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Baroque Era

James II (Eng) rejects Test Act and allows Catholics public office • Louis XIV (Fr) lays claims to lands of the Palatinate (Ger) following the death of its last Elector, Charles; as a result the League of Augsburg is formed against France by the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate, the Netherlands, Saxony, Spain and Sweden • John Ray (Eng) begins classifying plants with the first instalment of his three-volume Historia generalis plantarum • Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (Fr) publishes Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds • 
Benedetto Gennari – Death of Cleopatra
King James II grants freedom of worship in England and Scotland • Venice completes its conquest of Morea (Greece) from Turks, and captures Athens • Turkish army leaders depose sultan Muhammad IV and install his brother Suleiman III • Newton (Eng):
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, expounding laws of motion and gravity
Birth of James II's first son raises fears of continuing toman Catholic monarchy: nobility petition Willem III of Orange (Neth) to save England from ‘Catholic tyranny’ • Villem lands at Torbay, Devon, with 14,000 Dutch troops; ames flees to France • French troops invade the Palatinate (Ger), beginning the War of the League of Augsburg

William III of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart (daughter of runaway king James II) accede to the English throne  • League of Augsburg makes war on France and is joined by England to form a Grand Alliance • Petr I (Russ) overthrows his sister Sophia as regent and takes sole command of government • English dissenters win the right not to attend Church of England services • Philosopher John Locke (Eng): Essay Concerning Human Understanding

An army led by William III defeats that of James II at Battle of the Boyne; James returns to exile in France • France defeats Anglo-Dutch fleet at Battle of Beachy Head • Denis Papin (Fr) invents a piston steam engine • America’s first banknotes are circulated in the Massachusetts Bay Colony


Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757)



John Blow provides incidental music to Aphra Behn’s The Lucky Chance. Aphra Behn (1640-1689) is a leading playwright of the Restoration and one of England’s first professional female writers.

Portrait of Aphra Behn by Sir Peter Lely

Renowned viol virtuoso Marin Marais publishes his first collection of works, Pieces de violes (Book I).

Marin Marais - Pieces de viole - Livres 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Livre I: 64 (solo), 20 (duo)  - 1686
Livre II: 142   - 1701
Livre III: 134   - 1711
Livre IV: 87 (solo), 2 suites (trio)   - 1717
Livre V: 116   - 1725

15 February

Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Quinault look to Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata in their greatest collaboration, Armide, introduced at the Paris Opera. The tragedy is hugely successful but does not enjoy a royal audience, as the king continues to distance himself from Lully following the composers sexual indiscretions of the previous year.

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Armida, tragedia lirica in 1 prologo e 5 atti per soli, coro e orchestra LWV 71 

11 June
Antonio Draghi’s opera Il nodo gordiano (The Gordian knot) opens in Vienna. Part-time composer Emperor Leopold I contributes music (as he does to many other stageworks by Draghi), one of his happy diversions from the ongoing war with the Turks (1683-99).

Italian composer and writer Benedetto Marcello (brother of Alessandro Marcello), is born around this time in Venice.

17 August
Composer Nicola Antonio Porpora is born in Naples.

Giuseppe Torelli publishes ten trio sonatas in his Sonate a 3, Op. 1, and 12 dance pieces in his Concerti da camera, Op. 2.

1 January
John Blow announces the New Year with his regal ode Hail Monarch, Sprung of Race Divine.
Henry Purcell takes particular interest in the piece, copying its style (and even some of its material) in his royal ‘welcome song’ Ye Tuneful Muses, performed later this year.

6 September
Jean-Baptiste Lully premieres Acis et Galatee, a mythical pastorale-heroique, for a hunting party hosted by the Duke of Vendome at Anet.

Lully: Acis & Galatee

Carlo Pallavicino’s tuneful love story L’Amazone corsara (The Amazon Pirate) opens at Venice’s Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo.

The music publisher John Playford (1623–1686) dies in London, aged about 63.


Benedetto Marcello

Benedetto Giacomo Marcello (Italian: [beneˈdetto marˈtʃɛllo]; (31 July or 1 August 1686 – 24 July 1739) was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher.


Born in Venice, Benedetto Marcello was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. Although he was a music student of Antonio Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, his father wanted Benedetto to devote himself to law. Benedetto managed to combine a life in law and public service with one in music. In 1711 he was appointed a member of the Council of Forty (in Venice's central government), and in 1730 he went to Pola as Provveditore (district governor). Due to his health having been "impaired by the climate" of Istria, Marcello retired after eight years in the capacity of Camerlengo to Brescia where he died of tuberculosis in 1739.

Benedetto Marcello was the brother of Alessandro Marcello, also a notable composer. On 20 May 1728 Benedetto Marcello married his singing student Rosanna Scalfi in a secret ceremony. However, as a nobleman his marriage to a commoner was unlawful and after Marcello's death the marriage was declared null by the state. Rosanna was unable to inherit his estate, and filed suit in 1742 against Benedetto's brother Alessandro Marcello, seeking financial support.

Marcello composed a variety of music including considerable church music, oratorios, hundreds of solo cantatas, duets, sonatas, concertos and sinfonias. Marcello was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi in Venice and his instrumental music enjoys a Vivaldian flavor.

As a composer, Marcello was best known in his lifetime and is now still best remembered for his Estro poetico-armonico (Venice, 1724–27), a musical setting for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and occasional solo instruments, of the first fifty Psalms, as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani. They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John Garth brought out an edition with English words (London, 1757).

The library of the Brussels Conservatoire possesses some interesting volumes of chamber cantatas composed by Marcello for his mistress. Although Benedetto Marcello wrote an opera called La Fede riconosciuta and produced it in Vicenza in 1702, he had little sympathy with this form of composition, as evidenced in his writings (see below).

Benedetto Marcello's music is "characterized by imagination and a fine technique and includes both counterpoint and progressive, galant features" (Grove 1994).

With the poet Antonio Schinella Conti he wrote a series of experimental long cantatas – a duet, Il Timoteo, then five monologues, Cantone, Lucrezia, Andromaca, Arianna abandonnata, and finally Cassandra.

Benedetto Marcello - 12 Concerti Grossi OP I

Benedetto Marcello - 6 Sonatas for Cello 
Sonata N.1 in Fa Maggiore
Sonata N.2 in Mi Minore 9:17
Sonata N.3 in La Minore 17:10
Sonata N.4 in Sol Minore 24:36
Sonata N.5 in Do Maggiore 35:03
Sonata N.6 in Sol Maggiore 42:21

Benedetto Marcello - Sonatas for Harpsichord

in D major, SF. 717a (Op. 3/1)

in G major, SF. 731 (Op. 3/2)     11:33

in C major, SF. 704 (Op. 3/3)     21:28

in G minor, SF. 736a (Op. 3/4)     31:50

in D minor, SF. 720 (Op. 3/5)     43:27

in F major, SF. 724a (Op. 3/6)     53:12

Benedetto Marcello - Sonatas Op 2

B. Marcello - Requiem "Cantato secondo l'usanza Venetiana"

Benedetto Marcello - The 50th Psalm

Benedetto Giacomo Marcello

B. Marcello - Cantata per alto S.240 "Cassandra" 

Nicola Antonio Porpora

Nicola Antonio Porpora (or Niccolò Porpora) (17 August 1686 – 3 March 1768) was a Neapolitan composer of Baroque operas and teacher of singing, whose most famous singing student was the castrato Farinelli. Other students included composers Matteo Capranica and Joseph Haydn.


Porpora was born in Naples. He graduated from the music conservatory Poveri di Gesù Cristo of his native city, where the civic opera scene was dominated by Alessandro Scarlatti. Porpora's first opera, Agrippina, was successfully performed at the Neapolitan court in 1708. His second, Berenice, was performed at Rome. In a long career, he followed these up by many further operas, supported as maestro di cappella in the households of aristocratic patrons, such as the commander of military forces at Naples, prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, or of the Portuguese ambassador at Rome, for composing operas alone did not yet make a viable career. However, his enduring fame rests chiefly upon his unequalled power of teaching singing. At the Neapolitan Conservatorio di Sant'Onofrio and with the Poveri di Gesù Cristo he trained Farinelli, Caffarelli, Salimbeni, and other celebrated vocalists, during the period 1715 to 1721. In 1720 and 1721 he wrote two serenades to libretti by a gifted young poet, Metastasio, the beginning of a long, though interrupted, collaboration. In 1722 his operatic successes encouraged him to lay down his conservatory commitments.

After a rebuff from the court of Charles VI at Vienna in 1725, Porpora settled mostly in Venice, composing and teaching regularly in the schools of La Pietà and the Incurabili. In 1729 the anti-Handel clique invited him to London to set up an opera company as a rival to Handel's, without success, and in the 1733–1734 season, even the presence of his pupil, the great Farinelli, failed to save the dramatic company in Lincoln's Inn Fields (the "Opera of the Nobility") from bankruptcy.

An interval as Kapellmeister at the Dresden court of the Elector of Saxony and Polish King Augustus from 1748 ended in strained relations with his rival in Venice and Rome, the hugely successful opera composer Johann Adolph Hasse and his wife, the prima donna Faustina, and resulted in Porpora's departure in 1752.

In 1753 Porpora spent three summer months, with Haydn in tow, at the spa town Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge. His function there was to continue the singing lessons of the mistress of the ambassador of Venice to the Austrian Empire, Pietro Correr.

Porpora returned in 1759 to Naples.

Besides some four dozen operas, there are oratorios, solo cantatas with keyboard accompaniment, motets and vocal serenades. Among his larger works, his 1720 opera Orlando, one mass, his Venetian Vespers, and the opera Arianna in Nasso (1733 according to HOASM) have been recorded.

Nicola Antonio Porpora - Cello Concerto in G

Nicola Porpora - Salve Regina

Nicola Porpora - Laudate pueri

Nicola Porpora - Magnificat

N. Porpora: 6 Sonate da Chiesa 
1. Sonata No.6 in C major  0:15 
2. Sonata No.11 in D major  12:32 
3. Sonata No.5 in G minor  25:16 
4. Sonata No.8 in C major  37:13 
5. Sonata No.2 in G major  48:17 
6. Sonata No.12 in D minor  57:15 

Nicola Porpora - De profundis clamavi (1744)

​Nicola Antonio Porpora

Nicola Porpora - Nisi Dominus




Giovanni Battista Degli Antonii's Op. 1, Ricercate, is published in Bologna. The set features some of the earliest printed music for solo cello.

G. B. Degli Antonii - Ricercate sopra in Violoncello Op.1
1. Ricercata No.1 0:00
2. Ricercata No.2 4:09
3. Ricercata No.3 9:22
4. Ricercata No.4 13:22
5. Ricercata No.5 17:28
6. Ricercata No.6 21:32
7. Ricercata No.7 26:52
8. Ricercata No.8 31:40
9. Ricercata No.9 36:11
10. Ricercata No.10 39:18
11. Ricercata No.11 43:44
12. Ricercata No.12 48:06

22 March
Composer Jean-Baptiste Lully dies from gangrene, aged 54, in Paris. He had fatally wounded himself several weeks earlier by striking his foot with a heavy conductor’s staff while rehearsing his Te Deum.

Jean-Baptiste Lully - Te Deum

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre becomes the first French woman to publish a set of harpsichord works with her Pieces de clavecin.

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre:Pièces de Clavecin

Dutch composer Johann Adam Reincken issues a set of six sonatas and suites in Hortus musicus (Music Garden), for two violins, viol and eontinuo.

With this accomplished and diverse collection, Reincken intends to cast an unforgiving light on inept composers and banish them from the ‘sacred garden of music’.

Johann Adam Reincken - Hortus Musicus IV in D minor

Arcangelo Corelli becomes musical director at the palace of Cardinal Pamphili, in Rome.

24 August
Michael Wise, aged about 40, is ‘knock’d on the head and kill'd downright by the Night Watch at Salisbury for giving stubborne and refractory language to them’ (as recorded by his contemporary, Anthony Wood). It is thought that the English composer had been in a bad mood following an argument with his wife.

12 October
German lutenist-composer Sylvius Leopold Weiss is born in Breslau.

4 January
Carlo Pallavicino 
stages his last opera, La Gerusalemme liberata, in Venice.

5 December
Composer and violinist Francesco Geminiani (possibly born two days earlier) is baptised in Lucca.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss

Sylvius Leopold Weiss (12 October 1687 – 16 October 1750) was a German composer and lutenist.


Born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, also a lutenist, he served at courts in Breslau, Rome, and Dresden, where he died. Until recently, he was thought to have been born in 1686, but recent evidence suggests that he was in fact born the following year.

Weiss was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. He was a teacher to Philip Hyacinth, 4th Prince Lobkowicz, and the prince's second wife Anna Wilhelmina Althan.

In later life, Weiss became a friend of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and met J.S. Bach through him. Bach and Weiss were said to have competed in improvisation, as the following account by Johann Friedrich Reichardt describes:

"Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoint on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyewitnesses that Weiss, the great lutenist, challenged J. S. Bach, the great harpsichordist and organist, at playing fantasies and fugues."

Sylvius Weiss' son Johann Adolph Faustinus Weiss succeeded him as a Saxon court lutenist.
Weiss probably wrote more than 1000 pieces for lute,from which about 850 attributed pieces survived, most of them grouped into 'sonatas' (not to be confused with the later classical sonata, based on sonata form) or suites, which consist mostly of baroque dance pieces. Weiss also wrote chamber pieces and concertos, but only the solo parts have survived for most of them.

Silvius Leopold Weiss -
Lute Suites N 1, 2, 3 - 4, 5, 6 - 7, 8, 9 - 10,11,12 - 21, 22, 23

Silvius Leopold Weiss - Lute Concerti

Weiss - Lute Sonatas 15 - 48 - 19 - 34 - 36 - 32 - 52 - 94

Francesco Geminiani

Francesco Saverio Geminiani (baptised 5 December 1687 – 17 September 1762) was an Italian violinist, composer, and music theorist.


Born at Lucca, he received lessons in music from Alessandro Scarlatti, and studied the violin under Carlo Ambrogio Lonati in Milan and afterwards under Arcangelo Corelli. From 1707 he took the place of his father in the Cappella Palatina of Lucca. From 1711, he led the opera orchestra at Naples, as Leader of the Opera Orchestra and concertmaster, which gave him many opportunities for contact with Alessandro Scarlatti. After a brief return to Lucca, in 1714, he set off for London in the company of Francesco Barsanti, where he arrived with the reputation of a virtuoso violinist, and soon attracted attention and patrons, including William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex, who remained a consistent patron. In 1715 Geminiani played his violin concerti for the court of George I, with Handel at the keyboard. In the mid-1720s he became a freemason in London, notably as a leading member of the short-lived lodge Philo-Musicae et Architecturae Societas (1725–27) at the Queen's Head tavern on Fleet Street. He seems to have retained his masonic connections thereafter.

Geminiani made a living by teaching and writing music, and tried to keep pace with his passion for collecting by dealing in art, not always successfully. Many of his students went on to have successful careers, such as Charles Avison, Matthew Dubourg, Michael Christian Festing, Bernhard Joachim Hagen and Cecilia Young. See: List of music students by teacher: G to J#Francesco Geminiani.

After visiting Paris and living there for some time, he returned to England in 1755. In 1761, on one of his sojourns in Dublin, a servant robbed him of a musical manuscript on which he had bestowed much time and labour. His vexation at this loss is said to have hastened his death. He died and was buried in Dublin, but his remains were later reburied in the city of his birth, in the church of San Francesco, Lucca.

He appears to have been a first-rate violinist. His Italian pupils reportedly called him Il Furibondo, the Madman, because of his expressive rhythms.

Geminiani's best-known compositions are three sets of concerti grossi; his Opus 2 (1732), Opus 3 (1733) and Opus 7 (1746) (there are 42 concerti in all) which introduce the viola as a member of the concertino group of soloists, making them essentially concerti for string quartet. These works are deeply contrapuntal to please a London audience still in love with Corelli, compared to the galant work that was fashionable on the Continent at the time of their composition. Geminiani also reworked his teacher Corelli's Opp. 1, 3 and 5 into concerti grossi.

Geminiani's significance today is largely due to his 1731 treatise Art of Playing the Violin, published in London, which is the best known summation of the 18th-century Italian method of violin playing and is an invaluable source for the study of late Baroque performance practice. 

Francesco Geminiani 12 Concerti grossi after Corelli sonatas op.5
No.1 in G major 0:00
No.2 in B flat major 9:38
No.3 in C major 19:19
No.4 in F major 28:58
No.5 in G minor 39:25
No.6 in A major 48:12

Francesco Geminiani 12 Concerti grossi after Corelli sonatas op.5
No.7 in D minor 0:00
No.8 in E minor 8:39
No.9 in A major 19:20
No.10 in F major 29:25
No.11 in E major 39:29 
No.12 in D minor La Folia 47:23

Francesco Geminiani - 6 Concerti grossi, Op. 3

Concerto n. 1 in re maggiore

Concerto n. 2 in sol minore   8:28

Concerto n. 3 in mi minore   17:51

Concerto n. 4 in re minore   25:42

Concerto n. 5 in si bemolle maggiore   33:02

Concerto n. 6 in mi minore   40:06

Francesco Geminiani Violin Sonata
00:01 Violin SonataOp 4 No.5 in A minor
10:11 Violin Sonata Op 4 No.1 in D major
21:13 Violin Sonata Op 4 No.8 in D minor
29:26 Violin Sonata Op 4 No.9 in C minor
41:05 Violin Sonata Op 4 No.10 in A major

Francesco Geminiani - Sonates pour Violoncello

Francesco Geminiani "La Foresta incantata"

Sylvius Leopold Weiss
Francesco Geminiani


Johann Kuhnau publishes his student dissertation De

juribus circa musicos ecclesiasticos (On the Laws Governing Church Musicians). He begins to practise law, but continues as organist to the Thomaskirehe in Leipzig.

29 January
Italian opera composer Carlo Pallavicino dies in Dresden, aged about 47.

Henry Purcell provides incidental music for Thomas D’Urfey's comedy A Fool’s Preferment.

Giuseppe Torelli publishes his Concertino per camera for violin and cello, dedicated to Francesco II, Duke of Modena.

28 February
Marc-Antoine Charpentier's sacred opera David et Jonathas is first performed at the College de Louis-le-Grand, Paris, between the acts of Pierre Chamillart’s spoken drama Saul.

Charpentier - David et Jonathas

Johann Jacob Walther publishes his second surviving collection of violin music, the entertaining Hortulus chelicus, in Mainz. As in his Scherzi of 1676, Walther explores the technical and expressive capabilities of the violin, including descriptive effects of other instruments such as timpani, trumpets and bagpipes, as well as a variety of birds. 

J. J. Walther: Hortulus Chelicus (1688) - Suites for violin

26 November
French dramatist and librettist Philippe Quinault (1635-1688) dies in Paris, aged 53. Jean-Baptiste Lully’s loyal collaborator, he is remembered is a pioneering figure in the development of French opera.



Court harpsichordist Jean-Henri D’Anglebert issues his elaborate Pieces de clavecin, containing some of the finest French keyboard music of the age. Beautifully engraved, the influential publication includes four suites, six organ pieces, and transcriptions of dances, airs and overtures from stageworks by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Also supplied is a comprehensive table of ornaments, which becomes a valuable reference for both French and German composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach.

Jean-Henry D'Anglebert - Pièces de clavecin (1/2)
Piezas en Sol mayor/G major/sol majeur/G-Dur:
01. Prélude - 02. Allemande - 03. Courante et double
04. 2ª Courante - 05. 3ª Courante - 06. Sarabande
07. Gigue - 08. 2ª Gigue - 09. Gaillarde
10. Chaconne Rondeau - 11. Gavotte - 12. Menuet
13. Ouverture de Cadmus
14. Ritournelle des Fées de Roland
15. Menuet "Dans nos Bois" - 16. Chaconne de Phaëton

Piezas en re menor/D minor/ré mineur/d-Moll:
17. Prélude - 18. Allemande - 19. Courante et double
20. 2ª Courante - 21. Sarabande grave
22. Sarabande - 23. Gigue - 24. Gaillarde
25. Gavotte - 26. Menuet - 27. Ouverture de Proserpine
28. "Folies d'Espagne"

Piezas en Do mayor/C major/ut majeur/C-Dur:
29. Prélude - 30. Allemande - 31. Gaillarde et double
32. Chaconne

Jean-Henry D'Anglebert - Pièces de clavecin (2/2)
Piezas en sol menor/G minor/sol mineur/g-Moll
01. Prélude  - 02. Allemande - 03. Courante
04. 2ª Courante - 05. Courante de Lully et double
06. Sarabande - 07. Sarabande de Lully "Dieu des Enfers"
08. Gigue - 09. Gigue de Lully - 10. Gaillarde
11. Passacaille - 12. Menuet "La jeune Iris"
13. Gavotte "Où estes vous allé?"
14. Gavotte "Le beau berger Tircis"
15. "La Bergère Annette" - 16. Ouverture de la Mascarade
17. Les Sourdines d'Armide
18. Les Songes agréables d'Atys
19. Air d'Apollon du Triomphe de l'Amour
20. Menuet de Poitou - 21. Passacaille d'Armide

Piezas en Re mayor/D major/ré majeur/D-Dur
22. Allemande - 23. Courante - 24. 2ª Courante
25. Sarabande - 26. Gigue - 27. Chaconne de Galatée
28. Chaconne Rondeau
29. Tombeau de M. de Chambonnières

Piezas en la menor/A minor/la mineur/a-Moll
30. Gaillarde - 31. Courante - 32. Sarabande et double
33. Gigue

Giovanni Legrenzi, declining in health, brings out his final book of sacred concertos for two to three voices (Book III, Op. 15), in Venice.

Legrenzi: Op. 16 - Sonate e Correnti a cinque stromenti
I. Balletto II in G minor - 0:05
II. Corrente II in G minor - 0:46
III. Balletto IV in E minor - 2:07
IV. Corrente IV in E minor - 4:04
V. Balletto VI in F major - 5:07
VI. Corrente VI in F major - 7:07

London publisher Playford issues The Second Part of Musick’s Handmaid, including keyboard works by John Blow and Henry Purcell.

Giovanni Battista Vitali, vicemaestro di cappella to the Duke of Modena, publishes his instructive Artifici musicali (Musical Skills), comprising 60 pieces of increasing difficulty for a variety of instruments, with rules of counterpoint explained.

11 January
Pascal Collasse’s mythological Thetis et Pelee (Thetis and Peleus) premieres with enormous success at the Paris Opera.

30 January
Agostino Steffani’s opera Henrico Leone opens Hanover’s Grosses Schlosstheater.

Agostino Steffani - Enrico Leone - Hannover, 1689

Arcangelo Corelli directs an orchestra of over 80 players (including 39 violins, ten violas, 17 cellos and ten basses) at the palace of Cardinal Pamphili in Rome, in honour of the visiting Cardinal Rinaldo d’Este. This year marks the publication of the composer’s Op. 3, 12 sonate da chiesa. The set is dedicated to Duke Francesco II d’Este who rewards Corelli with 100 ounces of silver and a beautiful silver dish.

Arcangelo Corelli - 12 Sonate da Chiesa Op.3

Sonata n. 1 in fa maggiore

Sonata n. 2 in re maggiore   7:51

Sonata n. 3 in si bemolle maggiore   16:04

Sonata n. 4 in si minore   23:31

Sonata n. 5 in re minore   30:58

Sonata n. 6 in sol maggiore   37:52

Sonata n. 7 in mi minore    45:35

Sonata n. 8 in do maggiore    53:51

Sonata n. 9 in fa minore    1:00:37

Sonata n. 10 in la minore    1:08:19

Sonata n. 11 in sol minore    1:13:04

Sonata n. 12 in la maggiore    1:19:57

Henry Purcell and librettist Nahum Tate compress passion, excitement and heartbreak in their exquisite opera Dido and Aeneas, staged at Josias Priest's School for Young Ladies in Chelsea, London, (Josias Priest (c. 1645 – 1735) was an English dancer, dancing-master and choreographer).
Modelled on John Blow's Venus and Adonis (c. 1683), the short three-act tragedy may have been performed previously at court. It is Purcells only theatrical work scored throughout.

Johann Kaspar Kerll’s Missa sex is published in Munich. The collection contains six concertato masses and one Requiem; the latter the composer hopes to have performed at his own funeral.

Johann Caspar Kerll - Missa Non Sine Quare

11 April
John Blow’s delightful ‘full with verse’ anthem The Lord God is a Sun and a Shield is first performed for the coronation of King William and Queen Mary.

John Blow, God is our hope and strength

Johann Kuhnau, organist at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, publishes seven keyboard suites in Neuer Clavier-Ubung erster Theil, each in a different major key (C, D, E, F, G, A and B flat).

Johann Kuhnau - Partie V in G major (from Neue Clavier-Übung, Part I, 1689)

19 April
Exiled Queen Christina of Sweden, champion of the arts, dies in Rome aged 62.

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French composer, born.

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (23 December 1689 – 28 October 1755) was a French baroque composer of instrumental music, cantatas, opéra-ballets, and vocal music. Boismortier was one of the first composers to have no patrons: having obtained a royal licence for engraving music in 1724, he made enormous sums of money by publishing his music for sale to the public.

The Boismortier family moved from the composer's birthplace in Thionville (in Lorraine) to the town of Metz where he received his musical education from Joseph Valette de Montigny, a well-known composer of motets. The Boismortier family then followed Montigny and moved to Perpignan in 1713 where Boismortier found employment in the Royal Tobacco Control. Boismortier married Marie Valette, the daughter of a rich goldsmith and a relative of his teacher Montigny.

In 1724 Boismortier and his wife moved to Paris where he began a prodigious composition career, writing for many instruments and voices. He was prolific: his first works appeared in Paris in 1724, and by 1747 he had published more than 100 works in various vocal and instrumental combinations. His music, particularly for the voice, was extremely popular and made him wealthy without the aid of patrons. He died in Roissy-en-Brie.

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier Ballets de Village, Serenade

Boismortier - Sonatas for flute & harpsichord op.91
Sonata No.3 in G Major 
Sonata No.4 in E Minor 10:28
Sonata No.1 in D major 21:52
Sonata No.2 G Minor 34:17
Sonata No.5 in A Major 45:06
Sonata No.6 in C Minor 57:46

J. B. de Boismortier - Première sérénade (Op. 39)

Boismortier  6 Concertos for 5 Flutes Op. 15, Le

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier




Aged 21, Francois Couperin publishes some of the finest French keyboard music of the period with the two organ masses of his Pieces d’orgue.

Francois Couperin - Plainte des mêmes (Orgue)

Emperor Leopold I ennobles Biber. The composer gains the title Biber von Bibern.

A. Scarlatti - Opera La Statira Aria 'lo non son di quei campioni'

With his VI Sonatas or Solo’s, the Moravian composer Gottfried Finger issues the earliest known English print of sonatas for solo instrument and continuo.

Gottfried Finger - Sonata in C for Trumpet, violin, Oboe and Continuo

27 May
Composer Giovanni Legrenzi dies in Venice, aged 

Georg Muffat is appointed Kapellmeister to Johann Philipp von Lamberg, Bishop of Passau.

Late May
The actor-director Thomas Betterton collaborates with Henry Purcell on the semi-opera Dioclesian at the Dorset Garden Theatre, London.

Henry Purcell - Prophetess or The History of Dioclesian

Wolfgang Printz publishes the first German history of music with his Historische Beschreibung der edelen Sing- und Kling-Kunst.

6 August
Antonio Lotti, aged 24, becomes second organist’s assistant at St Mark’s, Venice. He will eventually rise to maestro di cappella, but not for another 46 years.

Johann Pachelbel becomes organist to the Wurttemberg court in Stuttgart.

Leonardo Vinci, Italian composer, born.

Francesco Maria Veracini, Italian composer, born.

Leonardo Vinci

Leonardo Vinci (1690 – 27 May 1730) was an Italian composer, best known for his operas.

He was born at Strongoli and educated at Naples under Gaetano Greco in the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo. He first became known for his opere buffe in Neapolitan dialect in 1719; he also composed many opere serie. He was received into the Congregation of the Rosary at Formiello in 1728. He died in May 1730. Vinci is rumoured to have been poisoned by a jealous husband in the wake of an ill-advised affair, a story which is given by several reliable authorities without evident contradictions.

Vinci's opere buffe, of which Li zite 'ngalera (1722) is generally regarded as the best, are full of life and spirit; his opere serie, of which Didone Abbandonata (Rome, 1726) and Artaserse (Rome, 1730) are the most notable, have an incisive vigour and directness of dramatic expression praised by Charles Burney. The well-known aria "Vo solcando," from Artaserse, is a good example of his style. In 2015 Decca released a Parnassus Arts Productions recording of his 3-act opera seria Catone in Utica (Rome, 1728).

Leonardo Vinci - Artaserse 1-3

Leonardo Vinci - Artaserse 2-3

Leonardo Vinci - Artaserse 3-3

Leonardo Vinci - Didone Abbandonata 1-2

Leonardo Vinci - Didone Abbandonata 2-2

Francesco Maria Veracini

Francesco Maria Veracini (1 February 1690 – 31 October 1768) was an Italian composer and violinist, perhaps best known for his sets of violin sonatas.

One of the great violinists of early eighteenth century Italy, Francesco Veracini played so well that he intimidated even virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini.

Veracini spent his youth in his native Florence, but established himself in Venice in 1711. There he played in various church orchestras, and in 1712 a performance of his so impressed Tartini that the latter withdrew for a while to study better use of the bow. During this time Pietro Locatelli, another great violinist-to-be, probaby studied with Veracini.

In 1714, Veracini performed in London; he spent the following year in Germany, and after further travels he obtained a court position in Dresden in 1717 at an impressive salary. In August 1722, though, he found himself hurtling to the ground from a third-floor window; whether this was a suicide attempt or a bungled murder remains unclear, for Veracini was not entirely lucid on the subject. He survived, but rumors of madness followed him on his subsequent journeys, including a period back in Italy working as a violinist and composing oratorios and sacred works.

Veracini returned to London in 1733, where he became a ubiquitous figure, performing everywhere and having his operas produced at the Opera of the Nobility, the chief rival of Handel's theater. 

Veracini returned to Italy for good by 1750, working primarily as a church musician in Florence, mainly composing and conducting, but also occasionally playing the violin into his seventies.

Francesco Maria Veracini - Op. 1, Sonate per violino e basso continuo (pt 1, sonate 1-7)

Francesco Maria Veracini - 6 Sonatas for flute and bass

Francesco Maria Veracini  - Dissertazioni sull' Op V del Corelli

Francesco Maria Veracini - Sonata Accademiche
1. Sonata no.8 E-minor : 0:00
2. Sonata no.12 D-minor : 13:25
3. Sonata no.5 G-minor : 28:51
4 Sonata no.7 D-minor : 33:45

Francesco Maria Veracini - 5 Ouvertures

Leonardo Vinci
Francesco Maria Veracini

Benedetto Gennari – Death of Cleopatra

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