Musik vor 1600 - 190626_hatzikiriakos
26. Juni 2019, 11:15 Uhr
Dr. Alexandros Maria Hatzikiriakos
(UniversitĂ  di Verona)

Sound and Identity in the Cretan Renaissance

The island of Crete was one of the most important dominions of the Republic of Venice. Despite the long-lasting Venetian rule, from 1211 to 1699, a process of cultural intermingling between Italian and Greek culture came to fruition at a very late stage. Indeed, only from the second half of the fifteenth century, contacts between the Venetian and the Cretan populations resolved into a successful coexistence and cultural and religious hybridisation. Rooted in the Italian Humanism as well as in the Byzantine world, the Cretan society knew an impressive cultural and artistic flourishing, commonly labelled as Cretan Renaissance. So far, scholars from different fields have investigated the question of the Cretan identity mostly in the artistic and literal production (Holton, Panagiotakis, Vincent), and only a limited attention has been paid to the complex soundworld emerging from the same literal, artistic and documentary sources. This paper aims to discuss the role played by music and sound in shaping the identities of venetian-greek urban intellectuals, focusing in particular on the local reception of western musical practice and theory. Indeed, western music, mostly Italian, played a crucial role in everyday life of Cretan cities, from liturgy, to incidental music for greek theatrical plays, and even in the philosophical discourse of the local accademie As case study, I will consider the presence of music in the Greek chivalric poem Erotokritos, written at the end of the Sixteenth century, by the venetian-greek nobleman Vintsentzos Kornaros. In the poem, the main character of Erotokritos, a young knight, scholar and, most importantly, refined singer and song composers, epitomises the ideal Cretan intellectual. Furthermore, following a model derived from the Italian humanism and Neo-Platonism, music and voice are the most precious skills of Erotokritos, strongly connoted with magical and orphic features. Finally, my analysis will offer a comprehensive framing of the musical scenes of the poem, in the context of the local music making, with the final aim to understand the role played by western musical aesthetics and practice in the multicultural society of Venetian Crete.