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date: 17 October 2019

Calmo, Andrealocked

  • Charles Warren

Extract

(b 1509–10; d Venice, Feb 23, 1571). Italian actor, poet and writer of comedies, active in Venice. Some of his poems were set by Lodovico Agostini in Musica sopra le rime bizzarre di M. Andrea Calmo, & altri autori (1567). More significant are his ‘piacevoli et ingeniosi discorsi in più lettere compresi’ (ed. in Rossi), which include many references to music and musicians. A few of these fanciful letters in dialect are addressed to composers of his day, for example Willaert, whose music, according to Calmo, was alchemically ‘distilled’, ‘purged’ and ‘refined’ to the point where it had reached ‘la condition de l'aurum potabile’ (Rossi, p.199). Calmo was also an able musician in his own right in the tradition of the humanist improvvisatori; according to Alessandro Zilioli (Vite dei poeti italiani) he played the parts of Pantalone and ‘the singer’ for the ‘famous companies of comedians which flourished in Italy at that time’ (see Rossi). He is now regarded as one of the creators (along with ...

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