top of page

Baroque Era


King Charles II calls his fifth parliament; Whigs reintroduce the Exclusion Bill to bar James, Duke of York from succession to the crown; Charles dissolves parliament • Turks sign Treaty of Radzin with Russia • Oil lamps are used to light streets in London
Spain and Holy Roman Empire make pact against French aggression • King Louis XIV (Fr) calls Church assembly at St Germain: it decides that Popes have no temporal rights over kings and are inferior to French church councils • Astronomer Edmund Halley (Eng) observes what is called Halley’s Comet and tries to calculate its orbit

The Rye House Plot to assassinate Charles II of England is discovered, coinciding with a lawful attempt by statesmen to curb his powers; the statesmen concerned suffer severe treatment: Lord William Russell and Algernon Sidney are executed, the Earl of Essex is driven to suicide, the Duke of Monmouth (Charles’s bastard son) is exiled • James, Duke of York, brother of Charles II, is reinstated in office • Anton van Leeuwenhoek (Neth) records the first observation of bacteria under a microscope

In the Franco-Spanish War, French seize city of Trier and duchy of Luxembourg from Holy Roman Empire (Spain’s ally) and invade the Spanish Netherlands • Louis XIV begins campaign against heretics: Huguenots (Protestants) in southern France revolt • William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker, PRS (1620 – 1684) English mathematician who introduced Brouncker's formula, dies • 
Evert Collier – Self-Portrait with a Vanitas Still-life
Charles II (Eng) dies; is succeeded by his Roman Catholic brother, James II • Duke of Monmouth proclaims himself king; Duke of Argyll lands with an army; both are captured and executed • Louis XIV (Fr) revokes Edict of Nantes, which gave religious freedom to Huguenots • Isaac Newton (Eng) formulates law of gravitation


Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek (1632 – 1723) 



Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber publishes his Sonatae violino solo, a collection of eight virtuosic sonatas for violin and basso continuo.

Biber - Violin Sonatas
1-2 Violin Sonata 1              3 Violin Sonata 2
4-5 Violin Sonata 3             6-7 Violin Sonata 4
6-10 Violin Sonata 5           11-12 Violin Sonata 6
13-14 Violin Sonata 7          15-16 Violin Sonata 8
17-25 Sonata Representativa in A major 
26 Sonata 'La Pastorella' in A major
27 Passacaglia for Solo Violin in G minor
28 Passacaglia for Solo Lute

Arcangelo Corelli publishes his Op. 1: 12 four-movement da chiesa trio sonatas, dedicated to the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden. It appears that around this time Corelli may have left Italy for a short period of service to the electoral prince of Bavaria.

Arcangelo Corelli - 12 Trio Sonatas Op.1
1. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.1 in F
2. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.2 in E mi 6:17
3. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.3 in A 11:24
4. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.4 in A mi 17:50
5. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.5 in B flat 22:55
6. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.6 in B mi 29:10
7. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.7 in C 35:46
8. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.8 in C mi 39:58
9. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.9 in G 46:00
10. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.10 in G mi 51:59
11. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.11 in D mi 57:08
12. Sonata da Chiesa a trè No.12 in D 1:02:18

5 January
Giovanni Legrenzi is appointed vice maestro di cappella at St Mark’s, Venice.

21 January
The history of the ballerina begins with the first professional female dancers (led by Mlle de Lafontaine, 1655-1738) taking the stage in Jean-Baptiste Lully’s ballet-opera Le triomphe de l'amour. Male dancers continue to dominate the scenes, enjoying greater flexibility than the female dancers who have to cope with floor-length skirts. The work also includes the first examples of Lully’s orchestrally-accompanied recitative.

Mdme de la Fontaine

Lully: Le Triomphe De L'Amour
 Ballet Suite For String Orchestra
1.1 Ouverture 
1.2 Menuet I 
1.3 Menuet II 
1.4 Bourrée 
1.5 Air 
1.6 Entrée D'Appolon 
1.7 Air 
1.8 Air 
1.9 Entrée De Pan 
1.10 Entrée Des Quatres Vents 
1.11 Entrée De Mars 
1.12 Air Pur Les Amours 
1.13 Entrée De Mars Et Des Amours

14 March
German composer Georg Philipp Telemann is born in Magdeburg.

Alessandro Stradella pens the joyful serenata Il barcheggio for the wedding festivities of Carlo Spinola and Paola Brignole.

Serenata a 3 ''Il Barcheggio'' Parte Prima (NN 1-7)
Serenata a 3 ''Il Barcheggio'' Parte Prima (NN. 8-12)
Serenata a 3 ''Il Barcheggio'' Parte Prima (NN. 13-16)
Serenata a 3 ''Il Barcheggio'' Parte Prima (NN. 17-22)

A condemnation of lust and deceit, Alessandro Stradella's oratorio La Susanna receives its first performance, in Modena. Expressive arias combine with contrapuntal elegance in one of the finest sacred works of the period.

Alessandro Stradella - Susanna

28 September
German composer, theorist and critic  Johann Mattheson is born in Hamburg.

Johann Mattheson

Johann Mattheson (28 September 1681 – 17 April 1764) was a German composer, singer, writer, lexicographer, diplomat and music theorist.


Mattheson was born and died in Hamburg. He was a close friend of George Frideric Handel, although he nearly killed him in a sudden quarrel, during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704. Handel was saved only by a large button which turned aside Mattheson's sword. The two were afterwards reconciled and remained in correspondence for life: shortly after his friend's death, Mattheson translated John Mainwaring's Handel biography into German and had it published in Hamburg at his own expense ("auf Kosten des Übersetzers") in 1761.

The son of a well-to-do tax collector, Mattheson received a broad liberal education and, aside from general musical training, took lessons in keyboard instruments, violin, composition and singing. By age nine he was singing and playing organ in church and was a member of the chorus of the Hamburg opera. He made his solo debut with the Hamburg opera in 1696 in female roles and, after his voice changed, sang tenor at the opera, conducted rehearsals and composed operas himself. He was cantor at St. Mary's Cathedral from 1718 until increasing deafness led to his retirement from that post in 1728.

Mattheson's chief occupation from 1706 was as a professional diplomat. He had studied English in school and spoke it fluently. He became tutor to the son of the English ambassador Sir John Wich and then secretary to the ambassador. He went on diplomatic missions abroad representing the ambassador. In 1709 he married an English woman.

After his death in 1764, Johann Mattheson was buried in the vault of Hamburg's St. Michaelis' Church where his grave can be visited.

Mattheson is mainly famous as a music theorist. He was the most abundant writer on performance practice, theatrical style, and harmony of the German Baroque. He is particularly important for his work on the relationship of the disciplines of rhetoric and music, for example in Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre, Hamburg 1713 koelnklavier and Der vollkommene Capellmeister. (PDF) Hamburg 1739; Extracts. However his books raise more and more attention and suspicion because Mattheson was a brilliant polemist and his theories on music are often full of pedantry and pseudo-erudition.

​Johann Mattheson

Johann Mattheson - Christmas Oratorio

Mattheson - Die heilsame Geburt und Menschwerdung unsers Herrn und Heilandes Jesu Christi

Johann Mattheson - Pièces de clavecin, 1714

First Suite in D minor 

Twelfth Suite in F minor  16.45

Eleventh Suite in C major   24.52

Fifth Suite in C minor   27.15

Fourth Suite in G minor    33.30

Sixth Suite in E flat major    46.52

Ninth Suite in G minor    59.26

Johann Mattheson - Der brauchbare Virtuoso, Transverse flute & Harpsichord (CD1)
Sonata I in D major 0:00
Sonata II in G major 11:38
Sonata III in A major 20:24
Sonata IV in D major 28:28
Sonata V in G major 35:47
Sonata VI in E minor 44:27

Johann Mattheson - Der brauchbare Virtuoso, Transverse flute & Harpsichord (CD2)
Sonata VII in A major 0:00
Sonata VIII in B minor 6:10
Sonata IX in E minor 17:13
Sonata X in A major 26:19
Sonata XI in D minor 35:48
Sonata XII in B minor 43:06



Scored in 53 parts for six spatially-separated choirs and ensembles, with additional brass and timpani, the Missa Salisburgensis (Salzburg Festival Mass) is performed to mark the 1100th anniversary of  the Archbishopric of Salzburg. The 

musical colossus is possibly the work of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber - Missa Salisburgensis

Johann Sigismund Kusser brings out the first German suites to incorporate French-style overtures in his Composition de musique suivant la methode frangoise, published in Stuttgart.

Johann Sigismund Kusser - «FESTIN DES MUSES» - Orchestral Suites, Stuttgart





ORCHESTRAL SUITE No. 5 in B flat major


Georg Muffat publishes his Armonico tributo, comprising five multimovement sonatas for strings and continuo. Published in Salzburg, the sonatas reveal progressive concerto grosso scoring, a style Muffat adopted having heard Arcangelo Corelli's (unpublished) concertos in Rome.

Georg Muffat - Armonico Tributo
SONATA I (D major)
SONATA II (G minor)
SONATA III (A major)
SONATA IV (E minor)
SONATA V (G major)

Antonio Draghi becomes Kapellmeister to the imperial court in Vienna. This year he composes the oratorio Il terremoto.

'Antonio Draghi - Il Terremoto

Johann Jacob Bach, German composer, born.

Jean-Joseph Mouret, French composer, born.

25 February
Alessandro Stradella, aged 42, is stabbed to death in Genoa. Infamous for his sexual indiscretions, the composer and singer may have been murdered at the behest of a jealous mistress or rival. Another theory suggests reprisals for an affair with a married member of the powerful Lomellini family.

Henry Purcell acquires one of the three posts of organist at the Chapel Royal.

French guitarist and lutenist Robert de Visee, court musician to Louis XIV, issues his first publication, Livre de guitare dedie au roy.

18 April
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Persee, on a libretto by Quinault, premieres at the Paris Opera.

Lully: Persee (Les Talens Lyriques)

Johann Jacob Bach

Johann Jacob Bach (or Johann Jakob) (baptised 21 February [O.S. 11 February] 1682 – 16 April 1722) was a German musician, composer and an older brother of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Bach is thought to have been born in Eisenach. After his studies at the Latin school there, he became oboist in the municipal band. After the death of their father Johann Ambrosius Bach in 1695, Johann Jacob and Johann Sebastian moved in with their older brother Johann Christoph Bach, organist at Ohrdruf. In 1704, he entered the service in the military band of the army of King Charles XII of Sweden.

It is thought that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his Capriccio on the departure of his Beloved Brother BWV 992 on this occasion.
In 1709, he participated in the Battle of Poltava. During his stay in Constantinople, he studied flute under Pierre-Gabriel Buffardin. From 1713 to 1722, he served as flutist in the court of the Stockholm capelle. He died childless in 1722 in Stockholm and is buried there.

Johann Jacob played oboe, flute and possibly violin. He probably composed the Sonata in C minor under the pseudonym Signor Bach.

Jean-Joseph Mouret

Jean-Joseph Mouret (11 April 1682 in Avignon – 22 December 1738 in Charenton-le-Pont) was a French composer whose dramatic works made him one of the leading exponents of Baroque music in his country. Even though most of his works are no longer performed, Mouret's name survives today thanks to the popularity of the Fanfare-Rondeau from his first Suite de symphonies, which has been adopted as the signature tune of the PBS program Masterpiece and is a popular musical choice in many modern weddings.Around the age of twenty-five, Mouret settled in Paris. News of his arrival did not take long to spread and he was introduced to Anne, Duchess of Maine, whose salon at Sceaux was a center of courtly society in the declining years of Louis XIV. His genial character strongly assisted him in securing the patronage of the Duchess, who made him her Surintendant de la musique at Sceaux about 1708. At Sceaux he produced operas and was in charge of the sixteen bi-weekly Grandes nuits in the season of 1714–1715, for which he produced interimèdes and allegorical cantatas in the court masque tradition, and other music, in the company of the most favoured musicians, for the most select audience in France.

His opéra-ballet Les fêtes, ou Le triomphe de Thalie ["Festivities, or The Triumph of Thalia"] with a libretto by Joseph de La Font was presented at the Opéra on 19 August 1714. In the 1720 edition the title was changed to Les fêtes de Thalie, and in 1722 a new opening was added, "La provençale", which featured regional costumes, instruments, and well-known melodies sung in the Provençal dialect. The 1722 version proved to be more acceptable and very popular, and continued to be performed up until 1778.

Also in 1714 Mouret received an appointment as the director of the orchestra of the Opéra, a post which he held until 1718. From 1717 to 1737 he directed the Nouveau Théâtre Italien for which he composed divertissements that accompanied, for example, the tender comedies of Marivaux, and which, printed, fill six volumes.
Sinking into poverty, Mouret died in a charitable asylum run by the Roman Catholic Church in Charenton-le-Pont.

J. J. Mouret - Premiere Suite de Fanfares for Trumpet, Strings, and Continuo

Jean-Joseph Mouret - Parodie D'Alceste

J. J. Mouret: Les Amours de Ragonde et Colin (1714)

Johann Jacob Bach
Jean-Joseph Mouret


John Blow composes his opera Venus and Adonis around this time. Designated a masque, the work is scored throughout and will later serve as the model for Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas.

John Blow: Venus and Adonis

Andre Campra becomes Maitre de musique at the Cathedral of St Etienne, Toulouse.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier composes an early example of the French cantata with his Orphee descendant aux Enfers (Orpheus Descending to the Underworld). Scored for three male voices, the cantata features an expressive instrumental sinfonia followed by the Italianate alternation of arias and recitatives.

 Charpentier - La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers

13 January
German composer Christoph Graupner is born in Kirehberg, Saxony.

25 January
Alessandro Scarlatti's opera Il Pompeo (Pompey) premieres at the Teatro Colonna, Rome. Around this time the composer also stages his opera La guerriera costante at the Roman palace of the Duchess of Bracciano. Few operas are publicly performed in the city due to severe restrictions imposed by Pope Innocent XI.

Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Pompeo, Toglietemi la vita Ancor - aria

12 February
Giovann Legrenzi's most successful opera, Guistino (Justinian), is introduced at the Teatro San Salvatore, Venice.

Giovanni Legrenzi - Il Giustino - Arianna

Innocent XI stops pension payments to Arcangelo Corelli’s patron, the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden. With his income reduced, Corelli seeks additional patronage the following year from Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili.

17 April

German composer and theorist Johann David Heinichen is born in Krossuln, near Weissenfels.

Michel-Richard de Lalande (Delalande) and Marc-Antoine Charpentier compete with 33 other composers for one of the four posts of sous-maitre to the French royal chapel. Delalande is successful, but Charpentier has to retire from the contest due to ill health. (Louis XIV later grants him a pension anyway.) Pascal CollasseNicolas Goupillet and Guillaume Minoret secure the other positions.

Johann Pachelbel loses both his wife and baby son to plague. In memory he writes his Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken (Musical Meditation on Death), a collection of chorale variations for keyboard.

Pachelbel - Alle Menschen müssen sterben

25 September
French composer Jean Philipe Rameau is baptised in Dijon.

Mid December
Following the death of John Hingeston, the 24-year-old Purcell is appointed instmment keeper to the king.

6 January
Jean-Baptiste Lully presents Phaeton at Versailles (now the permanent residence of the royal court). Three months later the opera enjoys a sensational public premiere at the Paris Opera, aided by elaborate scenery and stage machinery. This year also marks the composer’s penitential sacred work De profundis (From the depths).

Chaconne from Phaëton - Jean-Baptiste Lully -1683

This year marks Henry Purcell’s first ode for St Cecilia’s Day, Welcome to All the Pleasures, and the publication of his Sonnata’s of III Parts (for two violins, viol and continuo), which he claims to be ‘a just imitation of the most fam’d Italian Masters’.

Henry Purcell: ode "Welcome to all pleasures"

Henry Purcell - Twelve Sonatas Of Three Parts

Christoph Graupner

Christoph Graupner (13 January 1683 in Kirchberg – 10 May 1760 in Darmstadt) was a German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who was a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.

Graupner's life
Born in Hartmannsdorf near Kirchberg in Saxony, Graupner received his first musical instruction from his uncle, an organist named Nicolaus Kuester. Graupner went to the University of Leipzig where he studied law (as did many composers of the time) and then completed his musical studies with Johann Kuhnau, the cantor of the Thomasschule (St. Thomas School).

In 1705 Graupner left Leipzig to play the harpsichord in the orchestra of the Hamburg Opera under the direction of Reinhard Keiser, alongside George Frideric Handel, then a young violinist. In addition to playing the harpsichord, Graupner composed six operas in Hamburg, some of them in collaboration with Keiser, a popular composer of operas in Germany.

In 1709 Graupner accepted a post at the court of Hesse-Darmstadt and in 1711 became the court orchestra’s Hofkapellmeister (court chapel master). Graupner spent the rest of his career at the court in Hesse-Darmstadt, where his primary responsibilities were to provide music for the court chapel. He wrote music for nearly half a century, from 1709 to 1754, when he became blind. He died six years later.

Graupner's opus & modern editions
Graupner was hardworking and prolific. There are about 2,000 surviving works in his catalog, including 113 sinfonias, 85 ouvertures (suites), 44 concertos, 8 operas, 1,418 religious and 24 secular cantatas, 66 sonatas and 40 harpsichord partitas. Nearly all of Graupner's manuscripts are housed in the ULB (Technical University Library) in Darmstadt, Germany.

Graupner wrote for exotic combinations of instruments, including the oboe d'amore, flute d'amore, and viola d'amore. Over half of his sinfonias require brass and timpani, with about 25 sinfonias requiring 3 to 4 timpani, one (sinfonia in G Major GWV 611) 5 timpani, and another, sinfonia in F Major (GWV 566), was composed for 6 timpani.

Graupner - Musique instrumentale et vocale Vol. 1, 2, 3

Graupner - Orchestral Works GWV 451,203,571

Christoph Graupner - Concertos - Antichi Strumenti

Christoph Graupner 3 Partitas for Harpsichord

Johann David Heinichen

Johann David Heinichen (17 April 1683 – 16 July 1729) was a German Baroque composer and music theorist who brought the musical genius of Venice to the court of Augustus the Strong in Dresden. Heinichen's music lingered in obscurity for a long time.
Johann David Heinichen was born in the small village of Crössuln, near Weissenfels. His father, Michael Heinichen, had studied music at the celebrated Thomasschule Leipzig associated with the Thomaskirche, served as cantor in Pegau and was pastor of the village church in Crössuln. Johann David also attended the Thomasschule Leipzig. There he studied music with Johann Schelle and later received organ and harpsichord lessons with Johann Kuhnau. The future composer Christoph Graupner was also a student of Kuhnau at the time.

Heinichen enrolled in 1702 to study law at the University of Leipzig and in 1705-1706 qualified as a lawyer (in the early 18th century the law was a favored route for composers; Kuhnau, Graupner and Georg Philipp Telemann were also lawyers). Heinichen practiced law in Weissenfels until 1709.

However, Heinichen maintained his interest in music and was concurrently composing operas. In 1710, he published the first edition of his major treatise on the thoroughbass. He went to Italy and spent seven formative years there, mostly in Venice, with great success with its operas.

In 1712, he taught music to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, who took him as composer. The same prince would appoint Johann Sebastian Bach Kapellmeister at the end of 1717. In 1716, Heinichen met in Venice the Prince Elector of Saxony, and was appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden.  In his final years Heinichen's health suffered greatly; on the afternoon of 16 July 1729, he was buried in the Johannes cemetery after finally succumbing to tuberculosis.

Johann David Heinichen - Dresden Concerti

Johann David Heinichen - Requiem per soli, coro, 2 flauti, 3 oboi, archi e basso continuo in mi bemolle maggiore S. 18 (1726)

J.D. Heinichen: Missa No.12 in D major

J. D. Heinichen - Magnificat in A major - 1629

Christoph Graupner
Johann David Heinichen


Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber is promoted to Kapellmeister at the archducal court of Salzburg.

English writer and preacher John Bunyan (1628-1688), currently serving a 12-year jail sentence for preaching without a licence, pens the second part of his Pilgrims Progress, and in it the hymn ‘He Who Would Valiant Be’.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier becomes maitre de musique of the Jesuit church of St Louis, Paris.

Francesco Manfredini, Italian composer, born.

31 March
Francesco Durante, Neapolitan composer, born.

8 May
Franco-Belgian composer Henry Du Mont, one of the first composers to bring the Baroque style to the French Chapelle Royale, dies in Paris, aged about 74.

8 July
Composer and director of the Marseilles opera Pierre Gautier (?1642-1696) receives permission from Jean-Baptiste Lully to open an opera house in Marseilles. Gautier has to pay a fee to Lully, who continues to hold a tight monopoly on all music drama in France.

18 January
Abandoning ancient mythology, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Quinault present a medieval tale of love and chivalry with in Amadis, first performed at the Paris Opera. The milestone opera is remembered above all for its beautiful air Bois epais (Sombre Woods) from Act 2.

Lully - Amadis - Suite

24 August
Johann Pachelbel marries Judith Drommer, his second wife, having lost his first wife and son to plague the previous year.

Giuseppe Torelli, aged 26, moves to Bologna to take up a post of violinist with the Accademia Filarmonica.

Alessandro Scarlatti becomes maestro di cappella of the Neapolitan royal chapel and director of the Teatro San Bartolomeo. He will remain in Naples for 18 years.

18 September
Johann Gottfried Walther, German composer, born.

Johann Kuhnau becomes organist at the Thomasldrche in Leipzig.

Francesco Manfredini

Francesco Onofrio Manfredini (22 June 1684 – 6 October 1762) was an Italian Baroque composer, violinist, and church musician.
He was born at Pistoia to a trombonist. He studied violin with Giuseppe Torelli in Bologna, then a part of the Papal States, a leading figure in the development of the concerto grosso. He also took instruction in composition from Giacomo Antonio Perti, maestro di capella of the Basilica of San Petronio from 1696 when the orchestra was temporarily disbanded. Although he composed oratorios, only his secular works remain in the repertoire. He became a violinist, c. 1700, in the orchestra of the Church of San Spirito in Ferrara. In 1704, however, he returned to Bologna, employed again in the re-formed orchestra of San Petronio. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica in the same year he published his first compositions, a set of twelve chamber sonatas he named Concertini per camera, Op. 1. In 1709, he also published Sinfonie da chiesa, Op. 2; ostensibly chamber pieces, they, in fact, complemented the earlier chamber sonatas. After 1711, Manfredini spent an extended stay in Monaco, apparently in the service of Prince Antoine I. The prince had been a pupil of Louis XIV's favorite composer Jean Baptiste Lully, whose conductor's baton he had inherited. In 1718 he would publish, in Bologna, his Concerti Grossi for two violins and basso continuo, Op. 3, Nos. 1-12 which is dedicated to that ruler. Also copies of his Sinfonie, Op. 2 were found in the princely library.


Francesco Manfredini - 12 Concerti Op.3
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 3/1  0:00
Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op. 3/5  5:21
Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 3/9  11:05
Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 3/2  19:19
Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 3/6  24:02
Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op. 3/10  30:22
Concerto Grosso in E minor, Op. 3/3  39:52
Concerto Grosso in G major, Op. 3/7  45:11
Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op. 3/11  51:44
Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op. 3/4  59:27
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 3/8  1:04:37
Concerto Grosso in C major, Op. 3/12 "Christmas Pastorale"  1:11:14

Francesco Manfredini - Sinfonia in E Minor

Francesco Durante

Francesco Durante (31 March 1684 – 30 September 1755) was a Neapolitan composer.


He was born at Frattamaggiore, in the Kingdom of Naples, and at an early age he entered the Conservatorio dei poveri di Gesù Cristo, in Naples, where he received lessons from Gaetano Greco. Later he became a pupil of Alessandro Scarlatti at the Conservatorio di Sant'Onofrio. He is also supposed to have studied under Bernardo Pasquini and Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni in Rome, but there is no documentary evidence. He is said to have succeeded Scarlatti in 1725 at Sant' Onofrio, and to have remained there until 1742, when he succeeded Porpora as head of the Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto, also in Naples. This post he held for thirteen years, till his death in Naples. He was married three times.

His fame as a teacher was considerable, and Niccolò Jommelli, Giovanni Paisiello, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Niccolò Piccinni and Leonardo Vinci were amongst his pupils. As a teacher, he insisted on the unreasoning observance of rules, differing thus from Scarlatti, who treated all his pupils as individuals.

A complete collection of Durante's works, consisting almost exclusively of sacred music, was presented by Gaspare Selvaggi, a Neapolitan art collector and music theorist, to the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. A catalogue may be found in Fétis's Biographie universelle. The imperial library of Vienna also preserves a valuable collection of Durante's manuscripts. Two requiems, several masses (one of which, a most original work, is the Pastoral Mass for four voices) and the Lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah are amongst his most important settings. His Magnificat achieved popularity partly because of its misattribution to Pergolesi.
The fact that Durante never composed for the stage brought him an exaggerated reputation as a composer of sacred music. Considered one of the best church composers of his style and period, he seems to have founded the sentimental school of Italian church music. Nevertheless, Hasse protested against Durante's being described as the greatest harmonist of Italy, a title which he ascribed to Alessandro Scarlatti.

Francesco Durante - Concertos N 1-8

Francesco Durante - Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae

Francesco Durante - Vespro breve

Francesco Durante - Mass in C minor

Francesco Durante - Miserere in C minor

Francesco Durante - Responsori per la Settimana Santa

Francesco Durante - Messa in pastorale

Johann Gottfried Walther

Johann Gottfried Walther (18 September 1684 – 23 March 1748) was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era.


Walther was born at Erfurt. Not only was his life almost exactly contemporaneous to that of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was the famous composer's cousin.

Walther was most well known as the compiler of the Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), an enormous dictionary of music and musicians. Not only was it the first dictionary of musical terms written in the German language, it was the first to contain both terms and biographical information about composers and performers up to the early 18th century.

In all, the Musicalisches Lexicon defines more than 3,000 musical terms; Walther evidently drew on more than 250 separate sources in compiling it, including theoretical treatises of the early Baroque and Renaissance. The single most important source for the work was the writings of Johann Mattheson, who is referenced more than 200 times.
As an organ composer, Walther became famous for his organ transcriptions of orchestral concertos by contemporary Italian and German masters. He made 14 transcriptions of concertos by Albinoni, Gentili, Taglietti, Giuseppe Torelli, Vivaldi and Telemann. These works were the models for Bach to write his famous transcriptions of concertos by Vivaldi and others. On the other hand, Walther as a city organist of Weimar wrote exactly 132 organ preludes based on Lutheran chorale melodies. Some free keyboard music also belongs to his legacy.

Johann Gottfried Walther - Organ Works

Francesco Manfredini
Francesco Durante
Johann Gottfried Walther


Arcangelo Corelli publishes his Op. 2 Trio Sonatas (sonate da camera) in Rome.

Trio sonata No. 1 for 2 violins & continuo in D major

Trio sonata No. 2 for 2 violins & continuo in D minor

Trio sonata No. 3 for 2 violins & continuo in C major

Trio sonata No. 4 for 2 violins & continuo in E minor

Trio sonata No. 5 for 2 violins & continuo in B-flat major

Trio sonata No. 6 for 2 violins & continuo in G minor

Trio sonata No. 7 for 2 violins & continuo in F major

Trio sonata No. 8 for 2 violins & continuo in B minor

Trio sonata No. 9 for 2 violins & continuo in F-sharp minor

Trio sonata No. 10 for 2 violins & continuo in E major

Trio sonata No. 11 for 2 violins & continuo in E-flat major

Trio sonata No. 12 for 2 violins & continuo in G major

Giacomo Perti’s Oreste in Argo is first performed in Modena. The opera presents one of the earliest examples of the three-movement Italian overture, in fast-slow-fast sections.

21 March
Johann Sebastian Bach is born in Eisenach, Thuringia, to court musician Johann Ambrosius Bach.

31 March
Spanish composer Juan Hidalgo dies in Madrid, aged 70.

Henry Purcell draws on Psalm 107 in his vocally-challenging anthem They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships.

16 April
Giovanni Legrenzi is elected maestro di cappella at St Marks, Venice. This year he writes his final opera, Ifianassa e Melampo, after which he devotes himself to sacred works.

8 January
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s opera Roland enjoys success at Versailles. This year marks the composers final ballet, Le temple de la paix, and also final comedie-ballet, Idylle sur la paix, to verses by Jean Racine. In the midst of his productivity, the bisexual composer suffers the displeasure of Louis XIV due to scandalous misconduct with his page.

J. B. Lully - Roland - Ouverture

23 February
George Frideric Handel is born in Halle to a barber-surgeon.

23 April
Henry Purcell’s lavish and dramatic anthem My Heart is Inditing is first performed for the coronation celebrations of James II.

H Purcell - My heart is inditing of a good matter

26 October
Domenico Scarlatti is born in Naples. His 25-year-old father, Alessandro Scarlatti, has already become one of Italy’s leading opera composers.

Lodovico Giustini, Italian composer, born.

Lodovico Giustini

Lodovico Giustini (12 December 1685 – 7 February 1743) was an Italian composer and keyboard player of the late Baroque and early Classical eras. He was the first known composer ever to write music for the piano.

Giustini was born in Pistoia, of a family of musicians which can be traced back to the early 17th century; coincidentally he was born in the same year as Bach, Scarlatti, and Handel. Giustini's father was organist at the Congregazione dello Spirito Santo, a Jesuit-affiliated group, and an uncle, Domenico Giustini, was also a composer of sacred music.

In 1725, on his father's death, Giustini became organist at the Congregazione dello Spirito Santo, and acquired a reputation there as a composer of sacred music: mostly cantatas and oratorios. In 1728 he collaborated with Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari on a set of Lamentations which were performed that year. In 1734 he was hired as organist at S Maria dell'Umiltà, the Cathedral of Pistoia, a position he held for the rest of his life. In addition to playing the organ at both religious institutions, he performed on the harpsichord at numerous locations, often in his own oratorios.

Works and influence

Giustini's main fame rests on his collection of 12 Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti, opus 1, published in Florence in 1732, which is the earliest music in any genre written specifically for the piano. They are dedicated to Dom António de Bragança, the younger brother of King João V of Portugal (the Portuguese court was one of the few places where the early piano was frequently played).

Lodovico Giustini: Sonate Per Cimbalo Di Piano E Forte

Sonate I in G Minor: 00:00

Sonata III in F Major: 11:11 

Sonata IV in E Minor: 23:42 

Sonata X in F Minor: 37:41

Lodovico Giustini - Sonata No. 9 in C, Op. 1

Lodovico Giustini - Sonata XI 

Lodovico Giustini - Sonata XII

Lodovico Giustini

Evert Collier – Self-Portrait with a Vanitas Still-life

bottom of page