This research project aims to reveal the importance and originality of baroque poet Pietro Pariati (1665–1733) by making the complete edition of his sacred and profane texts for music accessible to the scientific community and to a wide public audience. A critical edition of Pariati’s librettos, accompanied by an historical in-depth introduction and comments documenting the genesis and fortunes of his oeuvre, will shed new light on this poet, whose texts were set to music by the most important composers of his time, such as Giovanni Bononcini, Tomaso Albinoni, Antonio Caldara and Johann Joseph Fux.
Pietro Pariati is also a key literary figure of the Viennese scene, whose texts made a central contribution to the representation of the Habsburgs in music. After working as a dramatic poet for the Milanese and Venetian stages from 1700, he was appointed court poet under Emperor Charles VI in 1714 and remained at the imperial court of Vienna until his death.
The publication will be divided into three parts, grouped by genre (I: Drammi seri; Intermezzi e Tragicommedie; II: Feste teatrali e Serenate;III: Oratorii e componimenti sacri), and arranged within each genre in chronological order. Each libretto will be accompanied by an extensive apparatus documenting all the revised versions up to 1800, including a list of variants, so as to offer a glimpse of the success of Pariati’s texts.
A critical edition of Pariati’s sacred and profane librettos will be of considerable interest to musicologists as well as Italianists and historians, since it can provide a basis for further research in diverse fields including literature, music, historical and cultural studies. It is important to note that Pariati’s texts were written in the crucial period of the first two decades of the 18th century, which saw the emergence of stylistic and historical changes in libretto composition in both the secular and sacred spheres. Research on this eminent figure of music poetry can also answer important questions about cultural transfer, court ceremonial, and the political function of music.