Notes and Editorial Reviews
Luigi Rossi’s persona and activity fall in with that group of composers, scholars, painters, architects and sculptors who, in Rome of the 1600s, would upset the schemes of Renaissance classicism, thus bestowing on art of their time an unmistakable union of expressive subjectivism and objectivity of structure. Beginning with the first years of the century, Rome gradually took on a guiding role in art thanks to a decisive drive on the part of the popes and their powerful families. Under the papacy of Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini, 1623-44) – great literary adept and himself author of numerous poems in Latin and the vernacular – Bernini and Borromini would leave their indelible mark on the face of Rome. The structure of the Oratorio of the Holy Week mirrors that of mid-17th Century customary Roman oratorios: two-part division, succession of arias, ariosos, recitatives and choral parts (with not a secondary role for the choir) framed by an instrumental introduction and a concluding ‘madrigale ultimo’ of a meditative character containing the ‘moral’ concept expressed by the entire work’s text.