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Baroque Era

Denmark, at war with Sweden, joins Dutch in successful attack on Gotland; Swedes defeat Danes at Lund • In Spain, Don Juan takes over the government • Treaty of Zuravna ends war between Poles and Turks • Astronomer Edmund Halley (Eng) catalogues the southern stars • Pope Clement X dies; Innocent XI succeeds

Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York—brother and heir of Charles II (Eng)—marries Willem III of Orange, Stadt-holder (head of state) of the Netherlands • Turkey and Russia at war following Cossack raids on Turkish territory
 • Jean Baptiste Racine (Fr): Phedre  Pieter de Hooch - Musical Party in a Courtyard
Titus Oates begins making allegations of the Popish Plot, a Catholic conspiracy to assassinate King Charles II of England • Treaties of Nijmegen ends wars between Netherlands and France, and Spain and France: Netherlands keeps its territories intact and France gains lands in Flanders from Spain • John Bunyan (Eng):
The Pilgrim’s Progress (part I)
King Charles II (Eng) dissolves parliament • James, Duke of York, Charles’s Roman Catholic brother and heir, leaves England for exile abroad • Rebellion of Scottish Covenanters (Presbyterians) ruthlessly crushed by Duke of Monmouth troops • Hobbes suffered a bladder disorder, and then a paralytic stroke, from which he died on 4 December 1679

King Charles II (Eng) calls his fourth parliament but it is again dissolved • King Louis XIV (Fr) establishes Chambers of Reunion (special courts) to decide what lands France should possess; he annexes Luxembourg and Saarbrucken to France • Comédie-Française is founded by decree of Louis XIV of France as La maison de Molière in Paris 

Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679),  English philosopher



Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber composes his Mystery Sonatas for violin and bass, corresponding to the 15 meditations on the life of Christ as reflected in the Mysteries of the Rosary. Most of the sonatas require scordatura (the retuning of violin strings to different sets of notes), which heightens the contrast of moods within the work.

Heinrich Biber complete Mystery Sonatas
1. The Annunciation (Standard Tuning) G3—D4—A4—E5 00:00
2. The Visitation A3—E4—A4—E5 06:19
3. The Nativity B3—F#4—B4—D5 11:45
4. The Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple A3—D4—A4—D5 18:08
5. The Twelve-Year-Old Jesus A3—E4—A4—C#5 24:40
6. Christ on the Mount of Olives Ab3—Eb4—G4—D5 32:06
7. The Scourging at the Pillar C4—F4—A4—C5 39:32
8. The Crown of Thorns D4—F4—Bb4—D5 47:10
9. Jesus Carries the Cross C4—E4—A4—E5 53:12
10. The Crucifixion G3—D4—A4—D5 01:00:18
11. The Resurrection (IV—II—III—I)* G3—G4—D4—D5 01:09:41
12. The Ascension C4—E4—G4—C5 01:18:00
13. Pentecost A3—E4—C#5—E5 01:25:33
14. The Assumption of the Virgin A3—E4—A4—D5 01:33:36
15. The Beatification of the Virgin G3—C4—G4—D5 01:41:15
16. Passacaglia (Standard Tuning) G3—D4—A4—E5 01:53:48

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber - Rosary Sonatas (1676)

10 January
Jean-Baptiste Lully and the librettist Quinault present a story of unrequited love in their mythological opera Atys, introduced with great success at St Germain-en-Laye.

Lully - Atys - Part 1

Lully - Atys - Part 2

Lully - Atys - Part 3

14 January
Francesco Cavalli, one of the most performed opera composers of the century, dies in Venice, aged 73.

Thomas Mace publishes Musick’s Monument, a significant commentary on musical activity in mid-17th-century England.

18 August
Comic opera composer Jacopo Melani dies in Pistoia, aged 53.

Johann Jakob Walther publishes his Scherzi da violino solo con il basso continuo, a collection of virtuosic violin pieces that explore the instrument s expressive capabilities (without scordatura). Walther ranks alongside Biber as one of the foremost composer-violinists of the day.

John Weldon, English composer, born.

20 October
Composer Christopher Gibbons dies in Westminster, aged 61

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, French composer, born.

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini, Italian composer,born.

John Weldon

John Weldon (19 January 1676 – 7 May 1736) was an English composer.
Born at Chichester in the south of England, he was educated at Eton, where he was a chorister, and later received musical instruction from Henry Purcell. By 1694 Weldon had been appointed organist of New College in Oxford and became well known in the musical life of that city, writing music for masques as well as performing his organist duties.

Some believe he set Shakespeare's play The Tempest to music in 1695, although others attribute that to Henry Purcell.

Weldon moved to London and in 1701 took part in a competition to set Congreve's libretto The Judgement of Paris to music. Perhaps surprisingly, Weldon's setting was chosen over contributions by his older, more experienced and better-known competitors, Daniel Purcell (younger brother of Henry), John Eccles and Godfrey Finger. In the same year as the competition, Weldon was made a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal.

Having established his reputation in London, Weldon continued for some years to write music for the theatre. Music for The Tempest, until the mid-1960s believed to have been composed by Henry Purcell, was in all probability written by Weldon for the Drury Lane Theatre, in 1712. Weldon's musical style owes much to Purcell's influence but is more Italianate and also embraces the 'modern' French styles and forms that were becoming increasingly popular at the time.

John Weldon - Take, O take those Lips away

John Weldon - The Wakeful Nightingale

​John Weldon

John Weldon devoted the latter part of his life almost exclusively to the duties of the Chapel Royal and to writing church music. He succeeded John Blow (1649-1708) as Chapel Royal organist, and in 1715 was made second composer under William Croft (1678-1727). Six solo anthems were published by John Walsh in 1716 under the title Divine Harmony. They were claimed to have been sung by the famous tenor, Richard Elford, though it seems that at least some of the anthems were written for one Mr Bowyer during Weldon's time at New College. Weldon also held the post of organist at two London Churches, St Bride's, Fleet Street (from 1702) and St Martin-in-the-Fields (from 1714). He died on 7 May 1736 and is buried in St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London. 

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (19 December 1676 – 26 October 1749) was a French musician, best known as an organist and composer. He was born, and died, in Paris.


Clérambault came from a musical family (his father and two of his sons were also musicians). While very young, he learned to play the violin and harpsichord and he studied the organ with André Raison. Clérambault also studied composition and voice with Jean-Baptiste Moreau.

Clérambault became the organist at the church of the Grands-Augustins and entered the service of Madame de Maintenon. After the death of Louis XIV and Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers, he succeeded the latter at the organ of the church of Saint-Sulpice and the royal house of Saint-Cyr, an institution for young girls from the poor nobility. He was responsible there for music, the organ, directing chants and choir, etc. It was in this post—it remained his after the death of Madame de Maintenon—that he developed the genre of the "French cantata" of which he was the uncontested master. In 1719 he succeeded his teacher André Raison at the organs of the church of the Grands-Jacobins.
His Motet du Saint Sacrement in G major is one of the first French works known to have been performed in Philadelphia

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault - Suite du Premier Ton

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault: Miserere

Clérambault - Orphée - part 1, 2 Cantata No. 3 of Book I

​Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

Clérambault - Le Triomphe d'Iris, Pastorale (1706)

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini (4 April 1676 – 24 October 1760) was an Italian baroque composer particularly known for his more than 40 operas and intermezzos. Highly regarded by music historians of his day like Francesco Saverio Quadrio, Jean-Benjamin de La Borde and Charles Burney, Orlandini, along with Vivaldi, is considered one of the major creators of the new style of opera that dominated the second decade of the 18th century.

Born in Florence, Orlandini began working as an opera composer in his late twenties for Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici. His first opera, Artaserse, premiered in Livorno in 1706. A moderate success, the work was revived in Naples in 1708. Beginning in 1711, he was the maestro di cappella to Prince Gian Gastone (later the Duke of Tuscany). In 1717 he moved to Bologna, where he met and married opera singer Maria Maddalena Buonavia. He continued to live and work in that city for the next fifteen years.

Orlandini's first major critical success was the opera Antigona which premiered in Venice during carnival of 1718. The work was highly popular and enjoyed performances throughout Europe. In 1719 he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica. That same year his intermezzo Il marito giocatore (also performed under the title Serpilla e Bacocco in some later productions) premiered in Venice. The work became one of the most frequently performed musical dramas of the 18th century. Another successful intermezzo that was played in many opera houses in Europe was L'impresario delle Isole Canarie (Music lost).

The year 1721 saw two major successes for Orlandini. His opera Arsace, a revision of his 1715 Amore e maestà, premiered at the King’s Theatre in London to critical praise, and his opera Nerone premiered to great success for the carnival season in Venice. Both works became known throughout Europe.

Orlandini left Bologna to return to Florence in 1732, to become the maestro di cappella for the Medici court and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. While serving in these positions, he continued to remain productive as an opera composer, regularly providing works for the La Pergola and Il Cocomero theatres in Florence. His last stage work was the commedia per musica Lo scialacquatore, which premiered on 14 September 1744 at the Il Cocomero. He died in Florence.

Quanto bello - Orlandini

L'Innocenza giustificata - Orlandini

Orlandini "Destrier ch'all'armi usato"

Orlandini: Berenice - Da torbida procella

Orlandini - Serpilla e Bacocco

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini: Nerone - Muore il cigno

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini - Paride (Venezia 1720) «Tu che scorgi il nostro interno»



Alessandro Poglietti court organist at Vienna, publishes his most famous work, Rossignolo, a large and varied collection of pieces for harpsichord, some of which are lightly programmatic.

Alessandro Poglietti - Il Rossignolo

Composer Matthew Locke dies in London, aged in his mid-50s.


Henry Purcell, who turns 18 this year, succeeds him as Composer to the King’s Violins.

Antonio Sartorio, one of the leading Venetian composers of the day, presents two new operas at the San Salvatore Theatre in Venice: Antonino e Pompejano and L’Anacreonte tiranno.

Antonio Sartorio - Anacreonte Tiranno (Venedig 1678)

9 September
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Te Deum is first performed at Fontainebleau. Ten years from now the work will play a part in the composer’s death.

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Te Deum
I. Te Deum
II. Il Patrem immensae majestatis
III. Te ergo quaesumus
IV. Dignare Domine

5 January
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Isis is premiered at St Germain-en-Laye. The opera causes controversy, as the character of Juno is seen to be an unflattering representation of the king’s mistress, Mine de Montespan. Lully’s librettist, Quinault. becomes the scapegoat, sidelined from operatic productions for the next two years.

Jean Baptiste Lully - Isis - Proloque

Jean Baptiste Lully - Isis

10 October
Alessandro Stradella marries his pupil, Agnese Van Uffele, mistress of a Venetian senator, Alvise Contarini. In retaliation, Contarini hires two henchmen who attack Stradella and leave him severely beaten. Stradella recovers, but apparently soon parts from his wife.

11 November
Barbara Strozzi, Italian composer and singer, dies in Padua, aged about 58.

Robert Cambert, co-founder of French opera, dies in London, aged about 49.

Jean-Baptiste Morin, French composer, born.

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Jean-Baptiste Morin (2 February 1677 – 27 April 1745) was a French composer and the Ordinaire de la Musique to Philippe, Duke of Orléans before and perhaps during his regency. From 1719 to 1731 Morin was Maître de musique of Louise Adélaïde d'Orléans, daughter of the Duke, at the royal abbey of Chelles, near Paris.

Morin was born in Orléans. He penned numerous works, including most famously a set of cantatas (published between 1706 and 1712). These provided a fusion of a French with the Italian style then popular at the Regent's court. Morin noted in the preface to the 1706 edition his efforts "to retain the sweetness of the French style of melody, but with greater variety in the accompaniments, and employing those tempos and modulations characteristic of the Italian cantata." Morin dedicated the volume to his royal sponsor.

He published also two famous books of (petits) Motets (1704/2nd ed. 1748; 1709) and a Processional for Chelles (1726).

His divertissement La Chasse du cerf (October 1707; libretto of his friend and protector, Jean de Serré de Rieux (at the time : François-Joseph de Seré, seigneur de Rieux, near Beauvais), Parisian parliamentary, poet and 'grand amateur de musique') provides the hunting call motif that Haydn later employed in his Symphony no. 73. Morin died in Paris in 1745.

Jean-Baptiste Morin: La Chasse du Cerf ( La Caccia al Cervo)

Jean-Baptiste Morin


Georg Muffat is appointed organist at Salzburg Cathedral and chamber musician to Archbishop Max Ganiftl.

Carlo Pallavicino composes his opera Vespasiano for the inauguration of the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, the most exclusive opera house in Venice.

Internal view of the Teatro Grimani a San Giovanni Grisostomo of 1709.
Engraving by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli

16 April
Jean-Baptiste Lully stages Psyche, adapted for the Paris Opera, in collaboration with Thomas Corneille (1625-1709) and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757)

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Psyché Act I

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Psyché Act II

Johann Pachelbel, aged 24, becomes organist at the Predigerkirche in Erfurt.

2 January
Johann Theile's opera Adam and Eva inaugurates Hamburg’s Gansemarkt Theater, the first public opera house outside of Venice.

28 September
Pioneering composer Maurizio Cazzati dies in Mantua, aged 62.

4 March
Composer Antonio Lucio Vivaldi is born the same day an earthquake rocks Venice. Possibly because of this, or due to worrying respiratory problems, the midwife performs an improvised baptism.

27 October
Composer John Jenkins dies in Kimberley, Norfolk, aged about 86.

Henry Purcell possibly writes his graceful Pavan in G minor, for three violins and bass, in commemoration.

Henry Purcell - Pavan for 3 Violins and Bass in G minor 

12 April
Alessandro Scarlatti, aged 17, marries Antonia Anzaloni. Later this year he becomes maestro di cappella at the church of San Giacomo degli Incurabili in Rome.

10 November
Alessandro Stradella's opera La forza dell’amor paterno premieres in Genoa.

William Croft, English composer, born.

Nicola Francesco Haym, Italian opera librettist, composer, born.

Giovanni Antonio Piani, Italian composer, born.

Manuel de Zumaya, Mexican composer, born.

William Croft

William Croft (baptized 30 December 1678 – 14 August 1727) was an English composer and organist.


Croft was born at the Manor House, Nether Ettington, Warwickshire. He was educated at the Chapel Royal, under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne's Church, Soho and he became an organist and 'Gentleman extraordinary' at the Chapel Royal. He shared that post with his friend Jeremiah Clarke.

In 1707, he took over the Chapel Royal's "Master of the Children" post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke, (one of Croft's pupils in this capacity was Maurice Greene). The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).

In 1724, Croft published Musica Sacra, a collection of church music, the first such collection to be printed in the form of a score. It contains a Burial Service, which may have been written for Queen Anne or for the Duke of Marlborough. Shortly afterwards his health deteriorated, and he died while visiting Bath.

One of Croft's most enduring pieces is the hymn tune "St Anne" written to the poem Our God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts. Other composers subsequently incorporated the tune in their own works. 

Perhaps Croft's most notable legacy is the suite of Funeral Sentences which have been described as a "glorious work of near genius". First published as part of the Burial Service in Musica Sacra, the date and purpose of their composition is uncertain. The seven Sentences themselves are from the Book of Common Prayer and are verses from various books of the Bible, intended to be said or sung during an Anglican funeral. One of the sentences, Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, was not composed by Croft, but by Henry Purcell, part of his 1695 Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary.

Croft's Funeral Sentences were sung at George Frederic Handel's funeral in 1759, and have been included in every British state funeral since their publication. Recent uses have been at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002 and Baroness Thatcher in 2013.

William Croft: The burial sentences

William Croft: Ode for the Peace of Utrecht 1713

William Croft - Suite III in do min

William Croft - Suite no.18 D-minor

William Croft - Suite no.11 E-minor

William Croft - Overture Laurus cruentas

William Croft - 1ère sonate à deux flûtes à bec (opus 3)

Nicola Francesco Haym

Nicola Francesco Haym (6 July 1678 – 31 July 1729) was an Italian opera librettist, composer, theatre manager and performer, and numismatist. He is best remembered for adapting texts into libretti for the London operas of George Frideric Handel and Giovanni Bononcini. Libretti that he provided for Handel included those for Giulio Cesare, Ottone, Flavio, Tamerlano, Rodelinda, and several others; for Bononcini, he produced two, Calfurnia and Astianatte.


Haym was born in Rome. His career began as a cellist in Italy, and he arrived in London in 1701: he swiftly became master of the 2nd Duke of Bedford's chamber music.

Marco Ricci's ca. 1709 painting of Nicola Francesco Haym at the harpsichord.

Later, when operas in London came to be performed entirely in Italian, rather than in a bilingual blend of English and Italian, Haym spent much time adapting both libretti and music for the many pasticcios that were staged at this time.
In 1720 he was employed as a continuo cellist for the new Royal Academy of Music; in 1722, however, he became the Academy's Secretary for its final six seasons: he not only wrote the libretti but also took on the role of stage manager during this time. Prior to his death in London in 1729, he was planning to assist Handel and Heidegger construct a new Academy after the demise of the old one.In 1719-20 Haym wrote the book Del tesoro britannico parte prima, the first work on the ancient coins in the collection of the British Museum. He was also the author of Biblioteca Italiana, o sia Notizia de' Libri Rari nella lingua Italiana, a bibliography of Italian books from the beginning of printing to about 1715. 

Nicola Francesco Haym "Sonatas para Violín y Bajo continuo"
1.Sonata en Do menor: Largo-Vivace-Adagio-Allegro

2.Sonata en Re menor: Adagio-Allegro-Adagio-Allegro

3.Sonata en Do menor: Adagio-Allegro-Adagio-Allegro

4.Sonata en La menor: Largo-Allegro-Largo-Allegro

Manuel de Zumaya

Manuel de Zumaya or Manuel de Sumaya (c. 1678 – 1755) was perhaps the most famous Mexican composer of the colonial period of New Spain. His music was the culmination of the Baroque style in the New World. He was the first person in the western hemisphere to compose an Italian-texted opera, entitled Partenope (now lost).
Manuel de Zumaya was born in Mexico.

In 1715, he was appointed chapelmaster of Mexico City's cathedral, and was one of the first Americans to become one. He served there until 1738 when he moved to Oaxaca, where he followed his close friend Bishop Tomas Montaño against the vigorous and continuous protests of the Mexico City Cathedral Chapel Council for him to stay.

Manuel de Zumaya died on December 21, 1755, in Oaxaca, where he had resided since 1738.
His works are a multiplicity of his talents and styles. He was a master of the older Renaissance style and of the newer Baroque style.

In 1711, the new Viceroy, Don Fernando de Alencastre Noroña y Silva, Duke of Linares, a devotee of Italian opera, commissioned Zumaya to translate Italian libretti and write new music for them. The libretto of the first, La Parténope survives in the Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, though the music has been lost.

The Hieremiae Prophetae Lamentationes is a Gregorian-style antiquated notational piece.

Zumaya authored the charmingly jolly Sol-fa de Pedro (Peter's Solfeggio) in 1715 during the examinations to select the Chapel Master at Mexico City's cathedral.

Zumaya's other famous piece, Celebren Publiquen, shows his ability to handle the polychoral sound of the high Baroque era. With his distribution of the choral resources into two choirs of unequal size, he copied the style that was favoured by the Spanish and Mexican choral schools in the early 18th century.

Al Prodigio Mayor - Manuel de Zumaya

Manuel de Zumaya - Lauda Sion Salvatorem

Su fino amor - MANUEL DE SUMAYA

Hieremiae Prophetae Lamentationes (1717) - MANUEL DE SUMAYA

Giovanni Antonio Piani

Giovanni Antonio Piani (1678–1760), Italian composer, was one of the most important violinists of the Baroque and his reputation, today, rests upon the surviving 12 sonatas of his Op.1 set published in 1712 (all his other works are lost). In an unusually long and detailed preface to the sonatas, Piani provided highly detailed instructions on bowing, fingering, dynamics, ornamentation and tempi. In effect, this is the most detailed instruction manual for students of the Baroque violin and the performance practice of the day. Piani worked in Paris and Vienna, and is one of the key figures in the French violin school from Lully to Viotti.

Giovanni Antonio Piani. Violin sonatas 9, 4.

William Croft
Nicola Francesco Haym
Manuel de Zumaya
Giovanni Antonio Piani


Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber is appointed assistant Kapellmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Arcangelo Corelli becomes a chamber musician and composer to the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden in Rome.

Charles Couperin (1639–1679), organist at the church of St Gervais, dies, leaving his ten-year-old son, Francois Couperin in the care of his mother. Court organist Jacques Thomelin (c.1635-1693) becomes musical tutor to Francois, and the church council arranges for the boy to inherit his fathers old post at the age of 18. In the meantime the church engages the services of Michel-Richard de Lalande.

31 January
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Bellerophon is introduced at the Paris Opera.

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Bellerophon

Bellérophon - Jean-Baptiste Lully - Choral 1

Lully - Finale from Bellerophon

Marin Marais, aged 23, becomes an Ordinaire de musique de la chambre du roi.

Carlo Pallavicino's opera Le amazzoni nell'isole fortunate (The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles) inaugurates the Teatro Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta, outside Venice.

LE AMAZZONI NELLE ISOLE FORTUNATE (1679) by Carlo Pallavicino, libretto by Francesco-Maria Piccioli.

5 February
Alessandro Scarlatti's first staged opera, Gli equivoci nel sembiante (Mistaken Identities), is presented in Rome at the private theatre of Giambattista Contini, to great acclaim. The 18-year-old composer catches the attention of the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden.

Alessandro Scarlatti -  Gli equivoci nel sembiante - Sinfonia

The 20-year-old Henry Purcell becomes organist at Westminster Abbey following the resignation of John Blow.

1 October
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer is appointed Kapellmeister at the Viennese court, replacing the ailing Giovanni Felice Sances, who dies the following month.

Domenico Natale Sarro, Italian composer, born.

24 November
Giovanni Felice Sances dies.

16 October
Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka 
is baptised in Lounovice, Bohemia.

Jan Dismas Zelenka

(b. Lourwvice, October 16, 1679; d. Dresden, December 22, 1745)


Czech composer. The son of an organist, he studied at the Clementinum, one of Prague’s Jesuit colleges. In 1710, after a period in the service of Countjoseph Ludwig Hartig, hejoined the Dresden court orchestra as a string bass player. Between 1717 and 1718 he and other members of the orchestra accompanied their prince, Augustus II, on a yearlong courtship visit to Vienna; while in Vienna, Zelenka gave lessons in counterpoint to Johann Joachim Quantz while taking lessons in composition from the imperial Kapellmeister, Johann Joseph Fux.

Zelenka spent the remainder of his career in Dresden with the exception of an extended sojourn (1722-23) in Prague. During the later 1720s, he frequently deputized for the ailing Dresden Kapellmeister Johann David Heinichen, and following Heinichen’s death in 1729 he served as acting Kapellmeister until the appointment of Johann Adolf Hasse in 1734. Zelenka’s production as a composer consisted primarily of sacred music for the Catholic services of the Dresden court, though it is his instrumental music—almost all of it written between 1717 and 1723—that is usually encountered today. His output includes more than 20 masses, dozens of psalm settings, a large body of music for Holy Week, and numerous hymns and antiphons, as well as sonatas for many combinations of instruments and a handful of orchestral works. Whereas the sacred works look back to the style of the early Baroque, the instrumental pieces are more modern in feeling, proof of Zelenka’s openness to elements of the galant style and to contemporary Italian fashion—particularly in the five Capriccios, akin to works by Vivaldi in their energy.

Jan Dismas Zelenka - Missa votiva ZWV 18

Jan Dismas Zelenka - Requiem in c-Moll ZWV 45

Zelenka - Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae

Zelenka: Miserere in C minor ZWV 57

Jan Zelenka - Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis - ZWV 17

Domenico Natale Sarro

Domenico Natale Sarro, also Sarri (24 December 1679 – 25 January 1744) was an Italian composer.

He studied at the Neapolitan conservatory of S. Onofrio. He composed extensively in the early 18th century. His opera Didone abbandonata, premiered on 1 February 1724 at the Teatro San Bartolomeo in Naples, was the first setting of a major libretto by Pietro Metastasio. He is best remembered today as the composer of Achille in Sciro, the opera that was chosen to open the new Teatro di San Carlo in 1737.

Of his many intermezzi, 'Dorina e Nibbio' or L'impresario delle Isole Canarie (1724) has had an extensive performance history. With a libretto by Pietro Metastasio (his only comic libretto), it was performed often and imitated internationally (with versions by Albinoni, Gasparini, Leo, Martini and others). In recent years it was performed in the State Theatre of Stuttgart, the Bochum Symphony as well as the Semperoper Dresden.

In addition to his Operas and other large scale works, Sarro has written a considerable number of vocal cantatas which show great charm and inventiveness. 'Coronatemi il crin' for Alto, two violins and continuo, is perhaps his most well known cantata.

Domenico Natale Sarro "Didone Abbandonata" 

Domenico Sarro - Miserere

Domenico Natale Sarri - Concerto in A minor

Jan Dismas Zelenka
Domenico Natale Sarro


Dietrich Buxtehude creates what is generally considered to be the first Lutheran Oratorio, Membra Jesu Nostri, consisting of seven cantatas.

Dietrich Buxtehude - Membra Jesu Nostri

Benedetto Ferrari's oratorio Il Sansone (Samson) is first performed for the Este court in Modena.

3 February
Alessandro Scarlatti's second opera, L’honesta negli amori (Honesty in Love Affairs), commissioned by Queen Christina of Sweden, premieres at the Bernini palace in Rome. The work is remembered solely for its uplifting aria ‘Gia il sole dal Gange’ (The sun form the Orient). Scarlatti, aged 19, married and a father, is now Queen Christina’s maestro di cappella.

Alessandro Scarlatti: Gia il sole dal gange

Cristobal Galan is appointed maestro de capilla to the Spanish royal court.

Henry Purcell, aged 21, marries Frances Peters. Compositions this year very likely include his Fantasias for Viols in three to five parts. Although the viol fantasia is now unfashionable (and detested by King Charles II), these works represent some of the finest of the repertory.

Henry Purcell - Fantasias
1 Fantasia I à 3 en ré mineur | d minor Z. 732   0:00
2 Fantasia II à 3 en fa majeur | F major Z. 733   2:49
3 Fantasia III à 3 en sol mineur | g minor Z. 734   5:29
4 Fantasia IV à 4 en sol mineur | g minor Z. 735   7:57
5 Fantasia V à 4 en si bémol majeur | B♭ major Z. 736  11:13
6 Fantasia VI à 4 en fa majeur | F major Z. 737 14:03
7 Fantasia VII à 4 en do mineur | c minor Z. 738 17:13
8 Fantasia VIII à 4 en ré mineur | d minor Z. 739  21:17
9 Fantasia IX à 4 en la mineur | a minor Z. 740 24:42
10 Fantasia X à 4 en mi mineur | e minor Z. 741 27:54
11 Fantasia XI à 4 en sol majeur | G major Z. 742  31:04
12 Fantasia XII à 4 en ré mineur | d minor Z. 743 34:00
13 Fantasia XIII à 4 en la mineur | a minor Z. 744 36:50
14 Fantasia upon one note à 5 en fa majeur | F major Z. 745 40:05
15 In nomine à 6 en sol mineur | g minor Z. 746 42:35
16 In nomine à 7 en sol mineur dorien | g minor Dorian Z. 747  44:09
17 Dance for the Green Men - Monkey's Dance 46:28
18 Dido's Lament (Dido & Aeneas) 50:31

3 February
Jean-Baptiste Lully, back in collaboration with the librettist Quinault, introduces his opera Proserpine at St Germain-en-Laye.

J B Lully - Ouverture de Proserpine

Jean Baptiste Lully "Proserpine" Acte III (1ºparte)

Jean Baptiste Lully "Proserpine" Acte III (2º parte)

Jean Baptiste Lully "Proserpine" Acte III (3º parte)

Having escaped to Prague with the Imperial Court to avoid a plague epidemic in Vienna, Kapellmeister Johann Heinrich Schmelzer dies from the disease, aged in his late 50s. The Austrian composer and violin virtuoso was one of the first non-Italians to promote the solo violin sonata.

Antonio Stradivari sets up a workshop in Cremona and makes his earliest known cello.

Henry Purcell’s song Welcome, Vicegerent of the Mighty King, scored for voices, strings and continuo, is first performed for Charles II.


Pieter de Hooch - Musical Party in a Courtyard

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