archives, State Papers (hereafter SP) 29/99, fol. 46. This letter will be further discussed below, pp. 336, 339.

33 John Rosselli, Singers of Italian Opera: The History of a Profession (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 62; Paola Besutti, ‘Costa, Anna Francesca’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 23 July 2014).

34 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 145–6.

35 Hutton, Charles the Second, 80.

36 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 168–70.

37 Margaret M. McGowan, ‘The Origins of French Opera’, Opera and Church Music, 1630–1750, ed. Anthony Lewis and Nigel Fortune, New Oxford History of Music, 5 (London: Oxford University Press, 1975), 169–205 (p. 192); Eleanor Caluori, ‘Caproli, Carlo’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 30 September 2013).

38 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 171.

39 On art and cosmopolitanism at the early Stuart courts, see especially Roy Strong, Henry Prince of Wales and England's Lost Renaissance (London: Thames & Hudson, 1986), 86, 185–8, 194–200; Smuts, Court Culture, 8, 185–6; and Smuts, ‘Art and Material Culture’, esp. pp. 97–101.

40 Jerry Brotton, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: The Story of Charles I and his Art Collection (London: Macmillan, 2006), 315–24.

41 Ibid., 316.

42 Lars Berglund, ‘The Roman Connection: The Dissemination and Reception of Roman Music in the North’, The Dissemination of Music in Seventeenth-Century Europe: Celebrating the Düben Collection: Proceedings from the International Conference at Uppsala University 2006, ed. Erik Kjellberg (Bern: Peter Lang, 2010), 193–217 (pp. 198–9). A revisionist take on the recruitment and function of Christina's Italian musicians was presented in Lars Berglund and Maria Schildt's paper ‘Italian Music at the Royal Swedish Court of Queen Christina: Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe’ at the Fifteenth Biennial International Conference for Baroque Music at the University of Southampton, 11–15 July 2012.

43 Mary E. Frandsen, Crossing Confessional Boundaries: The Patronage of Italian Sacred Music in Seventeenth-Century Dresden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 25–6, 56. I am grateful to Dr Frandsen for sharing details about the Albrici brothers’ Saxon travel documents.

44 See, for instance, Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 237–8.

45 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 54–7 (12 February 1667).

46 Jacobsen, ‘Luxury Consumption’, 301.

47 Ibid. 302–6.

48 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 59.

49 Roderick Clayton, ‘Gascoigne, Sir Bernard [Bernardo Guasconi] (1614–1687)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, <http://www.oxforddnb.com> (accessed 17 September 2013).

50 SP 44/16, fol. 1 (travel pass dated 4 January 1664). On 7 June, Gascoigne apologized to Bennet for having omitted to write for ‘some weekes’, since he contracted a dangerous fever on reaching Florence. SP 29/99, fol. 46.

51 SP 92/24, fol. 78 (letter to Bennet in Italian, dated Paris, ?15 March 1664); SP 29/95, fol. 60 (letter to Williamson dated Turin, 25 March 1664); SP 29/95, fol. 61 (letter to Bennet, Turin, 25 March 1664, which was enclosed with Williamson's).

52 Gascoigne to Bennet, undated (March/April 1664, en route to Florence), in SP 98/5. ‘Curioso di vedere l'Inghilterra, viene costì il Sig.re Vincenzo Albrizzi, stato Capo della Musica del Sig.r Duca di Sassonia, e Compositore, e Sonatore eccellente, ha desiderato, che lo facci conoscere a V[ostra] E[minenza] Ill[ustrissim]a come faccio per favorirlo della sua Protetione così.’ I am grateful to Lars Berglund and Stefano Fogelberg Rota for help with transcription and translation.

53 There is no further evidence that Albrici educated young singers in the official musical establishment of the English court, or that he composed music for the Chapel Royal – Henry Cooke remained responsible for the children of the Chapel Royal throughout the 1660s; see Peter Dennison and Bruce Wood, ‘Cooke, Henry’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 6 October 2014).

54 Gascoigne to Bennet, undated (March/April 1664, en route to Florence), in SP 98/5.

55 On the geographical origins of the Albrici family, see Mary Frandsen, ‘Albrici, Vincenzo’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 20 October 2012).

56 Edward M. Ripin, ‘The Surviving Oeuvre of Girolamo Zenti’, Metropolitan Museum Journal, 7 (1973), 71–87 (p. 72). The minute of Zenti's salary is in SP 29/91, fol. 79, the travel pass in SP 44/16, fol. 21.

57 SP 81/56, fol. 81. The original travel pass is preserved in Dresden, has an open destination and is clearly dated 31 August 1663. See Frandsen, Crossing Confessional Boundaries, 56–7.

58 Letter, Gascoigne to Bennet, 7 June 1664 (Castello). SP 29/99, fol. 46. This and other snippets of this particular letter are cited in Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 245. The letter was sent from Castello, which according to Gascoigne was ‘fore mayl from Florence’. See Gascoigne to Bennet, 20 June 1664 (Castello), in SP 98/5.

59 Peter Holman, ‘The Italian Connection: Giovanni Battista Draghi and Henry Purcell’, Early Music Performer, 22 (2008), 4–19 (p. 4).

60 Gascoigne to Bennet, 9 December 1664 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

61 SP 29/160, fol. 191.

62 SP 29/66, fol. 44, undated. Translation from Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 244; the original reads: ‘La maniera che usa per tutte le corti li da – ordinariamente cinquanta pezze per uno per il Viaggio. / La Donna coster'a d'avvantaggio per che li d'a le comodit'a che vogliono. / Per la provisione non vorranno meno che in germania che sono due cento pezze 1'Anno per uno / La Donna vorr'a trecento pezze___300 / I1 castrato due cento pezze______200 / E se sua Maiest'a volesse havere ancora questi accio fosse tutto finito il concerto che se ne potrebbe servire in Cammera et in teatro sarebbe bisogno / Contralto____200 / Tenore____200 / Basso____200 / I1 poeta che e il principale____200 / Che per queste sei persone inportarebbe l'Anno mille e trecento pezze. In quanto a noi sua Maiest'a facci come li piace.’

63 SP 29/66, fol. 45. Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 244.

64 Claudio Sartori, I libretti italiani a stampa, dalle origini a 1800: Catalogo analitico con 16 indice, 7 vols. (Cuneo: Bertola & Locatelli, 1990–4), ii (1990), 216; Beth and Jonathan Glixon, Inventing the Business of Opera: The Impresario and his World in Seventeenth-Century Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 190, 196.

65 Lovro Županović, ‘Sebenico, Giovanni’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 12 September 2013).

66 Frandsen, ‘Albrici, Vincenzo’; Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 579. The travel pass is in SP 44/23, fol. 29.

67 SP 29/160, fol. 191 (note of starting date and salaries); SP 29/152, fol. 84 (Bartolomeo's pass).

68 A group of French musicians led by Claude Desgranges arrived at the English court probably in 1663. See Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers, 290.

69 Gascoigne to Bennet, 7 June 1664 (Castello). SP 29/99, fol. 46. ‘Cardinall John Carlo’ was Cardinal Gian Carlo de’ Medici.

70 Gascoigne to Bennet, 20 August 1664 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

71 Gascoigne to Bennet, 23 September 1664 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

72 Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 244–5, 264, 278; Jean Grundy Fanelli, ‘Rivani, Antonio’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 23 July 2014).

73 Zenti died in Paris ‘in the French King's service’ in 1667, despite being awarded a salary by Charles in 1664 (see above, p. 335); it seems unlikely that Charles would have initiated regular payments (as opposed to a one-off reward) if he did not intend Zenti to serve him in the future. See Ripin, ‘The Surviving Oeuvre of Girolamo Zenti’, 72, and SP 29/233, fol. 143. Corbetta travelled to France in the 1660s, apparently to visit Charles's sister Henriette. See SP 29/109, fol. 12. See also Richard Pinnell, ‘Corbetta, Francesco’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 24 September 2015).

74 Gascoigne to Bennet, 9 December 1664 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

75 Such attitudes remained well into the eighteenth century. See, for instance, Thomas McGeary, ‘Opera and British Nationalism, 1700–1711’, Revue LISA/LISA E-Journal, 4 (2006), <http://lisa.revues.org/2067> (accessed 24 February 2012), paragraphs 7, 21–9. For similarly hostile attitudes on the Continent, see Mary Frandsen, ‘“Eunuchi conjugium”: The Marriage of a Castrato in Early Modern Germany’, Early Music History, 24 (2005), 53–124.

76 Gascoigne to Bennet, 10 February 1665 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

77 As in the cases of Atto Melani, Anna Francesca Costa and Antonio Rivani. See, for instance, Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato; Fanelli, ‘Rivani, Antonio’; Besutti, ‘Costa, Anna Francesca’; Prunières, L'opéra italien en France, 59–60.

78 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. Esmond Samuel De Beer, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955), iii, 474 (24 January 1667); The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 64 (16 February 1667).

79 Frandsen, Crossing Confessional Boundaries, 51.

80 Mary Frandsen, ‘Allies in the Cause of Italian Music: Schütz, Prince Johann Georg II and Musical Politics in Dresden’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 125 (2000), 1–40 (pp. 30–3).

81 SP 29/239, fol. 45.

82 Ibid., fol. 46, and SP 44/30, p. 28.

83 That the ensemble performed in private is indicated by the words ‘Chamber or Cabinett’ in the petition: the Oxford English Dictionary gives three possible definitions of ‘cabinet’ in the seventeenth century: ‘(1) a private room or small apartment, a boudoir; (2) a room for displaying pictures and curiosities; (3) a private/intimate political council chamber, also as a name for the body of people involved in that council’; and describes the Chamber as a ‘section of the Royal household concerned with their master's private quarters and affairs’. All of these would imply private, restricted space. See ‘cabinet, n.’ and ‘chamber, n.’, OED Online, <http://www.oed.com> (both accessed 27 June 2018).

84 Brian Weiser, Charles II and the Politics of Access (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2003), 29–31; Jennifer Uglow, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration, 1660–1670 (London: Faber & Faber, 2009), 121–5.

85 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. De Beer, iii, 474.

86 Thomas Fiddian Reddaway, ‘Whitehall Palace’, The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, x, 477–84 (pp. 479–81). See also The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, vii, 260 (26 August 1666), 311–12 (7 October 1666); and ix, 17 (10 January 1668), 150 (4 April 1668).

87 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. De Beer, iii, 260–1 (November 1660); The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, v, 188–9 (24 June 1664). Evelyn seems routinely to have used ‘cabinet’ synonymously with ‘closet’; see Kate Loveman, Samuel Pepys and his Books: Reading, Newsgathering and Sociability, 1660–1703 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 263.

88 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, ix, 322 (28 September 1668). As Mabbett has suggested, Seignor Joanni was probably Sebenico, at this point the leader and tenor of the Italian ensemble. A footnote in the Matthews and Latham edition of Pepys's diary (p. 322, n. 2) suggests that Joanni was Giovanni Battista Draghi. However, first, I will argue below (pp. 354ff.) that Draghi was not a member of the Italian ensemble, and, secondly, Pepys commented after hearing Draghi sing in February 1667 that ‘he pretends not to voice, though it be good but not excellent’. The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 55 (12 February 1667). It seems unlikely that Pepys would consider him the best voice in the ensemble just over a year later.

89 ‘Whitehall Palace: Buildings’, Survey of London, xiii: St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I, ed. Montagu H. Cox and Philip Norman (London, 1930), 41–115, available online at <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol13/pt2/pp41-115> (accessed 12 October 2016). See also the plan of Whitehall palace around 1669 published in the companion volume to Latham and Matthew's edition of Pepys's diary, which shows the locations of the leads discussed here. See Reddaway, ‘Whitehall Palace’, 480–1, 483. For a general reference to leads as flat rooftops, see ‘Leads’, A New Complete English Dictionary, ed. John Marchant (London: John Fuller, 1760). The Oxford English Dictionary defines leads as ‘the sheets or strips of lead used to cover a roof; often collect. for a lead flat, a lead roof’: ‘leads, n.1’, OED Online, <http://www.oed.com> (accessed 25 August 2016).

90 As Leech suggested; see Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 578.

91 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 154 (7 April 1667); ix, 126 (27 March 1668).

92 Ibid., vii, 87, 99; viii, 154. See Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 239; Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 578. Leech has previously suggested that the ensemble entered the Catholic chapel in 1666. He cites Giovanni Battista Gornia, physician of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III, who visited England in 1669 and met ‘Matteo Battaglia Bolognese Musico della Regina’ on 23 April (travel diary preserved in London, British Library, Add. MS 16504, fol. 107). There are no other sources to suggest that Battaglia was more involved in the queen's Catholic chapel than the other musicians until he transferred there after Sebenico and Cefalo had left in the wake of the 1673 Test Act. The day-to-day establishment of the queen's chapel consisted of musicians of several nationalities: a group of Portuguese musicians accompanied the queen to England; an ensemble of French and English musicians had been recruited for her chapel before her arrival; and by the 1670s, there were certainly Italians not associated with the king's Italian ensemble serving in the chapel. Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 574–80.

93 SP 29/152, fol. 84 (travel pass for Bartolomeo, 31 March 1666); SP 29/116, fol. 29 (travel pass for both brothers, 25 March 1665).

94 With the exception of nuns performing in the semi-private context of convents, women were not allowed to perform in Catholic churches. Women performers were not permitted in Anglican contexts, and the issue was highly contentious in German church music. See, for instance, Johann Mattheson's comment that his attempt to introduce female singers in oratorio performances (not regular worship) caused controversy in early eighteenth-century Hamburg: Johann Mattheson, Der vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg: Christian Herold, 1739), 482; Howard E. Smither, The Oratorio in the Classical Era, A History of the Oratorio, 3 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987), 347.

95 North, Roger North on Music, ed. Wilson, 350–1.

96 North appended a copy of the trio to his Musicall Grammarian (1728). See Roger North, Roger North's The Musicall Grammarian, 1728, ed. Mary Chan and Jamie Croy Kassler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 273–8. For the dissemination of ‘Amante che dite’, as well as the relationship between the alleged singing competition and the 1671 masque, see Ester Lebedinski, ‘“The Magnificence of the Sublime”: Carissimi's Music in Restoration England’, Reappraising the Seicento: Composition, Dissemination, Assimilation, ed. Andrew Cheetham, Joseph Knowles and Jonathan Wainwright (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2014), 151–80.

97 Peter Wollny, ‘Zwischen Hamburg, Gottorf und Wolfenbüttel: Neue Ermittlungen zur Entstehung der Sammlung Bokemeyer’, Schütz Jahrbuch, 20 (1998), 59–76 (pp. 61–2).

98 Berglund and Schildt have conducted an extensive study of these sources and the Albricis’ repertoire at the Swedish court, presented in their paper at the Fifteenth Biennial International Conference for Baroque Music (see above, n. 42). See also Geoffrey Webber, ‘Italian Music at the Court of Queen Christina’, Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning / Swedish Journal of Musicology, 75 (1993), 47–53 (pp. 47–50).

99 Il mondo tace on fols. 95v–97r, and Tronchisi, pensieri, il vuolo on fols. 101r–104r. The first is not included in Gloria Rose's thematic catalogue and may be misattributed; see Rose, Giacomo Carissimi, 1605–1674: A Thematic Catalogue of his Cantatas, The Wellesley Edition Cantata Index Series (Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College, 1966). The copy texts of other English copies of cantatas can often be identified as manuscripts of Italian provenance brought to England during the seventeenth or early eighteenth century. See Ester Lebedinski, ‘Roman Vocal Music in England, 1660–1710: Court, Connoisseurs, and the Culture of Collecting’, 2 vols. (Ph.D. dissertation, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2014), i, 161–8.

100 London, British Library, Add. MS 58853 also contains the cantata Facciamo il conti orsù by Albrici to a poem by Patrick Carey. This manuscript is of Roman origin, probably dates from before Albrici's departure for Sweden, and thus seems to have no connection with Albrici's sojourn at the English court. On the provenance of the manuscript, see Pamela Willetts, ‘Patrick Carey and his Italian Poems’, British Library Journal, 2 (1976), 109–19.

101 See ‘Mus. 350’ in the Christ Church Library Music Catalogue, <www.library.chch.ox.ac.uk/music> (accessed 19 October 2016).

102 See ‘Mus. 17’, in the Christ Church Library Music Catalogue, <www.library,chch.ox.ac.uk/music> (accessed 19 October 2016). Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Mus. K–1–52 dates from the mid-1660s, and was once part of the Saxon royal music collection.

103 This was common both in Rome and Dresden. See Frandsen, Crossing Confessional Boundaries, 360; Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 66.

104 See ‘Mus. 1034(B)’ in the Christ Church Library Music Catalogue, <www.library.chch.ox.ac.uk/music> (accessed 18 January 2018).

105 The first manual for playing figured bass published in England was Matthew Locke's Melothesia, or, Certain General Rules for Playing upon a Continued-Bass (London: John Carr, 1673). It covers only quite basic figures and progressions. On the rareness of figured bass, and English musicians’ difficulty in learning it, see also Luckett, ‘Music’, 275–6.

106 Lebedinski, ‘Roman Vocal Music in England’, ii, 1–8; i, 145, 150, 161, 196, 224–5. See also Lebedinski,‘“The Magnificence of the Sublime”’, 156–67.

107 On foreign musicians in Restoration England, see Jack Allan Westrup, ‘Foreign Musicians in Stuart England’, Musical Quarterly, 27 (1941), 70–89; Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’; and Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’.

108 SP 19/187/1, fol. 79 (1666). Translation in Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 246. ‘Onde havendoci il Milord’ Arlinton promesso, che supplicar'a V. M. per parte nostra di supplir appresto V. M. questo negotio, e far, ch'un Banchiero di Londra chiamato [blank] ci dia sodisfattione, faciamo questa riverentissima supplica; accio V. M. ci degni con la sua innata clemenza di farci Questa gratia.’ Bennet was created earl of Arlington in March 1665.

109 Note from Leonora Albrici to Bennet, attached to her formal petition. SP 29/281A, fol. 1 (1670).

110 On the Lord Chamberlain's authority over court musicians and the source of their wages, see Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers, 38–40.

111 Gascoigne to Bennet, 7 June 1664 (Castello). SP 29/99, fol. 46. See p. 338 above.

112 John Rosselli, ‘From Princely Service to the Open Market: Singers of Italian Opera and their Patrons, 1600–1850’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 1 (1989), 1–32 (p. 2). Cf. also Freitas's example of Atto Melani refusing to sing other than at the request of the Holy Roman Emperor or his closest representatives. Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato, 84.

113 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. De Beer, iv, 547.

114 Gascoigne to Bennet, 23 September 1664 (Florence), in SP 98/5.

115 Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 239.

116 Frandsen, ‘Albrici, Vincenzo’.

117 Gascoigne to Bennet, undated (March/April 1664, en route to Florence), in SP 98/5.

118 The purpose of this event was probably to demonstrate new Italian compositional techniques to the society; see Lebedinski, ‘Roman Vocal Music in England, i, 106–11.

119 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 64–5 (16 February 1667).

120 John Harold Wilson, All the King's Ladies: Actresses of the Restoration (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 9.

121 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 54 (12 February 1667). The music and the libretto for Draghi's opera are both lost.

122 Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 237–8. The notion that Charles strove to introduce Italian opera is founded on a patent on Italian opera given to Giulio Gentileschi – the son of Charles I's court painter Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639) – in 1660. The plans were never implemented. The patent is in SP 29/19, fol. 23, and is transcribed and translated in Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 244. On the Gentileschi family, see Ann Sutherland Harris and Judith W. Mann, ‘Gentileschi Family’, Grove Art Online, Oxford Art Online, <http://www.oxfordartonline.com> (accessed 27 June 2018), and Keith Christiansen and Judith W. Mann, Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi (New York and New Haven, CT: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2002), 225–6, 250.

123 Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers, 302–3; Holman, ‘Draghi, Giovanni Battista’, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, <www.oxfordmusiconline.com> (accessed 29 September 2011); Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 578; Holman, ‘The Italian Connection’, 4–5.

124 The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Latham and Matthews, viii, 57 (12 February 1667).

125 John Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music, 5 vols. (London: T. Payne, 1776; facsimile edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), iv, 426–8.

126 Sebenico left the English court in 1673. I have argued that the Italian ensemble did not belong to the day-to-day establishment in the queen's Catholic chapel. This suggests that there may have been space for the Italian organist Draghi before Sebenico left England in 1673; North, Roger North on Music, ed. Wilson, 348. Hawkins, on the other hand, claimed that Draghi succeeded Locke in 1677; see A General History of the Science and Practice of Music, iv, 426. See also Westrup, ‘Foreign Musicians in Stuart England’, 72–3; Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 581.

127 National Archives, T 29/13, fol. 233. This record is cited by Holman, who does not consider the implications of the dates for Draghi's court engagements; Holman, ‘Draghi, Giovanni Battista’.

128 Rosselli, ‘From Princely Service’, 1.

129 For instance, Giovanni Andrea Bontempi in Dresden, Antonio Draghi in Vienna and Antonio Cesti in Innsbruck.

130 SP 29/19, fol. 23. See also Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 244; Smuts, Court Culture, 122–3; Harris and Mann, ‘Gentileschi Family’; and Christiansen and Mann, Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, 225, 226, 250.

131 Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers, 303.

132 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. De Beer, iv, 30 (17 February 1674).

133 Ibid., ii, 449–50 (June 1645); Jean Pierre Vander Motten, ‘Killigrew, Thomas (1612–1683)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, <http://www.oxforddnb.com> (accessed 18 November 2013).

134 SP 44/40, fol. 29 (Cefalo); SP 44/40, fol. 73 (Sebenico).

135 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. De Beer, iv, 271 (7 January 1682), 421 (14 March 1685); Peter Leech, ‘Music and Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of James II at Whitehall, 1686–1688’, Early Music, 39 (2011), 379–400 (p. 384).

136 Andrew Ashbee, Records of English Court Music, 9 vols. (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1986–96), v (1991), 271; Mabbett, ‘Italian Musicians in Restoration England’, 240.

137 Leech, ‘Musicians in the Catholic Chapel of Catherine of Braganza’, 579.

138 North, Roger North on Music, ed. Wilson, 350; Luckett, ‘Music’, 264; Hutton, Charles the Second, 450.

139 See Tim Harris, Restoration: Charles II and his Kingdoms (London: Penguin, 2006), 71–5.

Several people have contributed to this article by reading drafts and discussing Albrici with me in all levels of detail. I am grateful to Lars Berglund, Samantha Blickhan, Mary Frandsen, Matthew Laube, Matteo Messori, Stephen Rose, Maria Schildt, Colin Timms and Jonathan Wainwright, and to the two anonymous reviewers of the journal, whose generous feedback has greatly improved the article.

‘Obtained by peculiar favour, & much difficulty of the Singer’: Vincenzo Albrici and the Function of Charles II's Italian Ensemble at the English Restoration Court

  • Ester Lebedinski

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