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Stradella, Alessandro(älĕs-sän`drō strädĕl`lä), 1642?–1682, Italian composer of operas, cantatas, oratorios, and instrumental music. Few facts but many legends exist concerning his life; he is said to have been assassinated at the behest of a Venetian nobleman with whose mistress Stradella had eloped. His life is the subject of several operas, one by Friedrich von Flotow (1844). Stradella's music is generally lighthearted and melodious. He helped to develop the structural form and expressive power of the aria and to increase the use of contrapuntal techniques in opera. Handel was influenced by his oratorios and even borrowed some of his musical ideas.
Born Oct. 1, 1644, in Rome; died Feb. 25 (according to other sources, Feb. 28 or Mar. 1), 1682, in Genoa. Italian composer and singer.
Stradella contributed to the development of the oratorio and the cantata and produced works in various other genres, including opera. He was murdered at the instigation of the Lomellini family, in whose household he gave lessons. Precise information on his life has long been lacking. A legendary aura has surrounded Stradella because of the supposedly miraculous power of his music and the attempts made on his life out of jealousy and revenge. This dramatic story was the theme of Flotow’s opera Alessandro Stradella (1844).