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Thread: Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 - 1725)

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Default Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 - 1725)


    Virtually nothing is known of Alessandro Scarlatti's early musical education, though he likely became a choirboy at a local church and may have studied the rudiments with the choirmaster. At the age of 12 he was sent off to a relative in Rome. He may have studied with Carissimi there until 1674, when the older composer died.He married in 1678 and later that year was appointed Maestro di Cappella of San Giacomo degli Incurabili. His first large-scale oratorio-operatic works were performed there the following year when he was only 19. His patrons from the outset were of the highest rank, among them the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden who made him her Maestro di Cappella. In 1684 at the age of 24 Scarlatti moved to Naples, where he was appointed Maestro di Cappella at the vice-regal court of Naples, at the same time as his brother Francesco was made First Violinist. While resident in Naples Scarlatti occasionally returned to Rome to supervise carnival performances of new operas, contributions to pasticci and cantatas as well as oratorios. Astonishingly, he also produced at least ten serenatas, nine oratorios and sixty-five cantatas for Naples. In 1702, following the War of the Spanish Succession he took leave first for Florence and then for Rome. He returned, unsuccessful, to Naples in 1703. He was back again in Rome from 1707 - 1709 and from 1711 to 1722. His last years were spent teaching and he died in poverty in 1725.

    His early operas retain the older cadences in their recitatives, and a considerable variety of neatly constructed forms in their charming little arias. However by 1686 he had definitely established the "Italian overture" form, and had abandoned the ground bass and the binary form air in two stanzas in favour of the ternary form or da capo type of air. From about 1697 onwards, influenced partly perhaps by the style of Giovanni Bononcini and probably more by the taste of the viceregal court, his opera arias become more conventional and commonplace in rhythm, while his scoring is hasty and crude, yet not without brilliance. Scarlatti is noted for his thematic development and chromatic harmony, which he used with great mastery and in a way that anticipates the work of much later composers, among them W.A. Mozart. His church music includes motets and masses; he also wrote serenades and madrigals, and he composed almost 700 chamber cantatas.

    Sources: wiki, Baroque Composers
    Last edited by Taggart; Nov-07-2018 at 17:22.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    On YouTube, I'm listening to this video - Alessandro Scarlatti 6 Concerti Grossi, Accademia Bizantina



    I love this beautiful, sprightly music.
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Scarlatti composed a set of Sonatas for Flute and Strings, probably composed for Quantz, who visited him in late 1724 or early 1725. Quantz describes the visit thus:

    "I heard Scarlatti play on the harpsichord, which he knew how to play in a learned style although he did not possess as much finesse as his son. After this he accompanied me in a solo. I had the good fortune to win his favor, in fact so much so that he composed a few flute solos for me."
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    That is an especially good CD (the grossi) so is this one

    Last edited by philoctetes; Nov-07-2018 at 17:33.

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