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Michele Mascitti

Psiché (Divertissement), Op. 5 No. 12 (Paris 1714)

Violin and basso continuo

edited by Michael Talbot

Leaflet Music example(pdf)


The ‘divertissement’ Psiché, a ten-movement suite for violin and basso continuo by Michele Mascitti (1663/4–1760), the Neapolitan violinist who did more than anyone else to acclimatize the Italian sonata to a French setting, is unique among his works in having a programmatic basis. It depicts episodes from the famous romantic story of Psyche and Cupid as related in the Latin novel generally known by the name The Golden Ass by the second-century author Apuleius. At the same time, this is Mascitti’s most overt homage to his adoptive country, since several movements in it go further in the direction of the French style than anything else from his pen. It expresses among other things Cupid’s rage at Psyche’s discovery of his identity, her airborne travel powered by the winds and the tenderness between the two lovers after their reconciliation. This is a very original and immediately attractive work.


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Psiché (Divertissement), Op. 5, No. 12 (Paris 1714)
hh556.fsp · ISMN 979-0-708185-71-0 · ISBN 978-1-914137-24-2
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