Domenico Zipoli: Elevazione for Cello and Oboe
Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726)was an Italian Baroque composer. Not much is known about Zipoli and his life, however we do know that he became a Jesuit so he could teach music in Paraguay and Peru. He is often remembered for being one of the most accomplished musicians amongst the Jesuit missionaries.
From 1715, Zipoli was the sole organist at the Jesuit church in Rome, he was also working towards becoming a Catholic priest, however he died from tuberculosis before he could become ordained.
Elevazione is scored for oboe, cello, organ and strings. It lasts for around 8 minutes, and is slow and stately in style. The sonorous opening strings sustain long notes throughout which either accompany one of the soloists or develop the melody. The melody is sweet and nostalgic with the oboe and cello taking turns to state and develop the melody. The sparse, but rich accompaniment adds to the appeal of the work.
Domenico Zipoli’s Elevazione has become a bit of an enigma in Western classical music. Now a famous work often performed by chamber orchestras, Elevazione is instantly recognisable for a lot of people. The work came back into the public eye in the 1990s with Classic FM playing it on the radio. Very little is known about the composer of the piece, but one thing’s for sure, the work is a real joy to behold.
Ⓒ Alex Burns