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Baroque Era

France and Savoy (It) sign Peace Treaty of Turin, marking beginning of end of the War of the League of Augsburg; League powers cease all fighting in Italy • Tsar Petr I (Russ) seizes Azov from Turks • English parliament imposes the Window Tax, which continues until 1851 • Jacob de Heusch – River View with the Ponte Rotto

Treaty of Ryswick ends War of the League of Augsburg between France and the Grand Alliance • Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy defeats Turkish armies at Battle of Zenta • King Karl XI of Sweden dies; succeeded by Karl XII, aged 15 • J Dryden (Eng): poem
Alexander’s Feast
First Treaty of Partition: France, England, Floly Roman Empire and Netherlands agree on how Spanish inheritance shall be divided when childless Carlos II (Sp) dies; Carlos (not consulted) makes Josef Ferdinand (Bavaria) his heir • Henry Winstanley’s Eddystone Lighthouse, off Plymouth (Eng), completed

Austria, Poland and Venice end war with Turks with Treaty of Karlowitz: Turks lose territories to all three opponents • Navigator William Dampier (Eng) begins a two-year voyage to East Indies, north-west Australia, New Guinea and Ascension Island

Second Treaty of Partition fails to settle Spanish succession: King Carlos II names Philippe of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV (Fr), his sole heir and dies six weeks later; Spain accepts Philippe as Felipe V • Russia ends war with Turkey • Start of Great Northern War: Russia, Poland and Denmark attack Sweden, in effort to break Swedish Baltic supremacy • Mathematician Baron Gottfried von Leibnitz becomes first president of Prussian Academy of Science


Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (1646 – 1716) was a German polymath and philosopher who occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy,
having developed differential and integral calculus
independently of Isaac Newton.



Dietrich Buxtehude publishes a second set of string sonatas, VII suonate (Op. 2), a first set having been published about two years earlier.

Dietrich Buxtehude - Sonata Op. 2
00:00 No1 in B flat major BuxWV259
08:23 No2 in D major BuxWV260
17:20 No3 in G minor BuxWV261
28:01 No4 in C minor BuxWV262
36:28 No5 in A major BuxWV263
45:33 No6 in E major BuxWV264
54:02 No7 in F major BuxWV265

Wolfgang Printz publishes his influential musical treatise Phrynis Mitilenaeus, oder Satyrischer Componist.

Henry Purcell's A Choice Collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord or Spinnet is published posthumously in London. It is the first English keyboard collection devoted exclusively to one composer.

Purcell - Works for harpsichord

Francis Couperin buys ennoblement and his own coat of arms, having served the French royal court for three years. Louis XIV has enabled social climbing through an edict that allows those of means and dignified occupation to purchase a title.

27 June
Composer Michel Lambert dies in Paris, aged about 86.

Around this time Reinhard Keiser, in his early 20s, becomes director of the Hamburg Opera, succeeding Johann Sigismund Kusser.

Johann Kuhnau publishes Frische Clavier-Fruchte, oder sieben Suonaten (Fresh Keyboard Fruit, or Seven Sonatas) in Leipzig.

Johann Kuhnau - Fresh Keyboard Fruits

Johann Melchior Molter, German composer, born.

12 August
Composer Maurice Greene is born in London.


27 December
Giovanni Bononcini's opera Il trionfo di Camilla (The Triumph of Camilla) is premiered with resounding success at the Teatro San Bartolomeo, Naples. During the early 18th century this opera seria swings the tastes of the London public towards Italian opera.

Giovanni Bononcini, arr. N. F. Haym: «Camilla»
Dramma per musica in 3 acts
Libretto: Silvio Stampiglia
Version for London: Nicola Francesco Haym

​Maurice Greene

Maurice Greene

Maurice Greene (12 August 1696 – 1 December 1755) was an English composer and organist.

Born in London, the son of a clergyman, Greene became a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral under Jeremiah Clarke and Charles King. He studied the organ under Richard Brind, and after Brind died, Greene became organist at St Paul's.

With the death of William Croft in 1727, Greene became organist at the Chapel Royal, and in 1730 he became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. In 1735 he was appointed Master of the King's Musick. At his death, Greene was working on the compilation Cathedral Music, which his student and successor as Master of the King's Musick, William Boyce, was to complete. Many items from that collection are still used in Anglican services today.

He wrote very competent music in the Georgian style, particularly long Verse Anthems. His acknowledged masterpiece, Lord, let me know mine end, is a representative example. Greene sets a text full of pathos using a polyphonic texture over a continuous instrumental walking bass, with a particularly effective treble duet in the middle of the work. Both this section and the end of the anthem contain superb examples of the Neapolitan sixth chord.

Maurice Greene - Lord let me know mine end

Maurice Greene: 6 Overtures in seven parts

No. 1 in D major: Allegro assai - Andante - Vivace

No. 2 in G major: (Con spirito) - Allegro Andante - Allegro 

No. 3 in C major: (Con spirito) - Allegro assai - Allegro ma non troppo

No. 4 in E major: Con spirito - Allegro - Moderato - Allegro

No. 5 in D major: Allegro - Andante Vivace - Presto

No. 6 in E flat major: Con spirito - Allegro - Moderato - Presto

Overture to Phoebe: Allegro - Moderato

Ode to St. Cecilia: Overture

Voluntaries - Maurice Greene

Johann Melchior Molter

Johann Melchior Molter (10 February 1696 – 12 January 1765) was a German baroque composer and violinist.


He was born at Tiefenort, near Eisenach, and was educated at the Gymnasium in Eisenach. By autumn 1717 he had left Eisenach and was working as a violinist in Karlsruhe. Here he married Maria Salome Rollwagen, with whom he had eight children. From 1722 to 1733 he was court Kapellmeister at Karlsruhe. In 1734 he became Kapellmeister at the court of Duke Wilhelm Heinrich of Saxe-Eisenach.

Maria died in 1737; by 1742 Molter had married Maria Christina Wagner. In that year he returned to Karlsruhe and began teaching at the gymnasium there. From 1747 to his death Molter was employed by Margrave Carl Friedrich of Baden-Durlach, the son of his first employer. He died at Karlsruhe.

Molter's surviving works include an oratorio; several cantatas; over 140 symphonies, overtures, and other works for orchestra; many concertos, including some of the first clarinet concertos ever written; and many pieces of chamber music.

Johann Melchior Molter - Concertos for Trunmpet

1. Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in D major, MWV4/12  0:00
2. Trumpet Concerto No. 2 in D major, MWV4/13  9:36 
3. Trumpet Concerto No. 3 in D major, MWV4/14  21:01
4. Trumpet Concerto in D major, MWV4/35  31:02
5. Concerto for 2 trumpets & orchestra, MWV4/7  40:07
6. Concerto for 2 trumpets & orchestra, MWV4/8  46:09
7. Concerto for 2 trumpets, strings & continuo, MWV4/9  52:24
8. Concerto for 2 trumpets,  in D major, MWV 4/10  59:17
9. Concerto for 2 trumpets & orchestra, MWV4/11  1:05:49

Johann Melchior Molter - Orchestral & Chamber Music
1. Overture in C minor, MWV 3/9  0:05
2. Sonata for flute & continuo in G minor, MWB 11/13  13:16
3. Oboe Concerto in E minor, MWV 6/21  27:39
4, Violin Sonata in F minor, Op. 1/6, MWV 11/6  36:49
5. Ouverture in F major, MWV 3/13  50:50

Johann Melchior Molter


Around this time the keyboard virtuoso Bernardo Pasquini pens his Partite diversi di follia variations.

Partite diverse di follia - Bernardo Pasquini

30 January
German composer, flute player and maker Johann Joachim Quantz is born in Oberscheden, Hanover.

10 May
French composer and violinist Jean-Marie Leclair is born in Lyons.

24 October
The earliest known opera-ballet, L’Europe galante by Andre Campra and librettist Antoine Houdar de Lamotte, is introduced at the Paris Opera. Featuring spoken drama, dances and airs, the work presents four stories of love and intrigue, set in Franee, Spain, Italy and Turkey. While the genre of opera-ballet is not as dramatic as opera, it reflects the spirit of the Enlightenment with true-to-life characters in modern-day settings.

Andre Campra: «L'Europe Galante»

15 December

Alessandro Scarlatti collaborates for the first time with librettist Silvio Stampiglia, enjoying great success with La caduta de’ Decemviri (The Downfall of the Ten Judges) at the Teatro San Bartolomeo, Naples.

A. Scarlatti - Spesso vibra per suo gioco (La caduta de' Decemviri)

Johann Joachim Quantz

Johann Joachim Quantz, (born Jan. 30, 1697, Oberscheden, near Göttingen [Germany]—died July 12, 1773, Potsdam, Brandenburg), German composer and flute virtuoso who left an important treatise on the flute and who made mechanical improvements in the instrument.


Quantz obtained posts at Radeberg and Dresden and in 1717 studied counterpoint in Vienna with Johann Zelenka and Johann Fux. In 1718 he became oboist in the Polish court chapel. About this time he began to play the flute. In 1728 he became flute instructor to the Crown Prince of Prussia, later Frederick the Great, who after becoming king in 1740 persuaded Quantz in 1741 to settle in Berlin as chamber musician and court composer.

Quantz composed about 300 concerti and 200 other flute pieces for Frederick the Great. His treatise on playing the transverse flute, Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen (1752), was reprinted many times. It contains valuable information on ornamentation and performance practices of the 18th century. He added a second key to the flute and invented the sliding end used to tune the instrument.

Frederick the Great playing a flute concerto in Sanssouci, C. P. E. Bach at the harpsichord,
Johann Joachim Quantz is leaning on the wall to the right;
by Adolph Menzel, 1852.

Johann Joachim Quantz - Flute Concertos

1. Concerto in G minor QV 5:196 0:00
2. Concerto in D minor QV 5:86  16:49
3. Concerto in A minor OV 5:236  28:07
4. Concerto in G major OV 5:173  46:33

Johann Joachim Quantz - Flute Sonatas N 272 - 277

Johann Joachim Quantz - Flute Duets

Jean-Marie Leclair

Jean-Marie Leclair l'aîné, also known as Jean-Marie Leclair the Elder, (10 May 1697 – 22 October 1764) was a Baroque violinist and composer. He is considered to have founded the French violin school. His brothers Jean-Marie Leclair the younger (1703–77), Pierre Leclair (1709–84) and Jean-Benoît Leclair (1714–after 1759) were also musicians.

Leclair was born in Lyon, but left to study dance and the violin in Turin. In 1716, he married Marie-Rose Casthanie, a dancer, who died about 1728. Leclair had returned to Paris in 1723, where he played at the Concert Spirituel, the main semi-public music series. His works included several sonatas for flute and basso continuo.

In 1730, Leclair married for the second time. His new wife was the engraver Louise Roussel, who prepared for printing all his works from Opus 2 onward. Named ordinaire de la musique by Louis XV in 1733, Leclair resigned in 1737 after a clash with Guidon over control of the musique du Roy.

Leclair was then engaged by the Princess of Orange – a fine harpsichordist and former student of Handel – and from 1738 until 1743, served three months annually at her court in Leeuwarden, working in The Hague as a private maestro di cappella for the remainder of the year. He returned to Paris in 1743. His only opera Scylla et Glaucus was first performed in 1746 and has been revived in modern times. From 1740 until his death in Paris, he served the Duke of Gramont, in whose private theatre at Puteaux were staged works to which Leclair is known to have contributed. They included, in particular, a lengthy divertissement for the comedy Les danger des épreuves (1749) and one complete entrée, Apollon et Climène, for the opéra-ballet by various authors, Les amusemens lyriques (1750).

Leclair was renowned as a violinist and as a composer. He successfully drew upon all of Europe's national styles. Many suites, sonatas, and concertos survive along with his opera, while some vocal works, ballets, and other stage music is lost.
In 1758, after the break-up of his second marriage, Leclair purchased a small house in a dangerous Parisian neighborhood, where he was found stabbed to death on October 23, 1764. Although the murder remains a mystery, there is a possibility that his ex-wife may have been behind it – her motive being financial gain – although the strongest suspicion rests on his nephew, Guillaume-François Vial.

Jean Marie Leclair - Violin Sonatas Op.9 N.1, 3, 5, 8

Jean-Marie Leclair - Violin Concertos - Vol 1, 2, 3

Leclair - Violin Sonatas Op 2 No.1, 5, 8, 6, 7, 9 and 12

Jean Marie Leclair - Sonata for 2 Violins Op 12 N.1-6

Jean-Marie Leclair - Flute Sonatas

Jean Marie Leclair - Troisieme Livre de Sonates Op. 5

Johann Joachim Quantz
Jean-Marie Leclair


Johann Joseph Fux's music is criticised by the Italian contingent of Leopold I's Viennese court after they hear a mass by the Austrian composer. A second mass, presented as the work of an anonymous Italian composer, is received enthusiastically by the Italians. They suffer double dismay: not only finding out that the work is in fact by Fux, but also witnessing his subsequent appointment as court composer.

Johann Joseph Fux - Missa Purificationis

Georg Muffat publishes a second volume of French-style music in his Florilegium secundum, consisting of eight orchestral suites together with instructions on bowing and ornamentation.

Georg Muffat - Florilegium Secundum - II

Giuseppe Torelli, maestro di concerto to the Margrave of Brandenburg in Augsburg, publishes his lively 12 Concetti musicali a quattro (Op. 6), set variously in three and four movements. Concertos Nos. 6, 10 and 12 introduce passages with solo violin, anticipating the high Baroque solo concerto.    

Giuseppe Torelli: Op. 6 n. 7 - Concerto musicale a quattro for strings & b.c. in C major

Giuseppe Torelli Concerto Op.6, No. 10

Giuseppe Torelli - Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in C Minor Op. 6

An anthology of songs by Henry Purcell is published posthumously in London, entitled Orpheus Britannicus.    

Henry Purcell: Orpheus Britannicus

Henry Purcell – de Orpheus Britannicus

3 January
Italian poet and librettist Pietro Metastasio is born in Rome.

28 June
Marc-Antoine Charpentier is appointed maitre de musique of the Sainte Chapelle in the Palais de Justice, Paris.

Pietro Metastasio

Pietro Metastasio [Trapassi], (b. Rome, January 3, 1698; d. Vienna, April 12, 1782).


ITALIAN POET AND LIBRETTIST. Born into modest circumstances, he benefited during childhood and adolescence from the patronage of the most privileged cadre of Roman society. His godfather was Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, a grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII, and he was adopted at the age of ten by Gianvincenzo Gravina, a distinguished Roman jurist who saw to his education and arranged for his name to be changed from Trapassi (meaning “change” or “passage”) to its Greek equivalent, Metastasio.

Following Gravina’s death in 1718, Metastasio made his way as a poet, producing works on commission for a number of noble families. Thanks to the connections that had been forged for him during his youth, he was a shoo-in for the job of imperial court poet in Vienna when it came open on the retirement of Apostolo Zeno (court poet 1718-29). He retained the position for the rest of his life.

The early 18th century had seen Haps-burg Vienna emerge as one of Europe’s operatic centers. During Metastasio’s 53-year tenure as court poet, the literary conventions of opera seria became firmly fixed. His 27 opera seria librettos, written between 1723 and 1771, attracted the attention of more than 300 composers, including Johann Adolf Hasse (the poet’s favorite), Antonio Caldara, Nicola Porpora, Gluck, Georg Christoph Wag-enseil, Niccolo Jommelli, Graun, Cherubini, and Mozart. Most of Metastasio’s librettos were set dozens of times; some received more than 50 settings during a century or more of use. Metastasio’s most famous libretti are Artaserse (1730), set by Hasse, Gluck, Graun, Jommelli, Arne, Paisiello, and Cimarosa, among others; Il re pastore (1751), by Mozart, et ah; La clemenza di Tito (1734), by Hasse, Gluck, Jommelli, Mozart, et ah; L’olimpiade (1733), by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Hasse, Arne, Cimarosa, and Paisiello, among others.

The standard Metastasian plot involves three pairs of lovers, usually of noble birth, and a set of complications that is resolved in a happy, elevated ending. Invariably, virtue is exalted, vice reviled. The scene structure generally follows a three-act plan, with 12 scenes (determined by the entrance or exit of a character) to each act. The focal point of each scene is a da capo aria. Such a moralistic, hierarchical, and slow-moving formula was bound to give way as tastes changed, but it provided Italian opera seria with a durable foundation during a period of remarkable metastasis in society and musical art.

Pietro Metastasio


Antonio Caldara becomes maestro di cappella to Duke Ferdinando Gonzaga of Mantua. This same year he issues a second collection of 12 trio sonatas, Suonate da camera (Op. 2), and 12 chamber cantatas for solo voice, Cantate da camera (Op. 3).

Antonio Caldara - Suonate Da Camara A Due Violini Con Il Basso Continuo Op.2

Antonio Caldara - Cantate Sonate ed Arie

Marc-Antoine Charpentier completes his Motet pour une longue offrande (Motet for a long offertory), and composes his finest mass, the Missa Assumpta est Maria. Both works are scored for soloists, choir and orchestra, and performed at the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

Charpentier: Missa Assumpta est Maria

Nicolas de Grigny's Premier livre d’orgue is published in Paris.

Nicolas de Grigny. Livre d'orgue (1699) la messe.

Georg Muffat writes his Regulae concentuum partiturae, a treatise on continuo performance.

The 18-year-old Johann Mattheson composes his first opera, Die Plejades, in Hamburg.

Johann Pachelbel publishes Hexachordum Apollinis (Apollo’s Hexachord), his most significant collection of keyboard variations. He dedicates the volume to two compatriots: Ferdinand Tobias Richter and Dietrich Buxtehude, representing the southern and northern German keyboard schools respectively.

Johann Pachelbel - Hexachordum Apollinis

25 March
German composer Johann Adolph Hasse is baptised in Bergedorf, outside Hamburg.

3 April
Jean-Baptiste Forqueray, French composer, born.

Johann Adolph Hasse

Johann Adolph Hasse, byname Il Sassone, (born March 25, 1699, Bergedorf, near Hamburg—died Dec. 16, 1783, Venice), outstanding composer of operas in the Italian style that dominated late Baroque opera.


Hasse began his career as a singer and made his debut as a composer in 1721 with the opera Antioco. He went to Italy, where he studied with Nicola Porpora and with Alessandro Scarlatti and where his opera seria Sesostrate (1726) established his reputation; in Italy he became known as “il Sassone” (“the Saxon”). After spending several years in Venice, where he married the celebrated mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni (c. 1700–81), he became music director of the Dresden Opera (1731). He resided in Dresden from 1739 to 1763, when he retired and went to Vienna. His last work for the stage was Ruggiero (1771), written for the wedding of the archduke Ferdinand at Milan.

Hasse’s compositions include more than 60 operas, many of them to librettos by Pietro Metastasio, and nearly a dozen intermezzos, as well as oratorios, masses, and instrumental works. His music was enormously popular during his lifetime; its chief characteristics were melodic beauty and formal balance. His operatic overtures had considerable influence on the development of the symphony, especially in northern Germany.

Johann Adolph Hasse - Sonatas and Trio Sonatas

J.A. Hasse: Requiem in E-flat major

Johann Adolph Hasse - Messe in g-Moll

J.A. Hasse: Oratorio «Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena»

J.A. Hasse: Miserere in C minor

J.A. Hasse: Miserere in D minor

Jean-Baptiste Forqueray

Jean-Baptiste Forqueray (3 April 1699 – August 1782), the son of Antoine Forqueray, was a player of the viol and a composer.


Forqueray was born in Paris. He is most famous today for his 1747 publication of twenty-nine pieces for viol and continuo which he attributed to his father (except for three, for which he himself took credit). In the advertissements he states that he was responsible for the bass line (thus the figures as well) and the viol fingerings. Stylistically, they are very much influenced by Italian music and belong to the generation of Jean-Marie Leclair (1697–1764) and Jean-Pierre Guignon (1702–1774). 

Forqueray arranged the same pieces for harpsichord and published these in 1749 (ed. Colin Tilney, Paris, 1970) but remarkably did not transpose any of the music, so the melodies lie relatively low in the range of the harpsichord.

He died in Paris.

Antoine & Jean-Baptiste Forqueray Suites for Viola da Gamba and B.c.

1-6 Première Suite 0:00
7-11 Deuxième Suite 25:50
12-19 Quatrième Suite 44:53

Antoine & Jean Baptiste Forqueray Suites for Viola da Gamba and B.c. No.3 and No.5

1-7 Troisième Suite 0:00
8-14 Cinquième Suite

Johann Adolph Hasse
Jean-Baptiste Forqueray


In Venice Tomasso Albinoni publishes his Sinfonie e concern a cinque (Op. 2), comprising six sinfonie and six concerti for strings and continuo.

Tomaso Albinoni - Concerti e Sinfonie Op 2

John Blow publishes an anthology of his solo and chamber vocal music, entitled Amphion Anglicus. This year he becomes Composer to the Chapel Royal, a post created specifically for him, and composes his final ode for St Cecilias Day.

John Blow - A Ground for Violins, Amphion Anglicus

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber publishes his Missa Bruxellensis 

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber - Missa Bruxellensis 
Kyrie 00:00
Gloria 05:02
Credo 22:02
Sanctus 37:43
Agnus Dei 47:28

1 January
Arcangelo Corelli dedicates his immensely influential 12 Sonatas Op. 5 to the arts patron Sofia Carlotta of Brandenburg. Scored for violin and violone/ harpsichord and published in Rome, the duo collection will be reprinted around 50 times during the course of the 18th century. This year Corelli becomes orchestral leader at the Congregazione di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Corelli - 12 Violin Sonatas, Op.5 

16 January
Austrian composer Antonio Draghi,

Kapellmeister to Emperor Leopold I in Vienna, dies aged 65.

A contest is announced in London to determine the leading stage-music composer in England. Each applicant is required to set William Congreve’s masque The Judgment of Paris

1 April
Italian composer Marc’Antonio Ziani becomes deputy Hofkapellmeister at the imperial court in Vienna.

Around this time Bartolomeo Cristofori (May 4, 1655 – January 27, 1731), keyboard builder to the Medicis in Florence, invents a gravicembalo col piano e forte (harpsichord with soft and loud) incorporating hammer-action and dampers to replace the plucked mechanism of the traditional harpsichord. Despite the instrument’s dynamic flexibility, its volume does not exceed that of a large harpsichord. The pianoforte prototype fails to make any immediate impact.

Johann Kuhnau publishes six programmatic keyboard sonatas on Old Testament stories (Biblische Historien), including his most popular work, The Combat Between David and Goliath (Biblical Sonata No. 1). A veritable polymath—composer, music theorist, lawyer, linguist and translator—Kuhnau also publishes his satirical novel, Der musicalische Quacksalber (The Musical Charlatan), commenting on superficiality in contemporary music.

Johann Kuhnau - The Biblical Sonatas

Johann Sebastian Bach, aged 15, becomes a member of the Mettenchor (Matins choir) at St Michael in Luneburg. He continues his schooling at the affiliated Michaelisschule.

Lüneburg, some two decades before Bach's stay in that town: St Michael's pictured in lower right

30 June
John Eccles is appointed Master of the King’s Music.

The Theatre Royal in Covent Garden advertises in the London Gazette for the lost score of Henry Purcell's Fairy Queen, concluding:

‘... whosoever brings the said score or a copy thereof, to Mr Zackary Baggs, Treasurer of the said Theatre, shall have 20 guineas’.

Georg Telemann, aged 19, hears the prodigious musical talent of George Frederic Handel, aged 15, as he passes through Halle on his way to study law at Leipzig.

Jacob de Heusch – River View with the Ponte Rotto

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