Sukkot post: Italian-Jewish composer Salomone de Rossi

In honor of Sukkot (the Festival of Booths) here is a film from the Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, specifically from the Israel Music Heritage Project.

Salomone [Italian for Solomon/Shlomo] de Rossi (1570-ca. 1630) grew up in the Jewish ghetto of Mantua [Italian: Mantova]. He joined the orchestra at the Gonzaga court (then directed by Claudio Monteverdi): when the latter moved to Venice in 1613 to become maestro di cappella at San Marco [St. Mark’s Cathedral], Rossi succeeded him.

He wrote prolifically, and indeed part of his output was printed: stylistically, he was a transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Early Baroque. But somewhat unusually, he wrote a significant corpus of choir and orchestral compositions for the synagogue, under the title “Shirim asher li-Shlomo” (a pun on the Hebrew title of the Song of Solomon in the Bible).

Chag Sukkot sameach!

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