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Cavalieri, Emilio de’

Cavalieri, Emilio de’

Cavalieri, Emilio de’, Italian composer; b. Rome, c. 1550; d. there, March 11, 1602. He was born into a noble family. After serving as organist and supervisor of the Lenten music at the Oratorio del Crocifisso in S. Marcello in Rome (1578–84), he went to Florence in 1588 as a court overseer and diplomat to Ferdinando de’ Medici. In 1589 he composed music for and supervised the celebrated intermedi presented at his patron’s wedding. He subsequently composed sets of Lamentations and responses for Holy Week (c. 1599). Upon his return to Rome, he composed his most significant work, Rap-presentatione di Anima, et di Corpo...per recitar cantando (Collegio Sacro, Feb. 1600). This score is historically significant as the earliest dramatic piece set entirely to music, and its printed score (Rome, 1600) was the earliest to use a figured bass. See T. Read, A Critical Study and Performance Edition of Emilio de’ Cavalierïs Rappresentazione di anima e di corpo (diss., Univ. of Southern Calif., 1969).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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