Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Benedictine monastery in Bavaria, Germany, founded in 764. There is evidence of music making in the monastery from the 12th century. In the first half of the 16th century Ottobeuren was receptive to humanist ideas; it had its own printing press and in 1543 founded its own Benedictine university, although this lasted only a few years. Abbot Caspar Kindelmann (1547–86) encouraged polyphony and instigated the construction of a large organ by Georg Ebert von Ravensburg in the new abbey chapel; he also appears to have been a composer. Kindelmann employed the organist Vitalis Brelle and the choirmaster Christian Frantz, whose manuscript of mainly four-part sacred music (1577) survives. In the 17th century the Catholic revival aroused new interest in choral music, and in the following century the monastery's music reached a peak of splendour, primarily in the field of sacred music, although musical dramas were presented in the abbey school. In 1725 a theatre was inaugurated under Abbot Rupert Ness. Many capable musicians and instrumentalists worked at Ottobeuren during this period, including Raphael Weiss, Franz Schnitzer and Konrad Back. The organ-building tradition established by Christoph Vogt was continued by his colleague J.G. Hofer and his son-in-law Joseph Zettler. The famous K.J. Riepp built the two choir organs in the 18th-century abbey church, and his pupil J.N. Holzay also worked there. This rich period in the abbey's history came to an end with the secularization of 1802. After the abbey's dissolution, however, some of the monks remained and in 1834 Ottobeuren was made a priory of the Benedictine monastery of St Stephan zu Augsburg; in 1918 it became an abbey. Unlike other Bavarian monasteries, Ottobeuren's substantial library remained intact and retains a large collection of manuscripts and printed music. About 1200 music manuscripts are preserved in the monastery, mostly dating from the 18th century, together with some 200 items of printed music, mainly sacred vocal works of the 16th and 17th centuries. Ottobeuren evidently had close links with Prague, as numerous works by composers who were active there (Brixi, Habermann, Laube) are preserved in the monastery. Some of Ottobeuren's medieval manuscripts are in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. A series of concerts is held each summer between June and September at the monastery, with the participation of both local and international musicians.


MGG2 (T. Wohnhaas)

L. Wilss: Zur Geschichte der Musik an den oberschwäbischen Klöstern im 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, 1925)

W. Klemm: ‘Benediktinisches Barocktheater in Südbayern insbesondere des Reichsstiftes Ottobeuren’, Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktinerordens, liv (1936), 95–184, 397–432; lv (1937), 274–304

W. Irtenkauf: ‘Zur mittelalterlichen Liturgie- und Musikgeschichte Ottobeurens’, Ottobeurer Festschrift zur 1200-Jahrfeier der Abtei, ed. Ä. Kolb and H. Tüchle (Augsburg, 1964), 141–79

S. Michl: Theatermusik Ottobeurer Hauskomponisten im 18. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1964); repr. in Musik in bayerischen Klöstern, i (Regensburg, 1986), 189–220

H. Hauke: Die mittelalterlichen Handschriften in der Abtei Ottobeuren: Kurzverzeichnis (Wiesbaden, 1974)

G. Haberkamp: Die Musikhandschriften der Benediktiner-Abtei Ottobeuren: thematischer Katalog (Munich, 1986)


Ottoboni, Pietro

(b Venice, 2 July 1667; d Rome, 28 Feb 1740). Italian patron and librettist. In November 1689, a month after his grand-uncle was elected Pope Alexander VIII, he was made a cardinal and given a lifetime appointment as vice-chancellor of the Church. During the brief papacy of Alexander VIII (d 1 Feb 1691), Ottoboni had no rival as a musical patron; Queen Christina of Sweden had died at Rome in April 1689, and Cardinal Pamphili was at Bologna as papal legate in 1690–93. Even though his annual income from numerous benefices exceeded the staggering sum of 50,000 scudi, Ottoboni was perpetually in debt, partly because of the extraordinary amount he spent on music. At his residence, the Palazzo della Cancelleria, he housed some of the finest singers and instrumentalists in Italy, such as the castrato Andrea Adami and the violinist Arcangelo Corelli. Once a week he sponsored an ‘academy of music’, during which cantatas and instrumental pieces were performed. Within his palace was the church of S Lorenzo in Damaso, where on feast days his musicians were joined by many others to perform splendid masses, motets, sinfonias and concerti grossi. Many works were dedicated to him, for example the trio sonatas op.4 by Corelli and op.1 by Albinoni, and 13 Roman dramatic works of 1690–1700 (listed in Franchi, 1988). He presumably paid creators handsomely for their dedications. He served as cardinal protector of the Congregazione di S Cecilia in Rome (1691–1740), of the Oratorio della Chiesa Nuova (1703–40) and of the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna (1713–40). His many other posts included archpriest of S Maria Maggiore (1702–40), protector of the affairs of France at the papal throne (1709–40), and ultimately deacon of the sacred college of cardinals.

Charles de Brosses called Ottoboni a ‘fanatical music lover’, and the cardinal's principal passion was certainly music drama. His musicians even performed a serenata outside his cell during the conclave following the death of his great-uncle. Documents show that he frequently employed up to 20 singers and 50 instrumentalists for a religious or theatrical event. Presumably because he was a Venetian noble who held extraordinarily high-ranking ecclesiastical posts, librettos written by him do not bear his name. (The three exceptions are works of 1690, which include dedications signed ‘Crateo Pradelini’, an anagram of ‘Cardinale Pietro’.) Thus we are mainly dependent on contemporary newsletters (reproduced, e.g., in Scano and Graglia, 1977–9; Griffin, 1983 and 1993; Staffieri, 1990; and Morelli, 1991) for statements confirming his authorship of the many dramatic works sponsored by him. We know but few of the ‘infinity of operas, oratorios, cantatas and other works’ that one writer attributed to him in 1705 (see Griffin, 1983, pp.832–8, and Morelli, 1984, pp.142–4). We know many more works by his father Antonio (who was among the 14 founders of the Arcadian Academy); Antonio's extant texts comprise two operas, four oratorios, four serenatas, 17 duet cantatas and 235 solo cantatas.

The Teatro Tordinona, which had been closed for 15 years, was reopened for the 1690 production of Statira, with text by the cardinal and music by Alessandro Scarlatti, who may well have been his favourite musical collaborator. Within a year he had produced three more three-act dramas; then the pope's death halted this proliferation of rather mediocre texts. His ensuing works were influenced by the ideals of the Arcadian Academy, which he (as ‘Crateo Ericinio’) served as protector. In G.M. Crescimbeni's La bellezza della volgar poesia (Rome, 1700) L'amore eroico fra pastori (1696) is called ‘the first work that restored the antique rules, by introducing choruses and various other appurtenances of good comedy’. A papal ban on operas should have prevented Ottoboni from producing stage works between 1698 and 1710, but we know that he did so, for example, by presenting Il regno di Maria Vergine (1705) on a sumptuously decorated outdoor stage with 50 singers and 100 instrumentalists, by performing two acts of Statira (1690) without costumes in 1706, and by recasting the oratorio Il martirio di S Cecilia (1708) as a staged, three-act work in 1709. Filippo Juvarra, Ottoboni's architect and scene designer from 1708 to 1712, replaced his makeshift theatre in the Cancelleria with a splendid one, capable of many scenic effects that could not be seen elsewhere in Rome. They were fully exploited in Costantino pio, set by C.F. Pollarolo in 1710, and in two further heroic texts of 1711–12. Although these works were regarded as scenic marvels, Ottoboni apparently lacked funds for further operatic productions, and is known to have written only one more libretto, Carlo Magno, his festa teatrale of 1729. He did nevertheless continue to support dramatic productions elsewhere. He was, for example, the guarantor for at least two productions at the Teatro Capranica, in 1692 and 1714, and he sponsored at least one oratorio in the Chiesa Nuova as late as 1739. When he died, in 1740, he had been at the centre of Roman musical life for half a century. Yet his music library was considered virtually worthless by his Roman contemporaries in 1742, who sold ‘above 150 pounds weight’ of it to Edward Holdsworth, who thus procured for Charles Jennens (one of Handel's librettists) ‘a large purchase of Operas, Oratorios, Cantatas, & what not, … most of it by celebrated hands, such as Scarlatti, Pollaroli, Mancini, Bencini, and Marcello …. The whole amounting not to above 40 shillings’.


GroveO (L. Lindgren) [incl. further bibliography]

C. de Brosses: Lettres familières écrites d'Italie en 1739 et 1740 (Paris, 1799, rev. 5/1904 by R. Colomb)

A. Cametti: Il Teatro di Tordinona poi di Apollo (Tivoli, 1938), ii, 342–9

A. Schiavo: Il Palazzo della Cancelleria (Rome, 1964)

H.J. Marx: ‘Die Musik am Hofe Pietro Kardinal Ottobonis unter Arcangelo Corelli’, AnMc, no.5 (1968), 104–77

A. Schiavo: ‘Il teatro e altro opere del cardinale Ottoboni’, Strenna dei Romanisti, xxxiii (1972), 344–52

G. Scano and G. Graglia, eds.: Francesco Valesio: Diario di Roma (Milan, 1977–9)

T.E. Griffin: The Late Baroque Serenata in Rome and Naples: a Documentary Study with Emphasis on Alessandro Scarlatti (diss., UCLA, 1983)

P.J. Everett: ‘A Roman Concerto Repertory: Ottoboni's “what not”?’, PRMA, cx (1983–4), 62–78

A. Morelli: ‘Alessandro Scarlatti, maestro di cappella in Roma, ed alcuni suoi oratori: nuovi documenti’, NA, new ser., ii (1984), 117–44

L. Lindgren: ‘Il dramma musicale a Roma durante la carriera di Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725)’, Le muse galanti: la musica a Roma nel Settecento, ed. B. Cagli (Rome, 1985), 35–57

F. Piperno: ‘Il componimento sacro per la festività del SS Natale di Metastasio-Costanzi (1727): documenti inediti’, Metastasio e il mondo musicale, ed. M.T. Muraro (Florence, 1986), 151–69

S. Franchi: Drammaturgia romana: repertorio bibliografico cronologico dei testi drammatici pubblicati a Roma e nel Lazio, secolo XVII (Rome, 1988)

P.J. Everett: The Manchester Concerto Partbooks (New York, 1989)

G. Staffieri: Colligite fragmenta: la vita musicale romana negli ‘Avvisi Marescotti’ (1683–1707) (Lucca, 1990)

A. Morelli: ‘Il tempio armonico’: musica nell'Oratorio dei Filippini in Roma (1575–1705), AnMc, no.27 (1991)

T. Griffin: Musical References in the ‘Gazzetta di Napoli’, 1681–1725 (Berkeley, 1993)

S. Franchi: Le impressioni sceniche: dizionario bio-bibliografico degli editori e stampatori romani e laziali di testi drammatici e libretti per musica dal 1579 al 1800 (Rome, 1994)

S. La Via: ‘Il Cardinale Ottoboni e la musica: nuovi documenti (1700–1740), nuove letture e ipotesi’, Intorno a Locatelli: studi in occasione del tricentenario della nascita di Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695–1764), ed. A. Dunning (Lucca, 1995), 319–526

F. Piperno: ‘Su le sponde del Tebro: eventi, mecenati e istituzioni musicali a Roma negli anni di Locatelli. Saggio di cronologia’, ibid., 793–877

S. Franchi: Drammaturgia romana. ii: Annali dei testi drammatici e libretti per musica pubblicati a Roma e nel Lazio dal 1701 al 1750, con introduzione sui teatri romani nel Settecento e commento storico-critico sull’attività teatrale e musicale romana dal 1701 al 1750 (Rome, 1997)


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