Galanterie sotto le guglie: ‘galant schemata’ e funzioni formali nella produzione di Giuseppe Sarti per il Duomo di Milano

Galanterie sotto le guglie: galant schemata e funzioni formali nella produzione di Giuseppe Sarti per il Duomo di Milano, «Rivista Italiana di Musicologia» 52, 2017, pp. 63-105.

ABSTRACT ⋅ Between the end of 1779 and the beginning of 1784, while at the height of his operatic career, Giuseppe Sarti served as maestro di cappella at the Milan Cathedral, where he composed a substantial corpus of masses, motets, hymns, psalms and antiphons. Over the last decades, a largely unfavourable historiographical tradition has been established on these works, mainly on the basis of secondary sources; nonetheless, research on their musical content has not yet been undertaken. The aim of this article is therefore to investigate Sarti’s Milanese sacred corpus focussing particularly on its church arias, which feature a distinct galant quality. As a main analytical tool, Robert Gjerdingen’s theory of galant schemata (Music in the Galant Style, 2007) is here integrated with William Caplin’s Formenlehre on both a local and a macrostructural level. Thus, on the one hand an in-depth investigation of Sarti’s creative practice is offered, as well as a historiographical rehabilitation of the compositions at issue. On the other hand, a recent analytical approach to eighteenth-century music is evaluated, also in consideration of its epistemological framework. Furthermore, the hitherto neglected sacred vocal genre is introduced into the schemata and form-functional debates.