Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CD Reviews: Led Zeppelin 1-3 2014 Deluxe Remastered Set

        Hello everyone! I'm really sorry about the delay in the music 101 series. I've been working on the presentation for Sept. and getting it perfect have been time consuming. However, I'll have the next one soon though! Just as a fair warning, I know my "English" is normally pretty bad, but the video with this was a rushed project to go with some friends of mine. So what I say doesn't line up with what I've written exactly. I made sure that it does make some sense though, and this follows the outline pretty well. If you want me to do more reviews then I will! I have a book that I've been working to finish in the works now and hopefully will have out before the convention. Otherwise, enjoy and see everyone soon!





       Hello everyone, my name is Adam Sullivan also known as Sulli00700 and welcome and welcome to this review. As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a Led Zeppelin fanatic. My parents grew up listening to it in high school and college. Once they thought I was old enough to be introduced to rock n roll, this was where they started me off. So naturally, I've collected a few things over the years and I've become a fan. After strolling through Target about two weeks ago (from the beginning of writing this review) and while looking for some stuff for college I just so happened to come across these beauties! That's Led Zeppelin I, II & III and they have been remastered for 2014 and we're going to take a look at them right now.

       Back in March of 2014, LedZeppelin.com (http://bit.ly/1fwgoMR) announced Atlantic Records was to release remastered versions of Led Zeppelin I, II and III. It was also said to be remastered by Jimmy Page himself and was to be featured on CD, vinyl, digital download and not to forget box sets. Jimmy Page has gone on to say, "The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin, /.../ It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at the time”. While I haven't been able to find the vinyls or the box sets in person, I have found them online, not to mention we have these three to look at. So then, the really big question is, "Are they really worth buying?"

       Visually, these albums look really pristine. Clearly updated versions of what made the original albums so great. It even goes as far to have the working pin wheel from Led Zeppelin III. However, these have more art than the originals did. The back panel the CDs have an inverted version of the front, and the inside has the original back panels plus what was meant to be inside art for the vinyls. (Update: Turns out that they are actually art in the insides of the remastered vinyls.)

       Hidden inside the tri-folds of the albums is an album with a bunch of pictures of the band around the time the album were being produced and while they were on tour. Not to forget a little bit of technical information. This is where we run into my first problem. Now don't get me wrong, these are really nice but do we really need this many pictures? Personally, I would like a little more technical information than the half a page in the booklet and the 12 photos. Same thing goes for the print on the CDs as well, they're just the generic Atlantic Records image. One may argue that it's out of nostalgia but I personally feel that Atlantic Records was going for a more unique feel to these albums, seeing they were re-release with the bonus material. Over all, however, this is more of an opinionated nit-pick of mine and will not be weighed against them heavily.

       All three albums feature remastered audio from the original albums as one would expect. There's a bit of a controversy on how alike these three sound to the original 1991 remasters that were released onto CD. However after doing a little bit of research into the situation, I found the previously mentioned LedZeppelin.com article states that they are indeed based off the original 192kH/ 24bit transfers. (Note: I did not say the 1991 albums, but the rough transfers that the albums were based on.) With that said, since it is based on the same source material, they are going to sound alike. Controversies aside, what really sells people on these albums are the companion disks. Led Zeppelin I having this never before released concert from Paris. It happened approximately two weeks before Led Zeppelin II was released. Led Zeppelin II and III have the previously stated bonus material. Led Zeppelin II premiering a song called "La-la" and Led Zeppelin III premeiring two songs; " Jennings Farm Blues" and "Key to the Highway/Trouble in Mind".

       So then, all that remains is the big question: Are they worth it? If you already own the original remasters and you're simply looking at it because you heard they were being remastered then I would not recommend this for you. However, if you are big into Led Zeppelin or interested in collecting bonus material then I would highly recommend this for you. My only complaint is the price, they're a little over priced in my opinion. Now don't get me wrong, as I said in the beginning I bought these from Target so naturally they're going to be a little over priced, paying $13 plus SC sales tax a piece. The reason I mention this though, is I cannot find them online or otherwise less than $12. Personally, I feel like the deluxe would be more reasonable around $10 each. $10 would be where I would say they are definitely worth it. However, what really drives in the issue is with the box sets. I cannot find them online for less than $120 dollars. This is where I think they are pushing them just a bit. Don't get me wrong, they are great albums, but $120 per set is a little "out there" in my opinion.

       All this aside, it's time to rate them! All things considered, I gave Led Zeppelin I a 3.5 "rocking Jimmy Page solos" out of 5 and Led Zeppelin II & III an even 4 "rocking Jimmy Page solos" out of 5. The reason for knocking that half point of Led Zeppelin I is because of the live concert not worth as much compared to Led Zeppelin II & III. I would have kept that point (if not made it 4.5 out of 5) if it was the same as II and III and had the rough tracks and/or never before heard albums from the original album. That little bit aside, I think they are all still great albums to add to your CD collections.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Major Announcement and Interview with @Kidstruments

Hello everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts lately but between Faith's getting married in the next couple of weeks and I've been setting up for a new series plus running Team Young Spark as we head towards our first couple of major events... Life's been a little overwhelming. But seeing there has been 90+ views on the "Music Theory 101" series thus far, I think it's safe to assume that I will finish this season of it. The next series I'm going to do is a tutorial series on using and making the most out of Audacity. While it isn't the best program to do a lot of complicated audio manipulation, people underestimate its potential. By the time the series begins to trickle out, I should have released an animation project I've been working on with my friend Benjamin and everything audio related has been mixed and mastered in Audacity. Also, I want to revisit the Finale Tutorials but teach over 2014 this time.The original series had such a positive reception that I wouldn't imagine not doing it but I need to save up for 2014. Leave a comment if you would like to see more of them (and they will be actual lessons this time, not randomly teaching tools!)

The first major announcement is that I've been accepted as a panelist for Derpy Con South as my alias Harmonic Inferno, and I will be giving 2 lectures: One on the series I've been working on here (Music Theory 101) and the other an open discussion on arts activism. I wanted to make sure that if anyone here was interested in coming out to the convention and hearing them that you were aware in advance. The other thing I wanted to announce was Faith will be getting married in the near future. I mentioned it briefly before, but I wanted to make sure I gave her a major congratulations for her milestone with her fiance but for all the help she's done in building this site back up. Now without further ado, let's get onto the interview!

Adam: Explain what Kidstruments Fund is? How was it started and how long has
it been around?

Kidstruments: Kidstruments Fund is an organization that helps kids play instruments in school band or orchestra. It was started when my 6th grade orchestra teacher's violin broke. It was very sentimental to her and I raised money to try to fix it. She did not take the money but in the process I learned that there are kids without the sufficient funds to rent an instrument. I had this money and nothing to do with it, so I used it to start Kidstruments. Kidstruments has been around for 3 months now [as of the time of this interview].

A: What all does Kidstruments Fund do to help/ benefit the music community?

K: Kidstruments helps the music community by helping others playing music, by expanding the community (in the future hopefully greatly) and making more people to play the music that other people write. Now, as for the normal community, it shows people that little people (grammar for the win) can make big impacts. It also helps more people enjoy music. It also helps kids in school, because for some, a love of music might be the thing that makes them like school and be a better student. 

A: What goals does your group have towards helping the music community at
large?

K: Our goal to the music community at large is to help more and more people not just play music, but write it, understand it, and enjoy it. We try to grow it and expand it. Kidstruments is trying greatly to expand music all over the world.

A: How can someone help your cause?

K: People can help by donating online at [http://kidstrumentsfund.org/donate/] or they can send a check to:
Kidstruments Fund Inc.9425 N. Meridian #201IndianapolisIN 46260They can also follow us on Twitter [@Kidstruments] or Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/Kidstruments]. Finally, and most important, if music people just told other music people about us, I think so many musicians would remember how important their school band or orchestra was to their life, and would want to help kids get the same opportunity. The younger kids, after all, are the musicians of tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Music Theory 101 #6: The Basic Skills of Music; Dynamics

Hello everyone and welcome back to the next episode of Music Theory 101. Sorry about vanishing, but between the end of school, the trip/ meeting in Minneapolis and then getting two major plans set up (announcements ASAP) I literally had no time to keep working. This will be the end of the explanations and salutations though because we have a month’s worth of material to make up in this extended post!

Music Terms:

~Amplitude
~Dynamics
~Forte and Piano
~Mezzo
~Adding -issimo (fortissimo, pianissimo)
~Fortepiano and Pianoforte

Catching everyone back up to speed, we have gone through posting about the basics of music and have made our way through two of the six: Pitch and Rhythm. This time, we move onward to the next topic for discussion; dynamics. Dynamics are the musical equivalent to amplitude. For those in need of a quick refresher, amplitude is the expansion or contraction of the wave’s height causes the wave to have more or less force. This increase or decrease in power can cause our ears to perceive what we hear to be louder or softer. That’s honestly all there is to this one in terms of science and terminology. However, dynamics play a more important role in music.


Music’s emotional weight is primarily built off of dynamic control. It is true to the point of listening to movies. Think to the last movie you’ve seen and how the dynamics of the music played into each point that the scene was trying to make. For example, whenever there is a romantic scene and there is a couple talking, the music backs off but you can hear that they are playing. Once they start to kiss,  the music becomes really loud to show that emotion’s weight. The same can be argued for any kind of music. A classical example is “March of the Scaffolds” by Hector Berlioz. The beginning starts out low and quiet until the cellos and bass come in with the motif of the movement. Every time there is portrayed a horrifying moment or a moment of triumph in the movement then the horns play loud. Whenever the thought of his beloved come to him, then it is soft and tender. Modern music examples is the difference between a rock ballad and heavy metal. The difference between trance/chillstep and hard style/brostep. Dynamics control a lot in music.

Now that we know what it is and what they do, why not explain how they are in music. Before we begin however, it should be noted that they are very situational. None are defined by an absolute “loudness” like pitch and other things in music. Dynamics are based off their original words in Italian and use the first letter to represent the dynamic. Forte is considered to be “loud” and is shown by adding an italicized f. Piano is considered “soft” or quiet and is shown with an italicized p. Next thing to know about with dynamics is the mezzo range. Mezzo means medium and if it’s used as a prefix, it means either medium loud, mezzo forte or mf, or medium soft, mezzo piano or mp.

There are also extremes by adding more of each letter into the mix, getting fortissimo, ff and pianissimo, pp. When you add the -ssimo suffix; meaning very, you can create more extremes for your dynamic timeline. You can add more letters to mean more contrast, such as fffffffffff. Just be warned that the mentioning of relations of dynamics are meant to be taken. So don’t expect a cannon like sound from your instruments… Unless you use a cannon. The last thing related to dynamics I want to mention is the case of fortepianos. Fortepiano and it’s reverse pianoforte are used for extreme changes in dynamic that are meant to last temporarily. They are played as they are read. In the case of fortepianos, fp, they should be played loudly and then soft. The reverse is true for pianofortes, though they aren’t as commonly used.


There is one other dynamic term that I will go over during our next episode. I hope this extended post was worth the wait! Keep an eye out for announcements in the next day or two.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baroque Beginnings

The last couple of weeks have been full of travelling (Adam), wedding planning (me) and other sundry life happenings that tend to sneak up behind you and trip you when you're not looking (also me). But I'm back for now, and have some interesting topics to get to work on.

In last couple posts in this series, we tied up the Renaissance period of music history, both in the secular and sacred genres. As we move into the Baroque, there is less distinction between the two, and they progress in basically the same direction, so you'll be hearing a lot less about the dichotomy between sacred and secular.

First off, let's examine the term "baroque." Today, it is simply used to describe various styles developed in the arts between 1600-1750(ish). However, it was originally applied to the time period as an epithet by 19th-century art critics, implying that one was wrinkling one's proper classical nose at the gaudy, overly ornamented style of visual art or music prevalent during this period in history. But, as I have been reminded three times in the past couple months by three different history professors, art history is not a linear progression: we are not moving from good to better to best. Each time period had its strengths and weaknesses, and those classical critics would have done well to remember that. Either way, "baroque" is no longer considered a derogatory term and you can use it safely without be arrested by the Politically Correct Police. (Such an organization exists, trust me. Especially on Facebook. They're kind of like the Grammar Nazis.)

If you recall, the Renaissance period finished with a bang, full of crazy dissonance, over-the-top dramatics, and elaborate text painting. Towards the end of the period, there was a group of intellectuals who called themselves the Florentine Camerata (Florence Club) that met regularly to discuss the state of the world, and more specifically that of the arts. One of them, Vincenzo Galilei (father of the more famous Galileo Galilei of gravity and heliocentrism), write a fairly complex treatise on the reasons why the popular music of the day was not as effective as the ancient musics. He also added his two-cents on how music should change for the betterment of society rather than its amusement.

He said a lot of things in this work, a lot of them not very complementary to the current state of the arts, but one of his main arguments was that music should be used to better the state of society rather that simply to amuse or please our senses. Galilei felt that the popular style of text painting was useless in that regard, as it only described what was occurring in the text and did nothing to incite an actual change of heart in the listener. He also argued that the thick polyphonic textures were so complex that they were a distraction from any single purpose. His solution to this problem was for composers and musicians to consider themselves actors or even lawyers, so to speak. Music could be used as language, to convince the listeners to take on a certain "affect" or, state of being.

This led, naturally, to a change in styles. Instead of focusing strongly on contrapuntal textures, Galilei argued for the use of monody, or compositions made up of one primary voice with harmonic accompaniment. This would bridge the gap between single line chants of the very ancient times and the multi-voiced polyphonic works of more recent styles.

Galilei's intellectual theories sparked a radical change in compositional practice, leading to the birth of the ubiquitous basso continuo line that persisted throughout the Baroque period and even somewhat into the Classical (Beethoven himself included a continuo line with figured bass in a few of his compositions). However, I've spent so much time talking about the theory that practice will have to wait till the next post. When that time comes, I'll start by defining the whole basso continuo idea, and then we'll move on to some of the seminal composers of the period.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Mannerism of Madrigalisms

In my last article in the series (somewhere around a month ago--apologies for the long wait!), I outlined the trends of sacred music at the end of the Renaissance. This included moving away from the elaborate productions of mid-Renaissance style, and returning to the simpler, more text-focused music for liturgical purposes.

Secular music, on the other hand, felt no such need. In fact, it just got crazier.

Mannerism is a generic term, not restricted to music at all, and in fact is more often used to describe visual art. Nevertheless, it is the perfect term to describe what happened with secular music at the end of the Renaissance, around 1560-1600. According to Webster's dictionary, mannerism is defined as follows: 


a :  exaggerated or affected adherence to a particular style 
                           b  :  an art style in late 16th century Europe characterized by spatial incongruity and excessive elongation of the human figures



In other words, taking a style to such an extreme that before long, people will grow sick of it and move away from that that style for good. This is exactly what happened with both art and music at the end of the 16th century. Here is a painting by one of the most famous Mannerist painters, El Greco (1541-1614). As you can see, the proportions are a little funky, the colors are vivid, and the emotions are intense and obvious. Mannerist art can get a little overwhelming, but it achieves its purpose nicely. By the time you get done studying this picture, you'll have a very a clear idea of what the artist wanted you to think or feel. 

The exact same thing happened with secular music. Composers were already writing madrigals, and, as we discussed a while ago, one of the characteristics of the madrigal was word painting. By the end of the 1500s, word painting, through either melody or harmony, was taken to such an extreme, and was so married to the genre that the technique became known as madrigalisms. 

Madrigalisms included frequent and unusual use of chromaticism, sometimes abandoning what sense of key signature music had developed by this point. One type of chromatic harmony that was particularly unique in that time period was the cross-relation. This referred to a note played in both its natural and its sharp or flatted version at the same time, or in very quick succession. For instance, a five voice madrigal might have the soprano line singing a C sharp at the same time the second tenor is singing a C natural. This type of dissonance is perfect for expressing the intense emotions desired by the Mannerist composers such as Carlos Gesualdo or Cipriano de Rore.

Another choice by composers of late Renaissance madrigals rather than ones earlier in the century was the type of text. Earlier compositions included literary poetry such as sonnets, and the text was always chosen for its sophistication and quality. By the end of the period, texts were chosen for their emotional content, and, if looked at critically, could even come across as slightly manic or unstable. However, once again, they were perfect for the effect.

This madrigal by Gesualdo is one of my examples of the Mannerism in composition. If you take a moment to follow along in the score, you will see the extensive chromaticism and non-diatonic harmonies. A small portion of the text reads:
"I depart." I said no more, for grief
robbed my heart of life...
"Hence in pain I remain, Ah may I never
cease to pine away in sad laments."

Crazy, huh? By the early 1600s, this style had been done to death, and people were ready for a change. Enter... the Baroque! Which we will discuss next time, because I have to get ready to play for an opera. 

Oh, by the way... if you're interested, there's a 7:30 pm show on Saturday, April 26 and a 2pm show on Sundaym April 27 of Hansel and Gretel, an opera that's actually in English, and has some pretty fun moments. It's in Robinson Hall at UNC Charlotte, and really would be worth it. Even if you don't like opera. Would love to see you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Music Theory 101 #5: The Basic Skills of Music; Rhythm: Pt. 2

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Music Theory 101 series on ASMTB! I hate that last week was a dud but I had a lot going on I had to take care of (mostly pertaining to updating the site soon!) and posting sort of slipped my mind. I am really sorry about that, but I hope this episode and the updates will make up for this little mishap!

Today's lesson is to continue talking about rhythm in comparison to the six basics of music. If you would like to follow along with the previous ones then I made a tab above (If you're reading this from the newsletter then head on over and show us some love). As I mentioned in the last post, duration is the length a pitch is produced. I failed to bring up that it is not strictly related to pitches, but can measure rests as well. Rests are something that are not commonly mentioned because they are simpler than pitches, however they have an equal amount of importance compared relative to music. Music can be seen as a very carefully planned balance of sound and silence. Composers such as John Cage and Penderecki made sure that it was clear composers and musicians should know these differences. If you are interested in hearing these pieces, check out "4:33" by John Cage and "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" by Penderecki. Both of them are earfuls for two different reasons! Digressing from modern music and back onto my last post, we see that I explained how music is divided counting wise and what the time signature is. Now we need to continue and explain more on these concepts.

Music Terms:

~Dotted Rhythm
~Simple & Compound Meter
~Tuplets (Triplets, Duplet, etc.)

Credit: Music-Mind.com
Music does not only divide two ways, but it is possible to divide it into more divisions. The first way is to use dotted rhythm. Dotted rhythms is when you add a dot after the note. The dot represents adding half of the original value to the note. So if you add a dot to a half note, then you have a half note PLUS another quarter note, making it equal to three quarter notes. Also, adding a dot after a whole note makes it a half note added onto the whole note. If you want to add more dots, then you add half of the last value. So a double dotted half note is one half note, PLUS a quarter note PLUS an eighth note. So you half three and a half quarter notes.

The uses of this makes it possible to have compound meters. The best way to explain compound meter is through actual examples. If we take a look at most music, one can feel music in a two or as in four. This is called simple meter. It is either feeling a beat, or pulse, as "one & two &" or something that can be subdivided into half. All of these include 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, or anything related to them. Compound meter comes into play for meters such as 6/8, or 12/8 where the beat is broken into 3. For a more classical and audible examples of this, listen to Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" compared to his "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (Click on the names to hear audio). Eine Kleine is in a simple meter because the division of the beat is in two, versus Jesu which is in 12/8 and is subdivided in three.

Credit: Scaletrainer.com
If you do not want to write a piece that is completely one way the entire time, you can use tuplets. Tuplets is the generic term used to define a rhythm in a different rhythmic subdivision. The most common example of these are triplets. Triplets are when you fit three notes in the space of two, such as fitting three quarter notes within a two quarter notes. The reverse is true as well, you can fit 2 notes in the space of 3. Using a duple, you can fit two notes within three. It is even possible to fit more in a space.

Before this drags on much longer, I'm going to wrap up rhythm here. Later on, I'll write a full post on polyrhythms and other cool things one can use rhythm for. For now however, this will be the end of this discussion and I'll start with the next topic of this series. Until then, this is Sulli signing off! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Alessandro Scarlatti: Supreme Musical Innovator

Ok, folks, due to prepping for sophmore review, superjuries, end of semester projects, and exams, my brain is complete mush this weekend, and I really don't want to subject you to reading brain mush. So, in lieu of writing the next post in our music history series, I shall make a brief digression and instead present to you a portion of said end-of-semester project for my music history course. Please enjoy a condensed biography of the great Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti. 


Pietro Alessandro Gaspare Scarlatti is one of the most influential composers of the Italian Baroque period. Scarlatti wrote extensively for the musical theatres of his day: cantatas, serenatas, and of course dozens of full length operas, the genre in which his influence is most recognized. Church music also makes up a good portion of his works, in the form of oratorios and masses. Later in his life, Scarlatti touched on instrumental music, although little survives, and seems to be merely diversionary rather than a primary focus. He left this type of composition to his famous son Domenico. Spending his life rotating between several major Italian cities—Rome, Venice and Naples—and patronized by such kingpins as the Medici family, Scarlatti was able to spread his influence through many outlets and raise the bar for both opera specifically and general compositional practice for the rest of the world.



Scarlatti was born in 1660, in the heart of the Baroque period, to a family already primed to produce great musicians. His father Pietro was a singer, and four of his six siblings were also professional musicians. Scarlatti would go on to continue the tradition, with the composer Domenico Scarlatti as his most famous son, as well as two other children earning their own respect as performers. His family moved to Rome when he was 12, and he married into high society in 1678. Nothing is known of his early musical training, but such training obviously took place, for his first opera, Gli equivovi nel sembiante, was produced shortly before his 19th birthday. There is some speculation that Scarlatti may have trained under Roman composer Carissimi, who passed away when Scarlatti was in his teens. This speculation is mostly based on the strong influence of Carissimi’s style seen in Scarlatti’s early work.

The success of this first opera threw Scarlatti into the notice of many of the aristocracy of Rome as well as the fairly international audience of Roman courts and ambassadors. Before long, he was appointed maestro di capella, or choirmaster, for the court of the mysterious Queen Christina of Sweden, a noblewoman estranged from her home country upon conversion to Catholicism. She supported Scarlatti in his work as he continued to write and produce operas. He was in some disfavor with the Church at this point for two reasons. First, opera was a controversial subject at the time, with edicts from as high up as the Vatican condemning it as indecent and liberal. There was also some outcry when Scarlatti’s secular musicians were brought in for church performances. The second reason was that Scarlatti’s sister Anna, a popular singer, was accused of inappropriate behavior with more than one church official. Despite these issues, at least two cardinals commissioned oratorios from Scarlatti for Lenten services.

Fame did not keep Scarlatti in Rome for very long, however. Shortly after he produced his wildly popular opera, Il Pompeo, he moved his family to Naples, the city which would become his favorite and eventually the home of his old age. The next 18 years were spent here, writing operas and oratorios, as well as sacred works and chamber cantatas for private performance. It was during this period that Scarlatti began to develop his own unique opera style which in turn would become the prescription for other composers of the genre to follow. Characteristics of Scarlatti’s operas include arias in ternary form, very little music independent of the texts, and the lowered importance of the chorus. Although operas such as La Rosaura and Pirro e Demetrio received most acclaim, some modern scholars feel that his chamber cantatas were the outlet for “the most profound of his musical ideas.”

It was also in Naples that Scarlatti received the patronage of Ferdinando de Medici, and celebrated the birth of several of his children, including Domenico. He even wrote and directed a serenata for the visit of King Phillip V of Spain, a celebration in which his rival, Corelli, also participated but received less than favorable reviews. The serenta, Venere, Adone, et Amore, was composed near the end of his time in Naples, in 1696. The occasion was an annual summertime festival in Naples with the guest of honor being a newly appointed Spanish viceroy, well known to be a patron of the arts. Scarlatti turned out at least two other popular serenatas this same year, working with the poet Francesco Paglia.

In 1702, he visited the Medici family in Florence, but did not find the success he was looking for, and returned to Rome. For the next 20 years, Scarlatti, along with his son Domenico, moved from city to city, searching for the elusive position which would provide both artistic satisfaction and financial stability. While this period was in general a very disappointing era of Scarlatti’s life, there were a few high points. In 1706, he was inducted into the Arcadian Academy, a sort of literary honor society originally formed by Scarlatti’s old patron, Queen Christina. The year after, Il Mitridate Eupatore, one of his most acclaimed operas, was performed in Venice.

In 1722, Scarlatti left Domenico, who was now earning respect as a composer in his own right, in Rome and retired to Naples to live in relative poverty until his death in 1725. Although his later years brought him fewer public accolades than his early successes, there were still those who appreciated his genius. One Neapolitan newspaper stated that “as [Scarlatti] increases in age, so all the more does he acquire new and sublime ideas in his compositions.” His tombstone, with an epitaph written by Cardinal Ottoboni, longtime collaborator with Scarlatti, sums it all up with the title of Musices Instaurator Maximus, or, Supreme Musical Innovator.