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Thread: Dario Castello

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    Default Dario Castello

    Dario Castello was an Italian composer and instrumentalist from the early Baroque period who worked and published in Venice. Biographical references to Dario Castello appear in the title-pages and dedications of the composer’s two volumes of ‘Sonate concertate’, published in Venice respectively in 1621 and 1629. Two editions of Book I describe the composer as ‘Capo di Compagnia de Musichi d’Instrumenti da fiato in Venetia’, leader of a Venetian company of piffari, while the Book II dedications announce that he was also a musician at San Marco. Claudio Monteverdi was maestro di capella at San Marco.

    There appears to have been a family of musicians who served the Doge and other Venetian employers in the first half of the seventeenth century and perhaps earlier. Payment and census records, contracts and necrologies from the period refer to three Castello instrumentalists who were almost certainly related: Bartolomeo, Giovanni Francesco and Giovanni Battista. The last of these was engaged as a member of the Doge’s six-strong team of piffari, or wind players, from 27 December 1624 to 15 November 1633, noted in the San Marco archives as son of ‘Dario of Venice, musician in our aforementioned chapel’.

    Castello's two collections of sonatas, comprising 29 works, are not idiomatic to the violin but the virtuoso instrumental writing, especially for the bassoon, is notable. Composed of a varying number of short contrasting sections, the sonatas all follow a very clear three- or four-part formal pattern. The juxtaposition of contrasting tempos and affects is typical of the concerted stile moderno of the early 17th century. The unusual number of reprints of both books of sonatas is an indication of the popularity and wide diffusion of Castello's works.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Here are some examples of his work:

    Sonata Prima - on serpent and clavecin



    Sonata Seconda - violin, gamba, guitar and chamber organ



    Sonata decima a 3, Libro secondo - this has both violin and (baroque) bassoon

    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Yeah, I've got a few records of his. Enjoyable stuff.

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