Sacred Music in Venice
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1602 - 1676
(Crema, 14 febbraio 1602 – Venezia, 14 gennaio 1676) fu un compositore italiano, tra i maggiori compositori del XVII secolo.
Nacque a Crema, nella Repubblica di Venezia, nel 1602. Il suo cognome era Caletti; suo padre, Giovan Battista detto “il Bruno” era già maestro di cappella della Cattedrale di Crema. Il nome Cavalli gli fu donato dal suo protettore, il nobile veneziano Federico Cavalli, che dopo essere stato eletto governatore di Crema nel 1614, fece ritorno a Venezia nel 1616, conducendo con sé il giovane Francesco, le cui disposizioni per l’arte musicale avevano suscitato il suo interessamento.
Ammesso il 18 febbraio 1617 come cantore alla cappella di San Marco col compenso di 50 ducati, ebbe il privilegio di trovarsi sotto il tutorato musicale di Claudio Monteverdi, allora maestro di quella celebre cappella. Dai registri della basilica si legge che Cavalli vi entrò come Pietro Francesco Bruni cremasco.
Il 1 febbraio 1628 ebbe nuovi compiti come tenore, col nome di Francesco Caletto, e fu sotto questo nome che i suoi compensi furono portati a 100 ducati, il 1 gennaio 1635. Il posto di suonatore del secondo organo della cappella era divenuto vacante per la morte di Pietro Berti ed un concorso fu indetto per la nomina del suo successore. I concorrenti di Cavalli, tutti di talento, erano Nicolas Fonte, Natale Monferrato e Jacques Arrigoni. I giudici si pronunciarono in favore di Cavalli, che fu iscritto il 22 gennaio 1640, con il nome di Francesco Caletti, detto Cavalli.
Il suo salario fu progressivamente innalzato a 200 ducati, somma considerevole per quell’epoca. Già nel 1644 divenne titolare del primo organo, mentre Massimiliano Neri era secondo organista (come dimostra il salario comparativamente minore); quando quest’ultimo rinunciò all’incarico nel 1664 per entrare al servizio della corte di Colonia residente a Bonn, venne sostituito da Giovanni Battista Volpe detto “Rovettino”, mentre il Cavalli continuò ad avere il medesimo compenso, quale primo organista. Il 20 novembre 1668 Cavalli fu chiamato ad essere il maestro della cappella ducale.
Pervenuto a questa posizione, ne godette fino alla sua morte, il 14 gennaio 1676. Si suole riconoscere nel compositore cremasco la persona del ritratto qui sopra riportato; tuttavia mancano riscontri per un’attribuzione certa.
Cavalli cominciò a scrivere per il teatro nel 1639 e la sua attività non conobbe soste per un arco di ben trentadue anni. Venezia era in grado di offrire, all’epoca, una grande varietà di rappresentazioni d’opera, che si facevano concorrenza l’un l’altra; potendo contare, di volta in volta, sui teatri di San Giovanni e San Paolo, di San Cassiano, di San Mosè, di Sant’Apollinare e di San Salvatore. Cavalli giunse a scrivere per questi teatri fino a cinque opere all’anno. Risulta probabile (anche se non vi sono rimaste prove oggettive in merito) la sua collaborazione con Claudio Monteverdi nell’ultima opera di quest’ultimo “L’incoronazione di Poppea”. Consigliato da Francesco Buti, il cardinale Giulio Mazarino lo chiamò a Parigi in occasione del matrimonio di Luigi XIV e la sua opera “Ercole amante” fu rappresentata il 22 novembre 1660 nella galleria superiore del Louvre; tuttavia il suo lavoro si rivelò un insuccesso. Il progetto francese di Cavalli fallì per più di una ragione: l’impegno relativo che Cavalli mise nella stesura del lavoro col rimandare di volta in volta i viaggi nella capitale francese, l’imperfetta conoscenza della lingua italiana del pubblico a cui era destinato, la scarsa abitudine dei francesi allo stile musicale italiano, e non da ultimo la morte del Mazarino che l’aveva chiamato e protetto. All’interno dell’opera furono collocati una serie di balletti di Jean Baptiste Lully che ebbero maggior fortuna, anche grazie alla protezione che il musicista-ballerino di origini fiorentine cominciava a godere presso lo stesso Luigi XIV.
Alla fine del 1669, Cavalli cessò di scrivere per le scene, ma scrisse o rivide per la pubblicazione una notevole mole di composizioni su testo sacro, pubblicate in due importanti raccolte. Si sa che svolgeva ancora la sua professione musicale nel 1672, epoca in cui Krieger lo vide a Venezia e prese da lui lezioni di composizione.
Pianelli dice (“Dell’opera in musica”, sez. III, c. 3) che Cavalli fu il primo a introdurre arie nelle opere, che fu nel “Giasone” che ne fece il saggio e che prima di lui la musica teatrale consisteva semplicemente in un recitativo grave in cui gli strumenti non suonavano che i ritornelli. Questa affermazione risulta oggi piuttosto riduttiva; Cavalli ha tuttavia, il merito di individuare e consolidare gradualmente gli aspetti formali di quella che era divenuta tra il 1630 ed il 1650, la rappresentazione musicale di maggior interesse per il pubblico veneziano aristocratico e borghese e che verrà presa a modello nei maggiori teatri italiani (Napoli, Milano, Bologna, Genova) ed europei del suo tempo. L’avere dato alle arie una struttura maggiormente funzionale rispetto al recente passato, una forma più elegante e più accurata nei dettagli timbrici e ritmici, più ricca d’armonia, di modulazioni e di strumentazione. Dopo Claudio Monteverdi certamente dotato di una maggiore e raffinata sensibilità creativa, entrambi riescono a cogliere alla sua radice l’anima di cui è composto il valore semantico dell’estetica musicale del primo Seicento.
1644? “Messa Concertata”
1656 raccolta delle “Musiche Sacre”
(tutte rappresentate a Venezia)
1639 Le nozze di Teti e Peleo (libretto di O. Persiani)
1640 Gli amori di Apollo e Dafne (Gian Francesco Busenello)
1641 La Didone (Gian Francesco Busenello)
Narcisso et Ecco immortalati (O. Persiani, perduta)
La virtù de’ strali d’Amore (Giovanni Faustini)
1643 L’Egisto (Giovanni Faustini)
La Deidamia (S. Herrico, perduta)
L’Ormindo (G. Faustini)
Il Romolo e ‘l Remo (G. Strozzi, perduta)
La Doriclea (Giovanni Faustini)
Il Titone (Giovanni Faustini, perduta)
1646 La prosperità infelice di Giulio Cesare dittatore (Gian Francesco Busenello, perduta)
1648 La Torilda (P.P. Bissari, perduta)
Il Giasone (Giacinto Andrea Cicognini)
L’Euripo (Giovanni Faustini, perduta)
La Bradamante (P.P. Bissari, perduta)
Orimonte (Nicolò Minato)
L’Oristeo (Giovanni Faustini)
La Rosinda (Giovanni Faustini)
L’Armidoro (B. Castoreo, perduta)
La Calisto (Giovanni Faustini)
Veremonda, l’amazzone di Aragona (M. Bisaccioni)
L’Eritrea (Giovanni Faustini)
L’Helena rapita da Teseo (Giacomo Badoaro)
L’Orione (F. Melosio, Milano)
Il Serse (o Xerse, N.Minato)
Il Ciro (G.C. Sorrentino, opera di Andrea Mattioli1, rimaneggiata da Cavalli)
La Statira, principessa di Persia (Gian Francesco Busenello)
L’Erismena (A. Aureli)
1656 L’Artemisia (N. Minato)
L’Antioco (N. Minato, perduta)
L’Hipermestra (Moniglia, Firenze)
1659 L’Elena (N. Minato)
1660 La pazzia in trono, ossia il Caligola delirante (D. Gisberti, perduta)
1662 L’Ercole amante (F. Buti, Parigi)
1664 Scipione Africano (N. Minato)
1665 Il Mutio Scevola (N. Minato)
1666 Il Pompeo Magno (N. Minato)
1667 L’Eliogabalo (A. Aureli)
1620 - 1691
Giovanni Battista Volpe
(né et mort à Venise, 1620 – 1691), surnommé Rovettino, est un compositeur italien de la période baroque.
Giovanni Battista Volpe, surnommé « Rovettino », étudie tout d’abord avec son oncle, Giovanni Rovetta (de) (d’où le surnom), compositeur et maître de chapelle à la Basilique Saint-Marc, puis avec Francesco Cavalli. Volpe est membre de la chapelle du Doge de Venise dès 1645. Il devient organiste principal de la Basilique Saint-Marc de Venise en 1678, puis maître de chapelle de la Cappella Marciana en 1690 jusqu’à sa mort, emploi précédemment occupé par Giovanni Legrenzi. En tant que compositeur, il est surtout connu pour ses ouvrages lyriques, où on distingue clairement l’influence de Cavalli. Rovettino est peut-être le premier à avoir introduit le récitatif accompagné (« recitativo stromentato ») dans un opéra, plus précisément dans « Gli amori di Apollo e di Leucotoe ». A partir de sa nomination à Saint-Marc, il a également écrit un grand nombre d’œuvres sacrées, dont des messes, des psaumes et des motets, qui sont en grande partie inédits. Il a aussi écrit un traité, « Il prattico al cembalo » (La pratique du clavecin), mais qui ne nous est pas parvenu.
Vesperi pour 8 voix, (Venise, 1691, musique perdue)
La costanza di Rosimonda (La constance de Rosimonda), opéra (livret d’Aurelio Aureli) (1659, Venise, Teatro di Santi Giovanni e Paolo), musique perdue
Gli amori di Apollo e di Leucotoe (Les amours d’Apollon et Leucotoe), opéra en 3 actes (1663 Venise, Santi Giovanni e Paolo); seul opéra restant
La Rosilena, opéra (livret d’Aurelio Aureli) (1664, Venise, Santi Giovanni e Paolo), musique perdue
1626 - 1690
(baptized August 12, 1626 – May 27, 1690) was an Italian composer of opera, vocal and instrumental music, and organist, of the Baroque era. He was one of the most prominent composers in Venice in the late 17th century, and extremely influential in the development of late Baroque idioms across northern Italy.
Legrenzi was born at Clusone, near Bergamo, then part of the Republic of Venice. His father, Giovanni Maria Legrenzi, was a professional violinist and, to some extent, a composer. We know Legrenzi had two brothers and two sisters, though one of the brothers, Marco, apparently a talented musician who performed with his father and brother in the 1660s, is not mentioned in Legrenzi’s will: it is presumed that he died young. His remaining brother and sisters are both mentioned in his will. Legrenzi was probably taught largely at home, and his performance skills developed at the local church, and it can also be assumed there was music-making in the house.
Legrenzi received his first appointment in Bergamo, as Organist at Santa Maria Maggiore, a magnificent church with a celebrated musical history. Following ordination as a priest in 1651, he was appointed as a resident chaplain at the church, though he continued to be actively involved in the music, and was given the title of First Organist in 1653, at about the time Maurizio Cazzati was appointed maestro di cappella. Legrenzi’s first publication, music for Mass and Vespers, appeared in 1654. His appointment as organist was not reconfirmed at the end of the year owing to his apparent involvement in a minor gambling scandal, though he was reinstated by mid-February 1655.
Legrenzi resigned from his position at Bergamo towards the end of 1655, and in 1656 became maestro di cappella at the Academy of the Holy Spirit in Ferrara. The Academy was not a learned society, but a fraternity of laymen which presented predominantly liturgical services with music. It had a small but very good musical establishment with an impressive tradition, and effectively addressed the needs of the whole aristocratic community of Ferrara, with whom Legrenzi cemented relationships that, like those he had already established in Bergamo, would serve him well throughout his life. The position at the Academy of the Holy Spirit would have left Legrenzi with ample time for other pursuits. By the early 1660s he had already published eight volumes, and had broken into the elite world of opera, gaining his first performances in Venice in 1664.
We know little of certainty about Legrenzi’s activities between approximately 1665 and 1670, a situation considerably exacerbated by the destruction of local records during World War II. He ended his association with the Academy of the Holy Spirit at some point, and does not appear to have had a permanent position of any sort for several years, though it is unlikely that he was in financial difficulty. He had land at Clusone and the proceeds from his publications, several of which had already gone into second editions, as well as performance fees. He also published his largest volume, the huge collection for double choir, during this period.
Legrenzi seems to have been well settled in Venice by 1670. He took a position as a music teacher at Santa Maria dei Derelitti (commonly called the Ospedaletto), remaining until 1676, and was busy with further publications, musical commissions, especially oratorios, occasional performances, and more.
In 1676 he was a finalist for appointment as maestro at San Marco in succession to Francesco Cavalli, losing by a single vote to Natale Monferrato. Later in the year he became maestro di coro of the Ospedale dei Mendicanti, where he remained until 1682 when he succeeded Antonio Sartorio as vice-maestro at San Marco. He was by this time (along with Carlo Pallavicino) the leading opera composer of his day, with ten commissions in the five years to 1685.
Legrenzi succeeded Monferrato as maestro di cappella at San Marco in April 1685. He was by this time probably in failing health, and the last few years of his life were clouded by sickness. He took little part in the services at San Marco from the later part of 1687, where performances were increasingly in the hands of his vice-maestro, Gian Domenico Partenio. Legrenzi’s death on 27 May 1690 from the “mal di petra” (a colic-related illness, probably kidney stones) was accompanied by excruciating pain.
Legrenzi’s legacy lived on for some years after his death. His great-nephew Giovanni Varischino inherited his music and books, and produced three posthumous publications.
Legrenzi was active in most of the genres current in northern Italy in the late 17th century, including sacred vocal music, opera, oratorio, and varieties of instrumental music. Though best known as a composer of instrumental sonatas, he was predominantly a composer of liturgical music with a distinctly dramatic character. The bulk of his instrumental music may also be included in this category, since it would have been used primarily as a substitute for liturgical items at Mass or Vespers. His operas were immensely popular (and extravagantly presented) in their day, though like his oratorios, few have survived. His later dance music was certainly connected with the operatic repertoire, though the function of an early collection (Op. 4, which is musicologically famous for its inclusion of six pieces designated sonate da camera) is less clear.
Concerti Musicali per uso di Chiesa. Op. 1 (Venice, Alessandro Vincenti, 1654)
Sonata a due, e tre. Op. 2 (Venice, Francesco Magni, 1655)
Harmonia d’affetti Devoti a due, tre, e quatro, voci. Op. 3 (Venice, Alessandro Vincenti, 1655)
Sonate dà Chiesa, e dà Camera, Correnti, Balletti, Alemane, Sarabande a tre, doi violini, e violone. Libro Secondo. Op. 4 (Venice, Francesco Magni, 1656)
Salmi a cinque, tre voci, e due violini. Op. 5 (Venice, Francesco Magni, 1657)
Sentimenti Devoti Espressi con le musica di due, e tre voci. Libro Secondo. Op. 6 (Venice, Francesco Magni detto Gardano, 1660). A second edition was published in Antwerp in 1665.
Compiete con le Lettanie & Antifone Della B.V. a 5. voci. Op. 7 (Venice, Francesco Magni detto Gardano, 1662)
Sonate a due, tre, cinque, a sei stromenti. Libro 3. Op. 8 (Venice, Francesco Magni, 1663)
Sacri e Festivi Concerti. Messa e Salmi a due chori con stromenti a beneplacito. Op. 9 (Venice, Francesco Magni Gardano, 1667)
Acclamationi Divote a voce sola. Libro Primo. Op. 10 (Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1670)
La Cetra. Libro Quarto di Sonate a due tre e quattro stromenti. Op. 10 (Venice, Francesco Magni Gardano, 1673, reprinted 1682)
Cantate, e Canzonette a voce sola. Op. 12 (Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1676)
Idee Armoniche Estese per due e tre voci. Op. 13 (Venice, Francesco Magni detto Gardano, 1678)
Echi di Riverenza di Cantate, e Canzoni. Libro Secondo. Op. 14 (Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1678)
Sacri Musicali Concerti a due, e tre voci. Libro Terzo. Op. 15 (Venice, Gioseppe Salla, 1689)
Balletti e Correnti a cinque stromenti, con il basso continuo per il cembalo. Libro Quinto Postumo. Op. 16 (Venice, Giuseppe Sala, 1691)
Motetti Sacri a voce sola con tre strumenti. Op. 17 (Venice, Gioseppe Sala, 1692)
Note: Two collections were published as opus 10, Acclamationi Divote (1670) and La Cetra (1673). In the copy of Acclamationi Divote at the Civico museo bibliografico musicale in Bologna, the numeral ‘i’ has been added to the opus number in red ink, indicating an awareness that there are two books published as opus 10. References throughout this article refer to works from this volume as Op. 11.
A number of works survive in manuscript copies only. Most can be ascribed confidently to Legrenzi, though there are a few of less certain attribution. Among the most important of these works are:
The Messa a cinque voci con stromenti, found at Oxford.
The unaccompanied Missa quinque vocibus found at Loreto. This Mass, dated 1689 and surviving in a magnificently bound volume, may have been presented as a votive offering.
The Messa a 16 for four choirs and organ continuo held in the Vatican Library.
The Prosa pro mortuis, a complete setting for double choir and instruments of the sequence “Dies irae” from the Requiem Mass.
A unique setting for double choir and instruments of Matins for Christmas Day, including the Invitatory, Psalms and Te Deum; and concluding with the Introit for the First Mass of Christmas.
Intret in conspectu, a motet for 6 voices, known from a single source copied out by Handel, who drew on Legrenzi’s motet in the chorus ‘To thy dark servant’ in the oratorio Samson.
Credidi propter quod locutus sum, a psalm setting for solo alto, strings and continuo, which appears likely to be a unique example of Legrenzi’s own hand, as there is evidence that it is an autograph.
Laudate pueri, a psalm setting for five voices, strings and continuo and, unusually, a trumpet.
Spirate aure serenae, a motet for solo soprano, strings and continuo which provides for a theorbo to double or replace the violone.
There are in addition a few more liturgical pieces, a number of cantatas and the unusual ‘serenata’ Notte, madri d’horrori.
Oratorio del giuditio (1665)
Oratorio della passione (1671)
Sedecia † (1671)
Il creation del mondo (1672)
La vendita del cuor humano † (or Il prezzo del cuor humano) ‡ (1673)
La morte del cor penitente † (1673)
San Giovanni Battista (1673)
Adamo et Eva (1674)
Gli sponsali d’Ester (1675)
Decollatione di S. Giovanni (1678)
Erodiade (lib. Neri) (1687)
Erodiade (lib. Piccioli) (1687)
† Surviving scores.
‡ Whether or not La vendita del cuor humano is in fact a Legrenzi work or Pietro Andrea Ziani’s Il cuore humano all’incanto remains to be demonstrated.
1650 - 1701
Gian Domenico Partenio
(anche: Giovanni Partenico) (Spilimbergo, … – Venezia, 1701) è stato un compositore, cantante e presbitero italiano.
La data di nascita è anteriore al 1650. Iniziò la sua attività musicale nella cappella della Basilica di San Marco di Venezia nel febbraio del 1666, quandò vi entrò come tenore con un compenso di 80 ducati. Dal gennaio del 1674 il suo stipendio fu elevato a 100 ducati, nel luglio 1685 diventò vice-maestro di cappella di San Marco, succedendo a Giovanni Legrenzi e nel maggio del 1692 diventò maestro titolare, prendendo così il posto di Giambattista Volpe che era morto verso la fine dell’anno precedente. Parallelamente alla sua attività presso la Basilica veneziana, prestò servizio come maestro di coro all’Ospedale dei Mendicanti dal 1685 al 1689 e probabilmente per un certo periodo fu operativo anche presso l’Ospedale degli Incurabili.
Fu inoltre compositore d’opera, anche se sporadicamente attivo. Debuttò nel 1669 con il dramma Genserico su libretto del conte Nicolò Beregan e successivamente compose altre quattro opere. Come sacerdote servì la chiesa parrocchiale di San Martino, la quale era la sede principale del sovvegno di Santa Cecilia, un’associazione di 100 musicisti e insegnanti di musica. Egli stesso fu il principale fondatore di questo circolo, il quale in quel periodo fu guidato da Legrenzi e Volpe.
Nella sua epoca era molto lodato sia come maestro di coro che come compositore di musica sacra, la quale in parte sopravvive ancora oggi. Anche se egli era un maestro carico di energia, la sua salita al vertice della cappella marciana corrispose all’inizio del deterioramento della qualità musicale della cappella stessa.
Genserico, libretto di N. Beregan, Venezia, Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 1669 (con musiche di Antonio Cesti)
Iphide greca, libretto di Nicola Minato, Venezia, I Saloni, primavera 1671 (solo il primo atto; secondo atto di Domenico Freschi, terzo atto di Gaspare Sartorio) (libretto)
La costanza trionfante, libretto di C. Ivanovich, Venezia, Teatro San Moisè, 1673 (libretto)
Dionisio, overo La virtù trionfante del vitio, libretto di M. Noris, Venezia, Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 3 gennaio 1681 (le musiche del primo atto sono di Petronio Franceschini)
Flavio Cuniberto, libretto di Norsi, Venezia, Chiesa di San Giovanni Grisostomo, 29 novembre 1681 (revisionata nel 1687)
Missa pro defunctis a quattro voci
Jesum Nazarenum, mottetto a tre voci
Confitebor tibi, mottetto a due voci
Il fervido meriggio, cantata
1666 - 1733
(Venezia, 1666 – Venezia, 1733) è stato un compositore e contraltista italiano.
Studiò presumibilmente sotto l’insegnamento di Giovanni Legrenzi e il 6 luglio 1692 entrò come contralto nel coro della cappella della Basilica di San Marco. Dopo appena una settimana i procuratori gli affidarono il compito di assistere l’allora maestro di cappella Gian Domenico Partenio. Dopo la morte di quest’ultimo avvenuta nel 1701, Biffi presentò istanza per ottenere il posto vacante; oltre a lui gli altri pretendenti erano: il vice-maestro di cappella Carlo Francesco Pollarolo, Antonio Lotti e Benedetto Vinaccesi, allora ambedue organisti della Basilica. Venne scelto Biffi e fu ufficialmente nominato il 5 febbraio 1702; mantenne la carica di direttore della cappella sino alla morte. Inoltre succedette a Partenio nella posizione di direttore e maestro del coro del Conservatorio dei Mendicanti. Tra i suoi allievi ebbe Giovanni Battista Ferrandini e forse Daniel Gottlob Treu.
Le composizioni di Biffi, prevalentemente musica sacra, sono in genere influenzate dalla scuola veneziana, la quale è caratterizzata da una musica particolarmente espressiva e ricca di colore. Nonostante queste influenze siano “moderate” dalla più sobria scuola romana, egli tende all’uso dello stile concertato, ponendo in secondo piano l’uso del contrappunto.
Il figliuol prodigo (oratorio, libretto di R. Ciallis, 1769, Venezia; perduto)
La mamma in deserto (oratorio, 1723, Venezia; perduto)
Ecce quam bonus per 2 voci
Et exultavit con meum per 2 voci
Miserere per 4 voci e violini, viole e organo
Natus in ludea per 3 voci e basso continuo
Quia laetatus per 2 voci e basso continuo
Repleti prius per 2 voci e organo
Varie messe e parti di messe
Varie cantate sacre
Amante moribondo (cantata; framm.)
Adorar beltà (cantata)
La primavera (cantata)
1667 - 1740
Antonio Lotti (ca. 1667 – 5 January 1740) was an Italian composer of classical music.
Lotti was born in Venice, although his father Matteo was Kapellmeister at Hanover at the time.1 In 1682, Lotti began studying with Lodovico Fuga and Giovanni Legrenzi, both of whom were employed at St Mark’s Basilica, Venice’s principal church. Lotti made his career at St Mark’s, first as an alto singer (from 1689), then as assistant to the second organist, then as second organist (from 1692), then (from 1704) as first organist, and finally (from 1736) as maestro di cappella, a position he held until his death. He also wrote music for, and taught at, the Ospedale degli Incurabili. In 1717 he was given leave to go to Dresden, where a number of his operas were produced, including Giove in Argo, Teofane and Li quattro elementi (all with librettos by Antonio Maria Luchini).2 Other works written in Venice include Giustino; Trionfo dell’Innocenza; the first act of Tirsi, Achille Placato, Teuzzone, Ama più che non si crede, Il comando inteso e tradito, Sidonio, Isaccio tiranno, La forze de sangue, Il Tradimento traditore di sè stesso, L’Infedeltà punita, Poresenna, Irene Augusta, Polidoro, Foca superbo, Alessandro Severo, Il Vincitore Generossi. In Dresden, he wrote Odii del Sangue delusi. He returned to Venice in 1719 and remained there until his death in 1740.3
Lotti wrote in a variety of forms, producing masses, cantatas, madrigals, around thirty operas, and instrumental music. His sacred choral works are often unaccompanied (a cappella). His work is considered a bridge between the established Baroque and emerging Classical styles. Lotti is thought to have influenced Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Johann Dismas Zelenka, all of whom had copies of Lotti’s mass, the Missa Sapientiae.
Lotti was a notable teacher, with Domenico Alberti, Benedetto Marcello, Baldassare Galuppi, Giuseppe Saratelli and Johann Dismas Zelenka among his pupils. He was married to the noted soprano Santa Stella.
1670 - 1736
Antonio Caldara (1670 – 28 December 1736) was an Italian Baroque composer.
Caldara was born in Venice (exact date unknown), the son of a violinist. He became a chorister at St Mark’s in Venice, where he learned several instruments, probably under the instruction of Giovanni Legrenzi. In 1699 he relocated to Mantua, where he became maestro di cappella to the inept Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, a pensionary of France with a French wife, who took the French side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Caldara removed from Mantua in 1707, after the French were expelled from Italy, then moved on to Barcelona as chamber composer to Charles VI of Austria, the pretender to the Spanish throne who kept a royal court at Barcelona. There, he wrote some operas that are the first Italian operas performed in Spain. He moved on to Rome, becoming maestro di cappella to Francesco Maria Marescotti Ruspoli, 1st Prince of Cerveteri. While there he wrote in 1710 La costanza in amor vince l’inganno (Faithfulness in Love Defeats Treachery) for the public theatre at Macerata. In 1716, he obtained a similar post in Vienna to serve the Imperial Court, and there he remained until his death.
Caldara is best known as a composer of operas, cantatas and oratorios. Several of his works have libretti by Metastasio.
1676 - 1746
(Brescia, 12 novembre 1676 – Venezia, 4 maggio 1746) è stato un musicista e compositore italiano, figlio del noto compositore operista Carlo Francesco Pollarolo.
Iniziò la carriera di musicista prima come sostituto del padre in San Marco (1702). Successivamente, nel 1723, ne divenne vicedirettore e attorno al 1740, subito dopo la morte di Antonio Lotti, ricoprì la carica di Maestro di Cappella, incarico che mantenne fino al 4 maggio 1746, giorno della sua morte.
La sua memoria è soprattutto legata a quella del padre, che fu un artista di ben più alta levatura. Nonostante i coevi non abbiano esitato a definirlo “non men del padre emulator che figlio”, la qualità e la quantità della sua produzione sembrano smentire questa affermazione.
Antonio Pollarolo è ricordato principalmente perché fu il primo operista ad impegnarsi a musicare il celeberrimo libretto della Griselda di Apostolo Zeno (Venezia, 1701).
Di Antonio Pollarolo si conoscono diverse opere liriche. Quasi tutte hanno debuttato nei teatri di Venezia:
Demetrio e Tolomeo (1702)
Nerone fatto Cesare (in collaborazione con: Vivaldi, Perti e altri – 1715)
Leucippe e Teonoe (1719)
Lucio Papirio Dittatore (1721)
I tre voti, serenata (1724)
Orlando furioso (1725)
Turia Lucrezia (1726)
I tre voti (1726)
Nerina, favola pastorale (1728)
Sulpizia fedele (1729)
L’abbandono di Armida (1729)
Oratori[modifica | modifica sorgente]
Recognitio fratrum (1714)
Sacrum amoris novendiale (1716)
Oratorio per il Santissimo Natale (1718);
1 messa a 4 voci e orchestra;
1 Confitebor per 5 voci e strumenti;
5 mottetti a 4 voci e strumenti e altri per 1 voce e strumenti o solo continuo;
1 cantata per alto e continuo;
12 arie per Soprano e continuo.
1678 - 1741
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso (“The Red Priest”) because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.
Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi had been employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for preferment. The Emperor died soon after Vivaldi’s arrival.
Though Vivaldi’s music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century. Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded of Baroque composers.
1686 - 1768
Nicola (Antonio) Porpora (or Niccolò Porpora) (17 August 1686 – 3 March 1768) was an Italian composer of Baroque operas (see opera seria) and teacher of singing, whose most famous singing student was the castrato Farinelli. Other students included composers Matteo Capranica and Joseph Haydn.
Porpora was born in Naples. He graduated from the music conservatory Poveri di Gesù Cristo of his native city, where the civic opera scene was dominated by Alessandro Scarlatti.
Porpora’s first opera, Agrippina, was successfully performed at the Neapolitan court in 1708. His second, Berenice, was performed at Rome. In a long career, he followed these up by many further operas, supported as maestro di cappella in the households of aristocratic patrons, such as the commander of military forces at Naples, prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, or of the Portuguese ambassador at Rome, for composing operas alone did not yet make a viable career. However, his enduring fame rests chiefly upon his unequalled power of teaching singing. At the Neapolitan Conservatorio di Sant’Onofrio and with the Poveri di Gesù Cristo he trained Farinelli, Caffarelli, Salimbeni, and other celebrated vocalists, during the period 1715 to 1721. In 1720 and 1721 he wrote two serenades to libretti by a gifted young poet, Metastasio, the beginning of a long, though interrupted, collaboration. In 1722 his operatic successes encouraged him to lay down his conservatory commitments.
After a rebuff from the court of Charles VI at Vienna in 1725, Porpora settled mostly in Venice, composing and teaching regularly in the schools of La Pietà and the Incurabili. In 1729 the anti-Handel clique invited him to London to set up an opera company as a rival to Handel’s, without success, and in the 1733-1734 season, even the presence of his pupil, the great Farinelli, failed to save the dramatic company in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (the “Opera of the Nobility”) from bankruptcy.
An interval as Kapellmeister at the Dresden court of the Elector of Saxony from 1748 ended in strained relations with his rival in Venice and Rome, the hugely successful opera composer Johann Adolph Hasse and his wife, the prima donna Faustina, and resulted in Porpora’s departure in 1752.
From Dresden he went to Vienna, where among other pupils he trained the young Marianne von Martinez, a future composer. As his accompanist and valet he hired the youthful Joseph Haydn, who was making his way in Vienna as a struggling freelancer. Haydn later remembered Porpora thus: “There was no lack of Asino, Coglione, Birbante [ass, cullion, rascal], and pokes in the ribs, but I put up with it all, for I profited greatly from Porpora in singing, in composition, and in the Italian language.” He also said that he had learned from the maestro “the true fundamentals of composition”.
In 1753 Porpora spent three summer months, with Haydn in tow, at the spa town Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge. His function there was to continue the singing lessons of the mistress of the ambassador of Venice to the Austrian Empire, Pietro Correr.
Porpora returned in 1759 to Naples.
From this time Porpora’s career was a series of misfortunes: his florid style was becoming old-fashioned, his last opera, Camilla, failed, his pension from Dresden stopped, and he became so poor that the expenses of his funeral were paid by a subscription concert. Yet at the moment of his death, Farinelli and Caffarelli were living in splendid retirement on fortunes largely based on the excellence of the old maestro’s teaching.
A good linguist, who was admired for the idiomatic fluency of his recitatives, and a man of considerable literary culture, Porpora was also celebrated for his conversational wit. He was well-read in Latin and Italian literature, wrote poetry and spoke French, German and English.
1686 - 1739
Benedetto Giacomo Marcello 31 July or 1 August 1686 – 24 July 1739) was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher.
Born in Venice, Benedetto Marcello was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. Although he was a music student of Antonio Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, his father wanted Benedetto to devote himself to law. Benedetto managed to combine a life in law and public service with one in music. In 1711 he was appointed a member of the Council of Forty (in Venice’s central government), and in 1730 he went to Pola as Provveditore (district governor). Due to his health having been “impaired by the climate” of Istria, Marcello retired after eight years to Brescia in the capacity of Camerlengo where he died of tuberculosis in 1739.
Benedetto Marcello was the brother of Alessandro Marcello, also a notable composer. On 20 May 1728 Benedetto Marcello married his singing student Rosanna Scalfi in a secret ceremony. However, as a nobleman his marriage to a commoner was unlawful and after Marcello’s death the marriage was declared null by the state. Rosanna was unable to inherit his estate, and filed suit in 1742 against Benedetto’s brother Alessandro Marcello, seeking financial support.
Marcello composed a variety of music including considerable church music, oratorios, hundreds of solo cantatas, duets, sonatas, concertos and sinfonias. Marcello was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi in Venice and his instrumental music enjoys a Vivaldian flavor.
As a composer, Marcello was best known in his lifetime and is now still best remembered for his Estro poetico-armonico (Venice, 1724–1727), a musical setting for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and occasional solo instruments, of the first fifty Psalms, as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani. They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John Garth brought out an edition with English words (London, 1757).
The library of the Brussels Conservatoire possesses some interesting volumes of chamber cantatas composed by Marcello for his mistress. Although Benedetto Marcello wrote an opera called La Fede riconosciuta and produced it in Vicenza in 1702, he had little sympathy with this form of composition, as evidenced in his writings.
Benedetto Marcello’s music is “characterized by imagination and a fine technique and includes both counterpoint and progressive, galant features” (Grove, 1994).
With the poet Antonio Conti he wrote a series of experimental long cantatas – a duet, Il Timoteo, then five monologues, Cantone, Lucrezia, Andromaca, Arianna abandonnata, and finally Cassandra.
Marcello vented his opinions on the state of musical drama at the time in the satirical pamphlet Il teatro alla moda, published anonymously in Venice in 1720. This little work, which was frequently reprinted, is not only extremely amusing, but is most valuable as a contribution to the history of opera.
1699 - 1783
Johann Adolph Hasse (baptised 25 March 1699 in Bergedorf, Germany – 16 December 1783 in Venice) was an 18th-century German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music. Married to soprano Faustina Bordoni and a great friend of librettist Pietro Metastasio, whose libretti he frequently set, Hasse was a pivotal figure in the development of opera seria and 18th-century music.
Hasse was born in Bergedorf, near Hamburg.
Hasse’s career began in singing, when he joined the Hamburg Opera (his family, who were traditionally church musicians, came from near Hamburg) in 1718 as a tenor. In 1719 he obtained a singing post at the court of Brunswick, where in 1721 his first opera, Antioco, was performed; Hasse himself sang in the production.
He is thought to have left Germany during 1722. During the 1720s he lived mostly in Naples, dwelling there for six or seven years. In 1725 his serenata Antonio e Cleopatra, was performed at Naples; the principal roles were sung by Carlo Broschi, better known as Farinelli, and Vittoria Tesi. The success of this work not only earned Hasse many commissions from Naples’s opera houses, but also, according to Quantz, brought him into contact with Alessandro Scarlatti, who became his teacher and friend; Hasse also altered his style in several respects to reflect that of Scarlatti.
Hasse’s popularity in Naples increased dramatically and for several years his workload kept him extremely busy. In this period he composed his only full opera buffa, La sorella amante, in addition to several intermezzi and serenatas. He visited the Venetian Carnival of 1730, where his opera Artaserse was performed at S Giovanni Grisostomo. Metastasio’s libretto was heavily reworked for the occasion, and Farinelli took a leading role. Two of his arias from this opera he later performed every night for a decade for Philip V of Spain.
In 1730 Hasse married Faustina Bordoni, and was also appointed Kapellmeister at the Dresden court, though he did not arrive at Dresden until July 1731; earlier in the year he had been active at Vienna, supervising a performance of his oratorio Daniello at the court of the Habsburgs. Soon after the couple’s arrival in Dresden, Faustina performed before the court. In September Hasse’s Cleofide (set to a highly adapted Metastasio text) was given its premiere; it seems possible that J. S. Bach attended the performance; certainly C. P. E. Bach claimed that Hasse and his father had become good friends around this time.
In October Hasse left Dresden to direct premieres of his next operas at Turin and Rome, and he also wrote music for the Venetian theatres at this time. Come the autumn of 1732 and Hasse was at Naples again, though he spent the winter at Venice where his Siroe was first performed in particularly lavish style. In February 1733 Augustus the Strong of Poland and Saxony, Hasse’s early royal patron at Dresden, died. As the court went into a year of mourning, Hasse was permitted to remain abroad. Many of his sacred works, composed for Venice’s churches, date to this time.
For much of 1734 Hasse was at Dresden, but from 1735 until 1737 he was in Italy, largely at Naples. Faustina performed in the September 1735 premiere of Tito Vespasiano (another adapted Metastsio libretto) at Pesaro. Returning to the royal court in Dresden during 1737 Hasse composed five new operas, but when the court moved to Poland in the autumn of 1738 he and Faustina came back to Venice, where both of them were extremely popular. His next stay in Dresden was also his longest, between the first months of 1740 and January 1744. In this time he revised Artaserse, composing new arias for Faustina, and also wrote a couple of original intermezzi. His general avoidance of comic opera seems to have been due to Faustina, who feared that the style of singing demanded by opera buffa would damage her voice.
Between the winter of 1744 and late summer 1745, Hasse was in Italy, but then returned to Dresden for a year. Frederick the Great, a keen flute player, visited the court in December 1745, and it is likely that many of Hasse’s flute sonatas and concertos that date to this time were written for Frederick. The King of Prussia was also present at a performance of one of Hasse’s Te Deums, and himself ordered a performance of the composer’s opera Arminio. Soon after Hasse visited Venice and Munich, returning to Dresden in June 1747 to stage his opera La spartana generosa, performed to celebrate multiple royal weddings at this time. Also at this time the hierarchy at Dresden was restructured; Nicola Porpora was named Kapellmeister, while Hasse himself was promoted to Oberkapellmeister.
In 1748 Hasse performed two of his operas, Ezio and Artaserse, in Bayreuth in the half finished Markgräfliches Opernhaus, because of the marriage of Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, the daughter of Wilhelmine of Bayreuth. The marriage of princess Maria Josepha of Saxony to the French Dauphin gave Hasse the opportunity to journey to Paris in the summer of 1750, where his Didone abbandonata was performed.
The 1751 Carnival in Dresden saw the retirement of Faustina from operatic performance. Hasse continued to produce new operas throughout the decade, including a setting of Metastasio’s Il re pastore, a text later used by Mozart. In 1756 the Seven Years’ War compelled the court at Dresden to move to Warsaw, though Hasse himself lived mostly in Italy, travelling to Poland solely to supervise productions of his operas, if at all. In the autumn of 1760 he moved to Vienna, where he stayed for the next two years, returning to Dresden in 1763 to find much of his home destroyed and the musical apparatus of the court opera wrecked. Hasse’s main patron at Dresden, king Augustus III of Poland and Saxony died soon after and his successor, who also died quickly, deemed elaborate musical events at the court superfluous. Hasse and Faustina were paid two years’ salary but given no pension.
In 1764 Hasse travelled to Vienna, where the coronation of Joseph II was marked by a performance of his festa teatrale Egeria, again set to a libretto by Metastasio. For the most part, he remained at Vienna until 1773. Mozart was present at a performance of his Partenope in September 1767.
At this time operatic style was undergoing significant change, and the model of opera seria that Hasse and Metastasio had settled found itself assailed by the threat of the reforms of Christoph Willibald Gluck and Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, as laid down in the music and libretto for Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice. Charles Burney, visiting Vienna in 1773, reported on the debate.
Party runs as high among poets, musicians and their adherents, at Vienna as elsewhere. Metastasio and Hasse, may be said, to be at the head of one of the principal sects; and Calsabigi and Gluck of another. The first, regarding all innovations as quackery, adhere to the ancient form of the musical drama, in which the poet and musician claim equal attention from an audience; the bard in the recitatives and narrative parts; and the composer in the airs, duos and choruses. The second party depend more on theatrical effects, propriety of character, simplicity of diction, and of musical execution, than on, what they style flowery description, superfluous similes, sententious and cold morality, on one side, with tiresome symphonies, and long divisions, on the other.
Finding his music under siege from an avant-garde surge in a new direction, Hasse left Vienna in 1773 and spent the final ten years of his life in Venice, teaching and composing sacred works. Faustina died in November 1781, and Hasse himself, after a long period of suffering from arthritis, just over two years later. He was almost completely ignored after his death, until F. S. Kandler paid for his gravestone in Venice, where he is buried, and authored a biography of Hasse in 1820.
1706 - 1785
Baldassare Galuppi (18 October 1706 – 3 January 1785) was an Italian composer, born on the island of Burano in the Venetian Republic. He achieved international success, spending periods of his career in London and Saint Petersburg, but his main base remained Venice, where he held a succession of leading appointments.
Galuppi was born on the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon, and was widely known as “Il Buranello.” His father was a barber, who also played the violin in theatre orchestras, and is believed to have been his son’s first music teacher. At the age of 15 he composed his first opera, Gli amici rivali, which was performed unsuccessfully at Chioggia and equally unsuccessfully in Vicenza under the title La fede nell’incostanza.
Galuppi took lessons in composition and harpsichord from Antonio Lotti, the chief organist at St Mark’s Basilica. From 1726 to 1728, he was harpsichordist at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence. On his return to Venice in 1728, he produced a second opera, Gl’odi delusi dal sangue, written in collaboration with another Lotti pupil, Giovanni Battista Pescetti; it was well received when it was presented at the Teatro San Angelo. The collaborators followed it with an opera seria, Dorinda, the next year. This, too, was modestly successful, and Galuppi began to receive commissions for operas and oratorios.
In 1740, Galuppi was appointed director of music at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice, where his duties ranged from teaching and conducting to composing liturgical music and oratorios. In his first year of service at the Mendicanti, he composed 31 works: 16 motets, 13 settings of the Salve Regina, and two psalm settings. Although he became internationally known as an operatic composer, he maintained a steady output of religious music throughout his career.
After Galuppi’s death his music was largely forgotten. Some of Galuppi’s pieces were occasionally performed in the 200 years after his death, but it was not until the last years of the 20th century that his works were extensively revived in live performance and on record.
In 1741 Galuppi was invited to work in London. He asked the Mendicanti authorities for leave of absence, to which they reluctantly agreed. He was in England for 18 months, supervising productions for the Italian opera company at the King’s Theatre. Of the 11 operas under his direction, three were his own compositions, Penelope, Scipion in Cartagen and Sirbace; a fourth was presented shortly after he left London to return to Venice. Handel attended one of these productions and was not greatly impressed. Galuppi also attracted attention as a keyboard virtuoso and composer. His contemporary, the English musicologist Charles Burney, wrote that “Galuppi had had more influence on English music than any other Italian composer”. However, in Burney’s view Galuppi’s skills were still immature during his spell in London. Burney wrote, “He now copied the hasty, light and flimsy style which reigned in Italy at this time, and which Handel’s solidity and science had taught the English to despise.”
On his return to Venice in May 1743, Galuppi returned to his employment with the Mendicanti, and to composing for the opera houses. The operatic fashion in Venice was on the point of changing from generally serious opera to a new style of comic opera, dramma giocoso. Full-length comic operas from Naples and Rome were becoming fashionable; Galuppi adapted three of them for Venetian audiences in 1744, and the following year composed one of his own, La forza d’amore, which was only a mild success. He continued to compose serious operas, sometimes in uneasy partnership with the librettist Metastasio.
In May 1748 Galuppi was appointed vice-maestro of the Doge’s chapel, St Mark’s. In time this would lead to a large body of religious compositions, but for the present Galuppi was chiefly engaged in operatic work. It is not clear why he accepted the post at St Mark’s. The musicologist Denis Arnold writes, “He was already a very successful opera composer and with his duties at the Mendicanti he must have had enough to do. The salary at St Mark’s was only 120 ducats. … At this time it was not a very distinguished cappella. The choir probably numbered about 30; but since their posts continued up to death, a fair proportion of the singers were old.”
Galuppi was fortunate that when he turned once more to comic opera in 1749 he collaborated with Carlo Goldoni. Although an established and eminent playwright by the time he worked with Galuppi, Goldoni was happy for his libretti to be subservient to the music. He was as warm in his regard for Galuppi as Metastasio was cold. Their first collaboration was Arcadia in Brenta followed by four more joint works within a year. They were enormously popular at home and abroad, and to meet the demand for new drammi giocosi and opere serie Galuppi had to resign his post at the Mendicanti in 1751. By the middle of the 1750s he was, in the words of his biographer Dale Monson, “the most popular opera composer anywhere”.
For the next ten years, Galuppi remained in Venice, with occasional sorties elsewhere for commissions and premieres, producing a series of secular and religious works. His operas, serious or comic, were in demand across Europe. Of the British premiere of Il filosofo di campagna in 1761 Burney wrote, “This burletta surpassed in musical merit all the comic operas that were performed in England, till the Buona Figliuola.”
In April 1762 Galuppi was appointed to the leading musical post in Venice, maestro di capella of St Mark’s, and in July of the same year he was also appointed maestro di coro at the Ospedale degli Incurabili, at whose school he had been educated. At St Mark’s, he set about reforming the choir. He persuaded the Basilica authorities, the Procurators, to be more flexible in payments to singers, allowing him to attract performers with first-rate voices such as Gaetano Guadagni and Gasparo Pacchiarotti.
Early in 1764 Catherine the Great of Russia made it known through diplomatic channels that she wished Galuppi to come to Saint Petersburg as her court composer and conductor. There were prolonged negotiations between Russia and the Venetian authorities before the Senate of Venice agreed to release Galuppi for a three-year engagement at the Russian court. The contract required him to “compose and produce operas, ballets and cantatas for ceremonial banquets”, at a salary of 4,000 roubles and the provision of accommodation and a carriage. Galuppi was reluctant, but Venetian officials assured him that his post and salary as maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s were secure until 1768 as long as he supplied a Gloria and a Credo for the Basilica’s Christmas mass each year.
In June 1764 the senate granted Galuppi formal leave to go. He resigned his post at the Incurabili, made provision for his wife and daughters (who were to remain in Venice, while his son travelled with him), and set off for Russia. He made detours on his journey, visiting C.P.E. Bach and Giacomo Casanova, before arriving in Saint Petersburg on 22 September 1765.
For the empress’s court, Galuppi composed new works, both operatic and liturgical, and revived and revised many others. He wrote two operas there, Il re pastore (1766) and Ifigenia in Tauride (1768), and two cantatas, La virtù liberata (1765) and La pace tra la virtù e la belezza, the latter to words by Metastasio. In addition to the work for which he had been contracted, Galuppi gave weekly recitals at the harpsichord, and sometimes conducted orchestral concerts. To improve standards he was a hard taskmaster to the court orchestra, but was from the outset enormously impressed by the court choir. He is reported to have exclaimed, “I’d never heard such a magnificent choir in Italy”. Galuppi took pride in his prestigious appointments; the title page of his 1766 Christmas mass for St Mark’s describes him as: “First Master and Director of all the Music for Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of all the Russias, etc. etc. and First Master of the Ducal Chapel of St. Mark’s in Venice.” In 1768, as had been agreed, he returned to Venice, detouring again on his journey, this time to visit Johann Adolph Hasse in Vienna.
On his return to Venice, Galuppi resumed his duties at St Mark’s and successfully applied for reappointment at the Incurabili, holding the post until 1776, when financial constraints obliged all the ospedali to cut back their musical activities. In his later years he wrote more sacred than secular music. His output continued to be considerable in both quantity and quality. Burney, who visited him in Venice, wrote in 1771:
The last opera by Galuppi was La serva per amore, premiered in October 1773. In May 1782 he conducted concerts to mark a papal visit to Venice by Pope Pius VI. Thereafter he continued to compose, despite declining health. His last completed work was the 1784 Christmas mass for St Mark’s.
After a two-month illness, Galuppi died on 3 January 1785. He was buried in the church of S Vitale, and, much mourned, was commemorated by a requiem mass “solemnized in the church of S Stefano, paid for by professional musicians, at which the actors of the Teatro S Benedetto sang”.
1714 - 1762
Giacomo Giuseppe Saratelli (Padova, 1714 – Venezia, 1762) è stato un organista, compositore e direttore di coro italiano.
Allievo di Antonio Lotti, nel 1736 diviene Primo organista della Basilica di San Marco. Nel 1740 divenne Vice Maestro della Cappella Marciana. Dal 1732 al 1739 è stato maestro di coro presso dell’Ospedale dei Mendicanti a Venezia, una delle scuole di musica più prestigiose del tempo. Nel 1747 diviene Maestro Direttore a San Marco, incarico che manterrà fino alla morte, avvenuta nel 1762.
150 salmi tra i quali:
Laudate pueri (Psalm 112), per coro, orchestra e basso continuo
Ad Dominum cum tribularer (119)
Levavi oculos meos (120)
Ad te levavi oculos meos (122)
Nisi quia Dominus (123)
Qui confidunt (124)
La regina Ester
Maddalena Conversio, (libretto di Carlo Goldoni)
Veni creator spiritus a tre voci
Claudia Valder-Knechtges: Giuseppe Saratelli. Ein venezianischer Musiker des 18. Jahrhunderts. In: Die Musikforschung. Heft 2. 1984.
Il teatro alla moda (The Fashionable Theater) is a satirical pamphlet in which its author, the Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739), vents his critical opinions on the milieu of the Italian opera seria in the first decades of the eighteenth century. It was first published anonymously in Venice, by the end of 1720. Virtually every aspect of opera seria and its social environment is mercilessly criticized by Marcello: the artificiality of plots, the stereotyped format of music, the extravagant scenography and machinery, the inability and venality of composers and poets, the vanity and vulgarity of singers, the avidity of impresarios, the ineptitude of musicians.
1729 - 1802
Giuseppe Sarti (also Sardi; baptised 1 December 1729 – 28 July 1802) was an Italian composer.
He was born at Faenza. His date of birth is not known, but he was baptised on 1 December 1729. Some earlier sources say he was born on 28 December, but his baptism certificate proves the later date impossible.2 Already to lead organizt at Faenza, at age 13 he was invited to receive an education by Padre Martini in Bologna.3 Resigning his appointment in Faenza in 1750, Sarti devoted himself to the study of dramatic music, becoming director of the Faenza theatre in 1752.
In 1752 he produced his first documented opera, Il re pastore (because the date of Pompeo in Armenia is not certain). In 1753 Sarti went to Copenhagen with Pietro Mingotti and in 1755 King Frederick V of Denmark appointed him Hofkapellmeister and director of the opera. Here he produced his Ciro riconosciuto.
In 1765 he travelled to Italy to engage some new singers; meanwhile the death of King Frederick put an end to his engagement for the time being. In 1766 he was appointed choir master at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, a position he held until 1767. In 1769 he went to London, where he could only survive by giving music lessons. In 1779 he was elected maestro di cappella at the cathedral of Milan, where he remained until 1784. Here he exercised his true vocation of composer, in addition to at least twenty of his most successful operas, a vast amount of sacred music for the cathedral, and educating a number of clever pupils, the most distinguished of whom was Cherubini. In 1784 Sarti was invited by the empress Catherine II to St. Petersburg. On his way there he stopped in Vienna, where Emperor Joseph II received him with special favour, in large part due to his opera Due litiganti, and where he made the acquaintance of Mozart. He reached St. Petersburg in 1785 and at once took the direction of the opera, for which he composed many new pieces, besides some very striking sacred music, including a Te Deum for the victory of Ochakov, in which he introduced the firing of real cannons. Sarti founded the Russian Conservatory for Music in 1793.3 He remained in Russia until 1801, when his health was so broken that he solicited permission to return. The emperor Alexander dismissed him in 1802 with a liberal pension; letters of nobility had been granted to him by empress Catherine. His most successful operas in Russia were Armida e Rinaldo and The Early Reign of Oleg (Nachal’noye upravleniye Olega), for the latter of which the empress herself wrote the libretto. Sarti died in Berlin shortly after his arrival.
Sarti’s opera Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode has been immortalized by Mozart, who introduced an air from it into the supper scene in Don Giovanni. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro owed a great deal to the influence of this opera, which was performed in Vienna in 1784. The admirable libretto by Da Ponte, author of the libretti of Figaro and Don Giovanni, shows similar situations, and the complicated finale of the first act served as a model to Mozart for the finale of the last act of Figaro.
Sonatas for harpsichord and others instruments (in the Satta’s thematic catalog)
S. I: 1 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord and violin or flute (facsimile, SPES 1989)
S. I: 2 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord and violin (violin is missing)
S. I: 3 Sonata in e minor for harpsichord and violin or flute (facsimile, SPES 1989)
S. I: 4 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord and violin or flute (facsimile, SPES 1989)
Sonatas for harpsichord or organ (in the Satta thematic catalog)
S. II: 1 Sonata in C Major for harpsichord (critical edition, Ricordi 1979)
S. II: 2 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2008)
S. II: 2a Sonata in D Major for Organ (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2009)
S. II: 3 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2008)
S. II: 4 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2008)
S. II: 5 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2009)
S. II: 6 Sonata in D Major for harpsichord (incomplete manuscript)
S. II: 7 Sonata in E flat Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2009)
S. II: 8 Sonata in F Major for harpsichord (critical edition, Eurarte 2002)
S. II: 9 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord (critical edition, Ricordi 1979)
S. II: 10 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord (critical edition, Ricordi 1979)
S. II: 11 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord (critical edition, Eurarte 2002)
S. II: 12 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2008)
S. II: 13 Sonata in G Major for harpsichord (critical edition with facsimile, Esarmonia 2008)
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Giulio Sabino, ristampa anastatica del facsimile dell’edizione di Vienna, Bologna, Forni 1969, (Bibliotheca musica Bononiensis, sezione IV, n. 128).
GIUSEPPE SARTI, VI sonate a flauto traversiero solo e basso continuo. Paris, s.d. / III sonate per il cembalo con violino o flauto traverso concertante. Amsterdam s.d., Firenze, SPES 1989 (Archivum Musicum: Flauto Traversiere, 17).
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Ciro riconosciuto, facsimile a cura di Piero Mioli, Firenze, SPES 2002.
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Due sonate inedite per clavicembalo (o pianoforte), a cura di R. Satta, Varenna (LC), Eurarte 2002 (Rarità musicali).
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Sonata Caratteristica “Giulio Sabino ed Epponina”, op. 1, a cura di R. Satta, Varenna, Eurarte 2002 (Rarità musicali).
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Quattro sonate inedite per clavicembalo (organo o pianoforte), a cura di R. Satta (con facsimile), Capua (CE), Esarmonia 2008.
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Sonata per clavicembalo (organo o pianoforte) in sol maggiore, a cura di Roberto Satta (con facsimile), Capua (CE), Esarmonia 2008.
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Sonata in mi bemolle maggiore per clavicembalo (organo o pianoforte), a cura di Roberto Satta (con facsimile), Capua (CE), Esarmonia 2009.
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Due sonate per clavicembalo (organo o pianoforte), a cura di Roberto Satta (con facsimile), Capua (CE), Esarmonia 2009.
GIUSEPPE SARTI, Aria Questo core io ti donai dall’opera buffa Gli amanti consolati per soprano e pianoforte, a cura di Roberto Satta, Capua (CE), Esarmonia [in preparazione].
ROBERTO SATTA, Le sonate per clavicembalo o forte piano di Giuseppe Sarti, «Studi e documentazioni – rivista umbra di musicologia», XXI/2, 2002, pp. 23–63.
ROBERTO SATTA, Intorno a Giuseppe Sarti. Giornata internazionale di studi, «Studi e documentazioni – rivista umbra di musicologia», XXI/2, 2002, pp. 88–90.
ROBERTO SATTA, L’epoca dello stile galante, «Studi e documentazioni – rivista umbra di musicologia», XXII/2, 2003, pp. 3–42.
ROBERTO SATTA, Le sonate per tastiera di Giuseppe Sarti: catalogo tematico, «Fonti musicali italiane», XIII, 2008, pp. 93–116.
ROBERTO SATTA, Giuseppe Sarti. La vita e l’opera, «Studi e documentazioni – rivista umbra di musicologia», XXVIII/1, 2009, pp. 25 – 42.
ALBINO VAROTTI, L’ambiente in cui operò Giuseppe Sarti musicista europeo. Note su note, «Studi e documentazioni – rivista umbra di musicologia», XXVIII/1, 2009, pp. 43 – 54.
1527 - 1563
1563 - 1565
1565 - 1590
1590 - 1605
1605 - 1609
1609 - 1613
1613 - 1644
1644 - 1668
1668 - 1676
1676 - 1685
1685 - 1690
1690 - 1692
1692 - 1702
1702 - 1736
1736 - 1740
1740 - 1747
1747 - 1762
1762 - 1785
1785 - 1808
1808 - 1811
Born in Burano
1726 - 1728
1740 - 1741
1741 - 1743
King’s Theatre, Haymarket
1743 - 1751
1748 - 1762
1762 - 1785
1762 - 1765
1765 - 1768
1768 - 1777
La serva per Livigna
For Pio VI, “Il ritorno di Tobia”