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Suoni intorno al principe di Sansevero. Musiche per Raimondo di Sangro e Carlotta Gaetani


Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero (1710-1771), is known for his eccentric ideas as well as for the Masonic symbolism he adopted in rebuilding his family chapel, in downtown Naples. This essay traces his musical interests, so far under-researched. The sonoric elements in some of his inventions are highlighted. Data are collected on the carrillon he commissioned, built after North European models. Theatrical texts related to his patronage are analyzed, including the curious dialect libretto “Li sconquasse de lo Pennino” (1757). Attention is given to his wife, Carlotta Gaetani, the dedicatee of a little-known musical printing, the “Scelta di arie” from “L’eroe cinese” set to music by Baldassarre Galuppi for the San Carlo Theater in Naples (1753). The final section of the essay is devoted to Raimondo’s offspring: his eldest son, Vincenzo, who commissioned Gian Francesco de Majo a composition for a special occasion; his beloved daughter, Carlotta, musician Silvestro Palma’s patron; and above all Francesco, who distinguished himself as a prolific comedy author and a theatrical promoter and organizer.