Salamone Rossi and Jewish Music in the Italian Renaissance
Renaissance Jewish violinist and composer Salamone Rossi of Mantua left an indelible imprint on Jewish liturgical music. Rossi is famous for his compositions of madrigals and Shir ha’Shirim, the Songs of Solomon. He was part of the orchestra of Monteverde, whose operas are still played today. He was also the first Jew to use Western musical notation to guide the music of liturgy. Since he was employed at the court of the dukes of Gonzaga in Mantua, Rossi was exempt from restrictions posed on Jews at that time (such as wearing the yellow Jewish identification badge) and did not hide his Jewish identity. His sponsor was the famous Venetian Rabbi Leon Modena, himself a composer and a controversial person. Learn about this influential Jewish musician, and watch performances of his compositions in this illustrated lecture.