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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 9 (2003) No. 1

Barbara Russano Hanning

Ai Lettori,

This issue of the JSCM is dedicated in gratitude to the memory of our friend and mentor Claude V. Palisca, who passed away on January 11, 2001, after having graced with his presence and participation the conference that occasioned these papers at the University of Illinois the previous October, and before they could appear in print. Those who attended the conference are enormously thankful to have shared that time with him—for some of us it was to be the last time we saw him—and immensely consoled by the thought that he was as cheerful as ever and appeared to be in good health. As the host and organizer, John Walter Hill, said in his opening remarks, we were especially fortunate to have one of the most eminent scholars in musicology ever to be associated with the problems of early opera and monody “represented by himself” at the conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginnings of the genre in 1600—as opposed to other important scholars in the field, no longer with us, who were represented only by their work or by their students. In retrospect, we realize that, by “representing himself,” Claude was also leaving us a deeply personal as well as intellectual legacy; for his rappresentazione of himself on that occasion as well as on countless others was invariably of someone incomparably content with life and learning, genuinely committed to the profession of teaching, and unabashedly seduced by the lure of scholarship. At the same time, his stile recitativo was full of wit and whimsy, of concern for and appreciation of others, and of a certain courtly air that combined humility with sprezzatura. We will miss him; but we are all the richer for his exemplary discourse, both written and oral, and we’ll remember with pleasure his inspiring appearances on the scena dell’età nostra and the lessons he taught us, both literally and figuratively, about “in armonia favellare.” I daresay he would have wanted to leave us with Jacopo Peri’s valedictory phrase echoing in our ears…

E vivete lieti.

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ISSN: 1089-747X

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