The training to become a composer started quite early in eighteenth-century Italy. Already before the age of ten, practically without foreknowledge, “partimento” — a unique keyboard method based on practising and varying standardized musical phrases — was started. When the pupil was judged to be good enough after a few years, he was allowed to start, in parallel with the advanced partimento training, with the written counterpoint course that further refined the grammatical framework.
Although research into Neapolitan partimento and counterpoint methods has intensified in recent years, the compositions of the students hardly received the attention they deserve. The main reason for this is undoubtedly that we have very little concrete information about the composition principles and methods that were applied at the time.
This research project takes the religious compositions that Domenico Cimarosa wrote as a student at the ‘Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto’ in Naples as a starting point. In addition to realizing the first complete critical edition of these works, Ewald Demeyere will be investigating how and to what extent they are a logical continuation of the partimento and counterpoint pedagogy. This project will be crowned by a historically informed performance of a selection of these compositions with the students of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp in collaboration with students of the IMEP of Namur.