The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England, 1531–1665

1st Edition

David Lasocki, Roger Prior

Published July 13, 1995
Reference - 328 Pages
ISBN 9780859679435 - CAT# Y283916


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In the 1530s, five Bassano brothers, who were outstanding wind players and instrument makers, emigrated from Venice to England. Dr Lasocki’s authoritative new book, the first to be devoted to the family, is a minutely researched account of these brothers, their sons (and a daughter) and their grandsons. The first half of the book discusses the everyday affairs of the family - their relationships, religion, property, law suits, finances, and standing in society. Two chapters, one written by Roger Prior, are devoted to Emilia Bassano, whose identification as the ’dark lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets is supported by a wealth of evidence. The second half of the book discusses the family’s musical activities. At the English Court the Bassanos made up a recorder consort that lasted 90 years; they also played in the flute/cornett and shawm/sackbutt consorts. As instrument makers their fame was spread throughout Europe. The book’s appendixes present information on the Venetian branch of the family and the musical activities of the English branch since 1665.

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