Manuscript. Cantatas for two and three voices by Rossi, Cesti,
Carissimi and others, copied in score; copyist probably Italian,
c.1650. (The same copyist was also responsible for Mus. 996.)
For information about the early ownership and provenance of this
volume, see below. The music is written continuously across double-page
spreads, in two systems.
Table of titles and composers in modern form. Display form found in manuscript.
- Items 5, 10 and 16-19 were also copied by the same scribe in
- Items 2 and 5 were copied by Henry Aldrich in Mus. 18, possibly
using Mus. 377 as exemplar.
||Vorrei scoprirti un dì
||Occhi belli, ohime
||Tu sarai sempre il mio bene
||Partitevi da me speranze infide
||Amanti, sentite Amor
||Parlate per me, narrate al mio bene
||Pian piano mio core
||Siano pur tutte infinite
||O cieli, pietà
||Già son morto e non lo crede
||Dite, o cieli, se crudeli
||E di ragion ch'io mora
||Se saggia vuoi parer
||Pene, che volete da me?
||Trè infelici amanti
||Amor, se devo piangere
||Amanti, ardire o goder o morire
||Lasso, benché mi fugga ognor lontano
||Sciolto havean dall'alte sponde
Oblong format, 210 x 160 mm. 68 folios, in two layers:
Index of contents (without composer attributions) added by the
copyist on the verso of the second front flyleaf. Mid 17th-century
binding of white vellum over boards; edges partly coloured with
red and blue stripes. There are offsets between the last music
page (f. 68v) and the rear flyleaf, resulting from closure of
the volume while the ink was still wet; this implies that at
least some of the music contents were added after the volume
had been bound. Mid-17th-century annotation on outside upper
cover (almost certainly not in the hand of the music copyist):
'Musica del Sig[no]r Angelo Micheli / Uno de Musici Della Capella
/ de Reina di Swecia / Upsaliae Martii 21 / 1653 / a 2 et 3 voce'.
Annotation on front flyleaf, probably in a mid-17th-century English
hand: 'D'al dono di [changed to 'del'] signor Angelo Micheli
/ uno de li musitii [deleted; replaced by 'di musica', further
changed to 'musici'] nella [changed to 'della'] capella / di
Reini [changed to 'Reyna'] di Suecia / Upsalia Mar: 21. / 1653'.
No early bookplate. 19th-century shelfmark: I.7.77.
- Layer 1 (ff. 1-56): items 1-18 (= cantatas a2), ruled with six
staves to the page. Collation: A8 (ff. 1-8), B8 (ff. 9-16), C8
(ff. 17-24), D8 (ff. 25-32), E8 (ff. 33-40), F8 (ff. 41-8), G8
(ff. 49-56). Foliation in ink added by the copyist, with intermittent
additions in modern pencil. The end of the last piece in this
layer (item 18) was copied wholly on a verso, not across a double-page
- Layer 2 (ff. 57-68): item 19 (a3), ruled with eight staves to
the page. Collation: H6 (ff. 57-62), I6 (ff. 63-8). The first
leaf is foliated '57' in ink by the copyist; thereafter the foliation
is in modern pencil.
Provenance: Mus. 377 almost certainly formed part of the repertory
of the ensemble of Italian musicians that visited the court of
Queen Christina of Sweden in the two years before her abdication
in 1654; for further details, see Webber (in Bibliography below).
This ensemble, led by Vincenzo Albrici, included the theorbist
Angelo Micheli Bartolotti, who can be identified as the donor
of the volume; see above: 'D'al dono di [changed to 'del'] signor
Angelo Micheli'. It is not known how or when the volume then
passed into English ownership; for some possibilities, see Webber.
Nor is there concrete evidence that Mus. 377 shared a common
provenance history with Mus. 996 (which was copied by the same
scribe). Indeed, it seems likely that the two volumes reached
Christ Church by different routes, Mus. 996 probably as part
of the Aldrich bequest, Mus. 377 by a different track. In Mus.
377, the absence of any early shelfmark or bookplate strongly
argues against Aldrich provenance, and may instead imply that
the book reached Christ Church as part of the Goodson bequest.
However, there is no mention of Mus. 377 in Clement 1747, or
indeed in any of the 18th-century catalogues of the Christ Church
music collections. The fact that two pieces found in Mus. 377
were also copied by Henry Aldrich at the start of Mus. 18,
probably in the 1670s, cannot be taken as proof that he owned
Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 48.
Geoffrey Webber, 'Italian Music at the Court of Queen Christina:
Christ Church, Oxford, Mus. MS 377 and the Visit of Vincenzo
Albrici's Italian Ensemble, 1652-54', Svensk Tidskrift för
Musikforskning, 1993:2, pp. 47-53.