Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rossi served at the court of Mantua, by request of the duchess Isabella d'Este Gonzaga, from 1587 to 1628 where he entertained the royal family and their highly esteemed guests. The composers Rossi, Monteverdi, Gastoldi, Wert and Viadana provided the most fashionable music for banquets, wedding feasts, theatre productions and chapel services amongst others.
His first published work (released in 1589) was a collection of 19 canzonettes, short, dance-like compositions for a trio of voices with lighthearted, amorous lyrics. Rossi also flourished in his composition of more serious madrigals, combining the poetry of the greatest poets of the day (e.g. Guarini, Marino, Rinaldi , and Celiano ) with his beautiful melodies.
In the field of instrumental music Rossi was a bold innovator. He was one of the first composers to apply to instrumental music the principles of monodic song, in which one melody dominates over secondary accompanying parts. His sonatas, among the first in the literature, provided for the development of an idiomatic and virtuoso violin technique. They stand mid-way between the homogeneous textures of the instrumental canzona of the late Renaissance and the trio sonata of the mature Baroque.
Salamone Rossi probably died either in the invasion of Austrian troops, who destroyed the Jewish ghettos in Mantua, or in the subsequent plague which ravaged the area. However, being one of the first musical innovators of a non-Christian background, it is certain that he will never be forgotten.
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