Musical Journeys

Just like now, composers and musicians traveled the world to work. The graphic below gives a simple idea of where our composers traveled to and from.

Most of our Italian composers, Donati, Gesualdo, Monteverdi and Falconieri, stayed within present day Italy, but traveled between principalities. Spaniard Cristobal de Morales traveled to Italy and back to Spain, but his music traveled as far as the New World. Tomas Torrejon y Velasco made the journey all the way from Spain to Peru.

Johann Sigismund Kusser’s brown lines above show his zig zagging career. Born in Bratislava, active in Stuttgart and Paris, and finally ending his life in Dublin, Ireland.

Speaking of Ireland, the ABC is absolutely delighted to be returning to the Galway Early Music Festival on May 23. The festival’s theme this year is Passagio: Musical Journeys in Time and Space. We will be joined in Galway by Ruth Cunningham of Anonymous 4. Our Road to Hell includes many Irish connections including Cormac Mac Dermott, an Irish harper at Queen Elizabeth I of England’s court (his is the green line above), Henry Madin, the son of some of the “Wild Geese” who worked in France at the Chapelle Royale under the patronage of Louis XV, and a little bit of George Handel, who, of course, premiered Messiah in Dublin.

Of our composers, the Germans traveled the most, the Spaniards traveled the furthest, the Irish traveled to England, and the Italians traveled the least. The music, however, travelled everywhere, through time and space.