The most influential and prolific Italian composer of his time, b. in 1604 at Marino in the Papal States; d. 12 Jan., 1674, in Rome. After completing his musical education in Rome, Carissimi became choirmaster at Assisi, and, in 1628, he was appointed to a like position at the church of St. Apollinaris in Rome. He is considered the father of the modern oratorio form, which had its origin in the simple laudi sacri composed by Palestrina and Annimuccia for St. Philip Neri's meetings of young people, held in his oratorio or place of prayer. By imparting a lyric quality to the recitative, lending variety to the orchestral accompaniments, and dramatic movement to the whole, he developed this form to the point where it was taken up and carried to its perfection by Händel and Bach. Although many of Carissimi's oratorios and other works have been lost, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris contains the following oratorios in manuscript: "Le mauvais riche", "Jonas". An almost complete collection of the works of this master made by Dr. Henry Aldrich (1647-1710) is found in the library of Christ church College, Oxford. Of Carissimi's settings to liturgical texts two printed collections of motets for two, three, and four voices, and masses for five and nine voices are mentioned. An eight-part "Nisi Dominus" and a "Lauda Sion" in manuscript are preserved in the Santini Library in Rome. Among Carissimi's pupils were Alessandro Scarlatti, J.K. Kerll, Johann Ph. Krieger, Chr. Bernard, and M.A. Charpentier.
Ambros, Gesch. der Musik (Leipzig, 1881); Mendel, Musikalisches Lexikon (Leipzig, 1870).
APA citation. (1908). Giacomo Carissimi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03348b.htm
MLA citation. "Giacomo Carissimi." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03348b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Ferruccio Germani.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is feedback732 at newadvent.org. (To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.) Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.