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Carissimi, Giacomo

rome motets composer maestro

Carissimi, Giacomo important Italian composer and teacher; b. Marino, near Rome (baptized), April 18, 1605; d. Rome, Jan. 12, 1674. He was a singer and organist at Tivoli Cathedral (1623–27). Following a sojourn in Assisi (1628–29), he settled in Rome and became maestro di cappella at the Jesuit Collegio Germanico in 1629. He also was active at the collegiate church of S. Apollinare. In 1637 he became a priest. He was made maestro di cappella del concerto di camera to the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden in 1656. Carissimi was a distinguished composer of oratorios, motets, and cantatas, and his works reveal his mastery of concertato writing. His MSS were lost after the Jesuit order was dissolved in 1773 but his output is known to have included 14 oratorios, among them Baltazar, Jephte, Jonas, and Judicium . His motets were publ. in three vols. (Cologne, 1665–66). L. Bianchi et al. ed. his complete works (1951–73). Carissini was the author of the treatise Ars cantandi (Italian original not extant; German tr., Augsburg, 1692).

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