Paisiello, Giovanni(jōvän`nē päēzyĕl`lō), 1740–1816, Italian composer. Paisiello served in St. Petersburg at the court of Catherine II from 1776 to 1784. He was also briefly Napoleon's maître de chapelle. Paisiello composed some 100 operas, church music, keyboard concertos, string quartets, and other works. His opera The Barber of Seville (1782) was so popular that for a time it hindered the success of Rossini's work of the same name. Paisiello's music is characterized by considerable melodic charm.
(Giovanni Paesiello). Born May 9, 1740, in Taranto; died June 5,1816, in Naples. Italian composer; representative of the Neapolitan school of opera.
Paisiello made his debut as a composer in Bologna with the opera Il ciarlone (1764). From 1776 to 1783 he lived in Russia, where he served as Kapellmeister at court and as supervisor of the Italian Opera in St. Petersburg. He composed and staged a number of operas in the Russian capital, including La serva padrona (1781) and The Barber of Seville (1782). From 1784 to 1802 and from 1803 to 1815 he was court composer in Naples. He held a similar position in Paris from 1802 to 1803. A master of opera buffa, he created more than 100 operas, including La molinara (1788) and Nina, o sia la pazza per amore (1789). Typical of his operas are swift development of the action, lively ensemble pieces, and a wealth of comic devices (tongue twisters, parody, and voice exchange). Paisiello also wrote 12 symphonies, as well as sacred instrumental chamber music.
REFERENCESKeldysh, Iu. Russkaia muzyka XVIII veka. Moscow, 1965.
Mooser, R.-A. Annales de la musique et des musiciens en Russie au 18 siècle, vols. 1–3. Geneva, 1948–51.