Baryton and voice at the Vienna Hofkapelle by Antonio Draghi, Attilio Ariosti and Johann Joseph Fux

Gartrell, Carol, ed. (2004) Baryton and voice at the Vienna Hofkapelle by Antonio Draghi, Attilio Ariosti and Johann Joseph Fux. Hebden Bridge, U.K. : Peacock Press. 10p.


The origins of the baryton have been identified in England in the early part of the 17th century. The only other well evidenced repertory for the baryton is that of Haydn and his contemporaries. Until recently the arias by Ariosti and Fux were believed to be isolated examples of the baryton at the Vienna Hofkapelle. The recent discovery of the arias by Leopold I, Draghi and Conti has added significantly to the known repertoire of the baryton. This publication contains part of a body of compositions which has established the existence of a school of baryton composition/playing at the Vienna Hofkapelle and with a distinctive identify. Surprisingly other evidence is scant. There is no iconography or contemporary accounts and only two court records. Although barytons exists, instruments of the Fussen school of baryton making in Vienna, no direct provenances can be established which link the instruments with the Vienna court. The repertoire for baryton prior to these arias was arrangements of pieces for lyra viola and lute, notated in and played from French lute tablature. Figures were added subsequently added to indicate the lower manual plucked tones of the baryton. All were for the self-accompanying, solo baroque baryton. The arias of Draghi and Ariosti do not make great technical demands on the barytonist, but the Fux work is more challenging. They therefore provide significant evidence of developments in playing technique which complement Krause’s publication of c 1700, most notably: first music composed for the baryton; earliest evidence of the use of staff notation for the baryton; baryton as part of an ensemble, providing an obbligato to the solo voice; lower manual functioning as a self-accompanying bass; use of the same pitch range for the lower manual as in entabulated works.

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