Alessandro Scarlatti


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Related to Alessandro Scarlatti: Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann

Scarlatti, Alessandro

(älĕs-sän`drō skärlät`tē), 1660–1725, Italian composer. He may have studied with Carissimi in Rome, where his first opera was produced in 1679. In 1684 he went to Naples as master of the royal chapel and there composed operas for the royal palace and chamber music for the aristocracy. Later he was also active in Florence, Rome, and Venice. He wrote more than 100 operas, of which Mitridate Eupatore (1707) and Il Tigrane (1715) are considered the finest. As a leader of the Neapolitan school, he helped establish the conventions of the opera seria, perfecting the aria da capo and the three-part overture. His church music includes motets and masses; he also wrote serenades and madrigals, and he composed almost 700 chamber cantatas, which represent the highest development of his art.

His son, (Giuseppe) Domenico Scarlatti, 1685–1757, was a harpsichord virtuoso and composer. As a young man he is said to have engaged in friendly keyboard competition with his contemporary Handel, and thereafter the two had lifelong admiration for each other. From 1709 to 1714, Scarlatti was composer to the Polish Queen Maria Casimira in her court at Rome, and then for a time he was chapel master of St. Peter's. About 1719 he went to Lisbon as music master of the royal chapel and teacher of the Princess Maria Barbara. He accompanied her to Madrid in 1729, and spent the rest of his life at the Spanish court. Scarlatti wrote operas, oratorios, and cantatas, but his fame rests chiefly on his keyboard sonatas, of which he wrote well over 500. They exploit the instrument to its fullest capacity, exemplifying his mastery of the homophonic "free style" of composition. His works display the vivacity, grace, and ornamentation of the rococo, and at the same time show boundless invention and originality. Scarlatti is widely considered to be the founder of modern keyboard technique.

Bibliography

See biography of Alessandro by E. J. Dent (1905, new ed. 1960); biography of Domenico by R. Kirkpatrick (1953, rev. ed. 1968); S. Sitwell, A Background for Domenico Scarlatti (1935, repr. 1970).

Scarlatti, Alessandro

 

Born May 2, 1660. in Palermo; died Oct. 24, 1725, in Naples. Italian composer; founder and major representative of the Neapolitan school of opera.

Scarlatti lived in Naples and Rome, working as a choirmaster and teacher. During the last years of his life he taught at one of the conservatories in Naples. Among his students were D. Scarlatti, J. A. Hasse, and F. Durante. The most significant works in his vast creative legacy are his cantatas and his operas, including Pirro e Demetrio (1694), Mithridates Eupator (1707), and Tigrane (1715). Scarlatti was the originator of the opera seria.

REFERENCES

Rolland, R. Opera v XVII veke. Moscow, 1931.
Dent, E. J. A. Scarlatti: His Life and Works. London, 1960.
References in periodicals archive ?
Her programme this time with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is entitled "Opera Proibita - Rome at the turn of the 18th Century", and includes works by Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti and Caldara which feature on her most recent CD release (7.
Alessandro Scarlatti wrote more than 600 cantatas, Francesco Mancini more than 200, Nicola Porpora more than 180, and Handel about 100.
But being up close and personal with the 1722 model - which he is "all but certain" that Alessandro Scarlatti must have played in Italy or in Portugal - made Good want to have and play his own copy.
The choir already has three CDs to its name, the latest a collection of recentlydiscovered pieces by Alessandro Scarlatti, with a guest appearance by early music star Emma Kirkby, which was named as one of the choral highlights of the year by Gram-ophone magazine.
His wide travels produced another impressive list, that of the several prominent musicians with whom he crossed paths: his teachers Johann Caspar Kerll and Ercole Bernabei, plus Gaetano Berenstadt, Jean-Baptiste Farinel, John Ernest Galliard, George Frideric Handel, August Kuhnel, Carlo Pallavicino, Johannes Schenck, Silvius Leopold Weiss, and probably Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti.
The performers' joyous delight in recreating the many-sided emotions of composers such as Monteverdi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Benedetto Marcello and Vivaldi is winningly captured on this generous new CD recorded in St James' Church, Cardington, Shropshire.