Baini, Giuseppe


Italian writer, composer and critic, who was born in a modern day, but who lived in the music of the past. Riemann says of him: "Baini was a strange phenomenon in our century; he lived and moved completely in the music of the Sixteenth Century, and understood nothing of the powerful development of the art which had since taken place. In his opinion, music had been going down hill since the death of Palestrina." Baini's lifework, and labor of love, is his famous monograph on the great Palestrina. He planned to publish the complete works of the Catholic Church's chief composer, whom he named II Principe della Musica, but lived only long enough to publish two volumes. Baini was born at Rome, entered into holy orders, and is commonly known as the Abbe Baini. He was the nephew and pupil of Lorenzo Baini, composer and maestro at the Church of the Twelve Apostles, Rome. His studies were completed under Jannaconi, the distinguished composer of church music. As Baini possessed a beautiful voice, Jannaconi saw to his appointment in the pontifical choir. In 1817 Baini succeeded Jannaconi as maestro of St. Peter's ,and retained this post up to the time of his death. He wrote masses, motets, church - concertos, psalms, hymns and a Te Deum. His most important composition,   and   a famous one, is a Miserere, given in his time at the Sistine Chapel regularly during Holy Week. But little of his music has been published.