La cantata a Roma negli anni del soggiorno italiano di Händel
The aim of this paper is to offer some remarks concerning the Roman musical milieu – with particular reference to the cantata between 1706 and 1709 – and how it may have influenced the young Handel at the time of his legendary Italian journey. Specific aspects of the repertory are examined, mainly focusing on the cantatas produced under the patronage of the Ruspoli, Ottoboni and Pamphilj families which, in this period, were at the forefront of Roman cultural life. Some specific characteristics of the Roman cantata tradition – for example, the formal peculiarities, or the use of cello concertante – might have particularly impressed Handel. The cantata output of such relatively unstudied composers as Bernardo Pasquini, Bernardo Gaffi and Filippo Amadei are also taken into account. The freedom and unpredictability of Pasquini’s cantatas left traces in Handel’s work. The use of cello concertante in Gaffi’s cantatas is compared with Handel’s application of this instrument in his own cantatas.