Prelude to an abdication

Italian music and musicians at the Swedish court of Queen Christina, 1652–1654


  • Lars Berglund Uppsala universitet
  • Maria Schildt Uppsala universitet



Queen Christina, Vincenzo Albrici, Giacomo Carissimi, seventeenth-century music, Swedish court, court culture, baroque music


From November 1652 until June 1654, an ensemble of Italian singers and musicians resided at the court of Queen Christina of Sweden, first in Stockholm and thereafter in Uppsala. They performed both secular music at her chambers and sacred music in the church, and also staged theatrical plays at the royal castle. This article presents new information about the recruitment process and the incentives behind it, and a reconstruction of the repertoire of the ensemble and the performance contexts for that repertoire. The ensemble was not an opera troupe, as has repeteadly been asserted in the literature. Instead they were arguably primarily recruited to perform sacred music in a Catholic tradition. The headquarters of the Jesuit Society in Rome was even directly involved in the recruitment of the singers. Thus, the recruitment process went hand in hand with Christina’s plans to abdicate, convert to Catholicism and move to Rome, and must be interpreted as part of that process.


Maria Schildt, Uppsala universitet

Docent och universitetslektor vid institutionen för musikvetenskap, Uppsala universitet




Referera så här

Berglund, L., & Schildt, M. (2024). Prelude to an abdication: Italian music and musicians at the Swedish court of Queen Christina, 1652–1654. Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning Swedish Journal of Music Research, 106(1), 83–120.




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