The Italian Cantata in Vienna: Entertainment in the Age of Absolutism

Lawrence Bennett (Author)


Lawrence Bennett provides a comprehensive study of the rich repertoire of accompanied vocal chamber music that entertained the imperial family in Vienna and their guests throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries. The cantata became a form of elite entertainment composed to amuse listeners during banquets or pay homage to members of the royal family during special occasions. Concentrating on Baroque cantatas composed in the Habsburg court, Bennett draws extensively on primary source material to explore the stylistic changes that occurred within the genre in the generations before Haydn and Mozart.

Product Details

Indiana University Press
Publish Date
October 18, 2013
6.4 X 1.0 X 9.2 inches | 1.27 pounds
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About the Author

Lawrence Bennett is Professor Emeritus of Music and former Chair of the Music Department at Wabash College. He founded the Western Wind, a vocal ensemble that has toured professionally throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.


"This is an important book. It deserves to be warmly welcomed not only by scholars but also by performers of Baroque vocal chamber music, who will find many interesting avenues to explore."

--Early Music

"[T]his book is to be recommended as shedding light on an important yet seldom-discussed repertory, written by someone whose expertise is unquestionable."

--Music and Letters

"The book is of great use in providing a panorama of vocal chamber music during the age of Leopold I and Joseph I, identifying the characteristics of their patronage, and giving an important overview of musical entertainments at the imperial court.... With this book, Professor Bennett provides scholars with an important tool for understanding the context in which cantatas were composed and performed, and in which the Hapsburgs' important music collection... was created."


"By taking multiple analytical approaches, Bennett establishes an overall understanding while also demonstrating how individual composers approached the genre.... Recommended."