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Baroque Era

Holy Roman Emperor Josef I dies; is succeeded by his brother, Karl VI • The Grand Alliance ends: negotiations begin to end the War of Spanish Succession • Turks surround the army of Petr I (Russ) forcing the Treaty of Pruth: the town of Azov is returned to Turkey • Alexander Pope (Eng): An Essay on Criticism  • 
Sebastiano Ricci - Madonna and Child with Angels
Felipe V (Sp), grandson of French king Louis XIV, is persuaded to renounce his claims to succeed to the French throne • St Petersburg becomes Russia’s capital • Alexander Pope (Eng): poem
The Rape of the Lock • Britain carries out last execution for witchcraft
Treaty of Utrecht ends War of Spanish Succession; Felipe V acknowledged as king of Spain, provided French and Spanish crowns stay separate • In Great Northern War, Swedes invade Denmark • Russo-Turkish Peace of Adrianople is signed • Anthony Collins (Eng):
A Discourse of Free-Thinking • Richard Steele (Ire) founds the periodical The Guardian 
Queen Anne (UK) dies; is succeeded by the Elector Georg of Hanover, as George I • Russians defeat Swedes at Storkyro and gain control of Finland • Physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit (Ger) develops a mercury thermometer • English agricultural reformer Jethro Tull introduces a horse-drawn hoe • King Felipe V bans use of the Catalan language in Spain • Daniel Defoe (Eng):
A General History of Trade
Louis XIV (Fr) dies; is succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson Louis XV • The Spanish Netherlands (Belgium) pass to Austria • Alain-René Lesage  Lesage (Fr):
Gil Bias (Vol. I) • Isaac Watts (Eng) completes the earliest English children's hymnal 

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) was an 18th-century English poet. He is best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer, and he is also famous for his use of the heroic couplet. He is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.



Around this time Francesco Geminiani suffers a humiliating demotion in Naples: he loses his position of leader of the opera orchestra and is forced into the viola section. Apparently he has trouble playing in time.

George Frideric Handel leaves England and returns (via Dusseldorf) to his post at the electoral court in Hanover.

Michel Pignolet de Monteclair publishes the first French violin tutor, Methods facile pour apprendre djouer du violon.

24 February
George Frideric Handel and librettist Giacomo Rossi score an instant hit with the Italian-sung opera Rinaldo, premiered at the Queens Theatre in London. Composed in just two weeks with a mixture of recycled material and new music, it is the earliest surviving Italian opera written specifically for the English stage.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Rinaldo
00:00:01 Act I    01:16:44 Act II    02:08:12 Act III

Joseph Addison (1672-1719), 
English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician, writing in the newly-founded Spectator about opera Rinaldo.​

As I was walking the streets about a fortnight ago, I saw an ordinary fellow carry ing a cage full of little bi rds upon his shoulder; and as I was wondering with my self what use he would put them to, he was met very luckily by an acquaintance, who had the same curiosity. Upon his asking him what he had upon his shoulder, he told him that he had been buying sparrows for the opera. ‘Sparrows for the opera’, says his friend, licking his lips, ‘what, are they to be roasted..?’

‘No, no,’ says the other, they are to enter towards the end of the first act, and to fly about the stage.

François Boucher - Renaud et Armide

Antonio Vivaldi is reinstated to his post of violin master at the Pieta in Venice. This year sees the publication of his enormously influential L’estro annonico (Harmonic Inspiration, Op. 3), concertos for one, two and four violins. Printed in Amsterdam by Etienne Roger, the set is soon circulated throughout Europe, bringing the composer great fame and respect. Among Vivaldi’s admirers is Johann Sebastian Bach, who transcribes a number of the pieces for the harpsichord and organ.

Antonio Vivaldi - L'Estro Armonico Op.3

Concerto No.1 in D major for four violins and strings RV 549

Concerto No.2 in G minor for two violins, cello and strings RV 578: 7:26

Concerto No.3 in G major for violin and strings RV 310:

Concerto No.4 in E minor for four violins and strings RV 550: 24:41

Concerto No.5 in A major for two violins and strings RV 519: 31:34

Concerto No.6 in A minor for a violin and strings RV 356: 39:11

Concerto No.7 in F major for four violins, cello and strings RV 567: 46:38

Concerto No.8 in A minor for two violins and strings RV 522: 56:30

Concerto No.9 in D major for violin and strings RV 230:

Concerto No.10 in B minor for four violins, cello and strings RV 580: 1:14:29

Concerto No.11 in D minor for two violins, cello and strings RV 565: 1:23:48

Concerto No.12 in E major for violin and strings RV 265: 1:33:11

11 September
Composer William Boyce is baptised in London.

17 September
Austrian composer Ignaz Holzbauer 
is born in Vienna.

1 May
Manuel de Zumaya's opera La Partenope is given at the vice-regal palace in Mexico City. It is the earliest-known opera scored by a composer born in the Americas.

25 December
French composer and violinist Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville is baptised in Narbonne.

William Boyce

William Boyce (baptised 11 September 1711 – d. 7 February 1779) was an English composer and organist.

Born in London to John Boyce, a cabinet-maker and joiner, and his wife Elizabeth Cordwell, Boyce was baptised on 11 September 1711 and was admitted by his father as a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral in 1719, before studying music with Maurice Greene after his voice broke in 1727. A house in the present choir school is named after him. His first professional appointment came in 1734 when he was employed as an organist at the Oxford Chapel. He went on to take a number of similar posts before being appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1755 and becoming one of the organists at the Chapel Royal in 1758. One of his students was the prodigy Thomas Linley.

By the year 1758 his deafness had increased to such an extent that he was unable to continue in his organist posts. He resolved to give up teaching and to retire to Kensington, and devote himself to editing the collection of church music which bears his name. He retired and worked on completing the compilation Cathedral Music that his teacher Greene had left incomplete at his death. This led to Boyce editing works by the likes of William Byrd and Henry Purcell. Many of the pieces in the collection are still used in Anglican services today.

Boyce is known for his set of eight symphonies, his anthems and his odes. He also wrote the masque Peleus and Thetis and songs for John Dryden's Secular Masque, incidental music for William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet and The Winter's Tale, and a quantity of chamber music including a set of twelve trio sonatas. He also composed the British and Canadian Naval March "Heart of Oak". The lyrics were later written by David Garrick for his 1759 play Harlequin's Invasion.

Boyce also wrote music for masonic rituals.

On the 7 February 1779 Boyce died from an attack of gout. He was buried under the dome of St Paul's cathedral.

William Boyce Trio Sonatas No.1 -  No.12

William Boyce - Symphonies
01. Symphony no 1. in B flat major 00:00
02. Symphony no 3 in C major 07:36
03. Symphony no 7 in B flat major 13:50
04. Symphony no 4 in F major 23:52
05. Symphony no 5 in D major 30:22
06. Symphony no 2 in A major 38:24
07. Symphony no 6 in F major 44:28
08. Symphony no 8 in D minor 51:07

William Boyce «Solomon» Serenata for 2 Voices

William Boyce - Concerto Grosso in E minor

William Boyce - Concerto Grosso in B minor

William Boyce - Concerto Grosso in B flat major

William Boyce

Ignaz Holzbauer

Ignaz Jakob Holzbauer (18 September 1711 – 7 April 1783) was a composer of symphonies, concertos, operas, and chamber music, and a member of the Mannheim school. His aesthetic style is in line with that of the Sturm und Drang "movement" of German art and literature.

Holzbauer was born in Vienna. Despite the opposition of his parents, who intended him for the law, he studied music, and in 1745 became kapellmeister to Count Rottal and at the Court Theatre of Vienna. Later he was kapellmeister at Stuttgart, Germany. His operas include Il figlio delle selve, which was the opening performance of the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen in 1753. Its success led to a job offer from the court at Mannheim, Germany, where he stayed for the rest of his life, continuing to compose and to teach, his students including Johann Anton Friedrich Fleischmann (1766-1798), the pianist, and Carl Stamitz. Holzbauer died in Mannheim, having been entirely deaf for some years.

His opera Günther von Schwarzburg, based on the life of the eponymous king (and described here), was an early German national opera, a performance of which Mozart and his sister attended, through which they met Anton Raaff, who was later to premiere a role in Idomeneo. This opera has recently been recorded on the label cpo. Holzbauer wrote 196 symphonies.

Mozart also composed nine numbers for insertion in a Miserere by Holzbauer on commission by the Parisian Concert Spirituel in 1778, but they have been lost. They have been given the catalog number KV 297a in the list of Mozart's works.

Ignaz Holzbauer - Symphonies
1. Symphony in D major, Op. 3 no 4  0:00
2. Symphony in D minor  17:01
3. Symphony in A major, Op. 2 no 4  24:20
4. Symphony in G major  34:12  
5. Symphony in E flat major, Op. 3 no 1  42:13

Ignaz Holzbauer - Chamber Works
1. Quintet for flute, violin, viola, cello & harpsichord in B flat 0:00
2. Symphony in G major  19:51
3. Divertimento à 3 in D for flute, violin, double bass & guitar  30:00
4. Quintet in G major for piano, flute, violin, viola & cello  43:53

Ignaz Holzbauer - Missa in C-major

Holzbauer - Concerto for oboe & orchestra in D minor


Ignaz Holzbauer

Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville

Jean-Joseph de Mondonville (25 December 1711 (baptised) – 8 October 1772), also known as Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, was a French violinist and composer. He was a younger contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau and enjoyed great success in his day. Pierre-Louis Daquin (son of the composer Louis-Claude Daquin) claimed: "If I couldn't be Rameau, there's no one I would rather be than Mondonville".

Mondonville was born in Narbonne in Occitania (South France) to an aristocratic family which had fallen on hard times. In 1733 he moved to Paris where he gained the patronage of the king's mistress Madame de Pompadour and won several musical posts, including violinist for the Concert Spirituel.

His first opus was a volume of violin sonatas, published in 1733. He became a violinist of the Chapelle royale and chamber and performed in some 100 concerts; some of his grands motets were also performed that year receiving considerable acclaim. He was appointed sous-maître in 1740 and then, in 1744, intendant of the Royal Chapel. He produced operas and grands motets for the Opéra and Concert Spirituel respectively, and was associated with the Théatre des Petits-Cabinets, all the while maintaining his career as a violinist throughout the 1740s. In 1755, he became director of the Concert Spirituel on the death of Pancrace Royer. Mondonville died in Belleville near Paris at the age of sixty.

Sacred music
Between 1734 and 1755 Mondonville composed 17 grands motets, of which only nine have survived. The motet Venite exultemus domino, published in 1740, won him the post of Maître de musique de la Chapelle (Master of Music of the Chapel). Thanks to his mastery of both orchestral and vocal music, Mondonville brought to the grand motet—the dominant genre of music in the repertory of the Chapelle royale (Royal Chapel) before the French Revolution—an intensity of colour and a dramatic quality hitherto unknown. In 1758, Mondonville introduced oratorios as a new genre at the Concert Spirituel.


Although Mondonville's first stage work, Isbé, was a failure, he enjoyed great success with the lighter forms of French Baroque opera: the opéra-ballet and the pastorale héroïque. His most popular works were Le carnaval de Parnasse, Titon et l'Aurore and Daphnis et Alcimadure (for which Mondonville wrote his own libretto in Languedocien - his native Occitan dialect). Titon et l'Aurore played an important role in the Querelle des Bouffons, the controversy between partisans of French and Italian opera which raged in Paris in the early 1750s. Members of the "French party" ensured that Titon's premiere was a resounding success (their opponents even alleged they had guaranteed this result by packing the Académie Royale de Musique, where the staging took place, with royal soldiers). Mondonville's one foray into serious French opera - the genre known as tragédie en musique - was a failure however. He took the unusual step of re-using a libretto, Thésée, which had originally been set in 1675 by the "father of French opera", Jean-Baptiste Lully. Mondonville's bold move to substitute Lully's much-loved music with his own did not pay off. The premiere at the court in 1765 had a mixed reception and a public performance two years later ended with the audience demanding it be replaced by the original. Yet Mondonville was merely ahead of his time; in the 1770s, it became fashionable to reset Lully's tragedies with new music, the most famous example being Armide by Gluck.

Mondonville - Six Sonatas en symphonies op.3

Mondonville - Dominus Regnavit

Mondonville - Grand Motet, 'Magnus Dominus'

Mondonville - Pièces de Clavecin ou Violon op. 5 

01. Regna terrae, Cantate Deo 0:00
02. In decachordo psalterio 6:17
03. Benefac, Domine 11:42
04. Laudate Dominum 16:48
05. Paratum cor meum 24:32
06. In Domino laudabitur 28:32
07. Quare tristis es, anima mea - Spera in Deo 37:29
08. Pritector meus 42:45

Mondonville - Grand Motet, 'Cantate Domino'

Mondonville - Pieces de clavecin en sonates

Sonata No.1 in G minor

Sonata No.2 in F major   6:34

Sonata No.3 in B flat major   12:26

Sonata No.4 in C major   19:21

Sonata No.5 in G major   30:36

Sonata No.6 in A major   36:26

Mondonville - Op.09 - Daphnis Et Alcimadure (1754)
The prologue, in French, invokes Clémence Isaure (the allegorical patroness of Occitan) as well as the Jeux Floraux as a way of evoking the idealised history of the Occitan language. After the prologue, the opera is wholly in Occitan.

Act 1
Daphnis is a young shepherd in love with Alcimadure, but Alcimadure rejects him because she does not believe he is sincere. Jeanet, Alcimadure's brother, claims he can prove that Daphnis' love is true.

Act 2
Jeanet disguises himself as a soldier and comes to find Daphnis. He boasts of his bravery in many battles and says he intends to marry Alcimadure as soon as he has killed a certain shepherd called Daphnis. Daphnis, far from being daunted, declares his love for the shepherdess. Just then, a scream is heard from Alcimadure. She is being chased by a wolf. Daphnis rushes to the rescue, kills the wolf and saves Alcimadure. Although she is grateful, Alcimadure still rejects his love.

Act 3
Jeanet tries in vain to reason with Alcimadure. Daphnis, in despair, says he wants to die. When Jeanet tells his sister of Daphnis' death, she too says she no longer wants to live. She has secretly been in love with Daphnis. However, Daphnis' supposed death was just a ruse. He is still alive and the couple are now free to love one another.

​Jean-Joseph de Mondonville


Around this time Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni publishes his Trattenimenti armonici per camera Op. 6, 12 trio sonatas for violin, bass (cello) and continuo.

T. Albinoni - Sonata No.1 in C, Op. 6
Sonata for transverse flute (orig. violin) & continuo in C major

Tomaso Albinoni: Sonata in g-minor, Op. 6, No. 2

Albinoni - Sonata in A minor, op.6 - 6

Tomasso Albinoni - Sonata St. Marc, Op. 6 No. 11

Albinoni - Trattenimenti Armonici, Op. 6

1 January
Marc'Antonio Ziani is promoted as Hofkapellmeister to the court of Emperor Charles VI in Vienna.

17    January
Composer and organist John Stanley is born in London. He loses most of his sight at the age of two.

26 January
Giacomo Puccini, first of a succession of Puccini composers and great-great-grandfather of Giacomo Antonio Puccini, is baptised in Lucca.

18 March
Having left Eisenach, Georg Philipp Telemann arrives in Frankfurt to take up the position of musical director to the city and two of its main churches, the Barefoot Monks and St Catherine.

28 June 
Philosopher and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseauis born in Geneva.

Elector George of Hanover permits George Frideric Handel to make a second trip to England, on condition that he will ‘return within a reasonable time’. Handel never returns.

In Paris Giovanni Antonio Piani publishes his Op. 1 collection of violin and flute sonatas. He gives detailed instructions for the pieces, including tempo, bowing, and early examples of hairpin markings for crescendo and diminuendo.

Giovanni Antonio Piani. Violin sonatas 9, 4.

John Christopher Smith, English composer, born.

28 June
Swiss philosopher and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau is born in Geneva.

22 November
George Frideric Handel’s Il pastor fido (The Faithful Shepherd), with libretto by Giacomo Rossi, opens at the Queen’s Theatre in London. The composer’s second opera for the English stage receives a lukewarm reception, lacking the heroism and spectacle of Rinaldo (1711).

Georg Friedrich Handel - Il Pastor Fido HWV 8a 

24 December
Antonio Caldara’s commanding Vaticini di pace (Prophecies of Peace), a ‘Christmas Cantata’ for four voices, strings & continuo, is first performed at the Palazzo Bonelli in Rome.

Antonio Caldara - Vaticini Di Pace Christmas Cantata

John Stanley

Charles John Stanley (17 January 1712 Old Style – 19 May 1786) was an English composer and organist.

John Stanley was born in London on 17 January 1712. At about the age of two, he had the misfortune to fall on a marble hearth with a china basin in his hand, an accident which left him almost blind.

He began studying music at the age of seven. Under the guidance of Maurice Greene, composer and organist at St. Paul's Cathedral, he studied "with great diligence, and a success that was astonishing" (Burney). At the age of nine he played the organ, probably as an occasional deputy, at All Hallows Bread Street. Greene died on 23 September 1723 and exactly one month later eleven-year-old Stanley was appointed organist to the church at a salary of £20 per annum.

When he was fourteen "in preference to a great number of candidates" (Burney) he was chosen as organist at St Andrew's, Holborn, and at the age of seventeen became the youngest person ever to obtain the Bachelor of Music degree (B.Mus.) at the University of Oxford.

In 1734 he was appointed organist to the Society of the Inner Temple, a position which he held until his death in 1786. It was at the ancient Temple Church that his brilliant playing upon the organ and harpsichord attracted the attention of many fine musicians including George Frideric Handel, who regularly visited the church to hear him. Stanley was also an outstanding violinist.

In 1738 Stanley married Sarah Arlond (daughter of Captain Edward Arlond of the East India Company), who brought him a dowry of £7,000 per annum. Sarah's sister Ann, who at this time lived with them, became the blind composer's copyist.

Though virtually blind, Stanley had a remarkable memory which helped him direct many of Handel's oratorios and to enjoy music-making and card games with his many friends. If he had to accompany a new oratorio he would ask his sister-in-law to play it through just once – enough to commit it to memory. He frequently played the organ at the Vauxhall Gardens and was first choice to play at charity events and at the launch of any newly built church organs. He even found time to teach. His oratorio Jephthah was first performed in 1757.

After Handel's death, in 1760 Stanley began a partnership with the composer John Christopher Smith and later with Thomas Linley, in order to continue with the series of oratorio performances at Covent Garden. For the first season Stanley composed Zimri. Stanley accompanied all oratorios, and played a concerto during each interval. Also in 1760 he composed an ode in memory of George II and as homage to George III; it was first performed at the Drury Lane Theatre. On the occasion of the King's wedding in 1762 he composed a dramatic pastoral oratorio, Arcadia.

Handel had been a Governor of the Foundling Hospital, London. The Hospital's Chapel organ was Handel's gift, and Handel himself directed eleven performances of Messiah there, so raising 7,000 pounds for the charity. Continuing yet again in Handel's footsteps, Stanley was elected a governor of the Hospital in 1770, and from 1775 until 1777 he directed the annual performance of Handel's Messiah in aid of the hospital funds.

In 1779 Stanley succeeded William Boyce as Master of the King's Band of musicians. In this capacity he composed many New Year and Birthday odes to the King but unfortunately this music has not survived. Stanley's last work was probably an ode written for the King's birthday (4 June 1786). Stanley never heard its performance as he died at his home in Hatton Garden on 19 May 1786 aged 74. Stanley's works include the opera Teraminta, the dramatic cantata The Choice of Hercules, twelve other cantatas with texts by John Hawkins, the oratorios Jephtha, The Fall of Egypt and Zimri, and instrumental music, notably three volumes of voluntaries for organ (1748, 1752, and 1754). Nearly all of the voluntaries feature a short, slow introduction followed by either a solo-stop movement (such as the so-called trumpet voluntaries) or a fugue. Some of the former have been arranged in modern times for string chamber orchestra and trumpet.

John Stanley - Voluntary I op. 5 

John Stanley - Voluntary II  Op. 5

John Stanley - Voluntary III  Op. 5

John Stanley - Flute Sonata (Opus 4 No. 1) for Flute & Harp

John Stanley - Concerto No 1 in D major

John Stanley - Concerto No 2 in B minor

John Stanley - Concerto No 3 in G major

John Stanley - Concerto No 4 in D minor

John Stanley - Concerto No 5 in A major

John Stanley - Concerto No 6 in B Flat major

John Stanley - Oboe Sonata (Opus 4 No. 2)

John Stanley - Clarinet Sonata (Opus 4 No. 5) 

Jacopo Puccini

Jacopo (Giacomo) Puccini (Italian: [ˈdʒaːkomo putˈtʃiːni]; 26 January 1712 – 16 May 1781) was an 18th-century Italian composer who lived and worked primarily in Lucca, Tuscany. He was the first of five generations of composers, the most famous of whom was his great-great-grandson, the opera composer Giacomo Puccini.


Puccini studied in Bologna under Giuseppe Carretti, who was maestro di cappella at Bologna's San Petronio Basilica. In Bologna Puccini became friends with Padre Martini. After returning to Lucca in 1739, he served as organist in the cathedral and later Maestro di Cappella to the Most Serene Republic. Puccini belonged to the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna and was a skilled teacher.

His musical style incorporated elements of both the Baroque and early Classic periods. Puccini was known as an excellent organist. He wrote many dramatic and sacred works, including a Te Deum for four voices and instruments, a Domine for four voices, masses, and psalm settings. Between 1733 and 1780, Puccini wrote 31 servizi ecclesiastici for the annual Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Festa della Esaltazione della Santa Croce). Some of Puccini's works, including a processional motet in eight voices, continued to be performed into at least the early 19th Century. A Requiem for eight voices by Puccini was performed at the Vienna Musical Exposition of 1892, together with music by his son Antonio, grandson Domenico, and great-grandson Michele.

4 Psalms by Giacomo Puccini Senior

G.Puccini Senior - Magnificat

Credo in G - Giacomo Puccini Sr.

Credo dalla Messa di Giacomo Puccini Senior

Giacomo Puccini Sr - Marzio Coriolano - Sinfonia

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Francophone Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century.

His political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment in France and across Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the overall development of modern political and educational thought.

Rousseau's novel Emile, or On Education is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was of importance to the development of pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—his Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary Walker—exemplified the late 18th-century movement known as the Age of Sensibility, and featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that later characterized modern writing. His Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought.

He was interred as a national hero in the Panthéon in Paris, in 1794, 16 years after his death.

Rousseau was a successful composer of music, who wrote seven operas as well as music in other forms, and made contributions to music as a theorist. As a composer, his music was a blend of the late Baroque style and the emergent Classical fashion. One of his more well-known works is the one-act opera Le devin du village.

Jean Jacques Rousseau - Le Devin du village

Rousseau "Daphnis et Chloè" (extraits)

Rousseau - Les Muses Galantes - extraits

Rousseau - L'air pour la troupe marchant

Rousseau - La Romance sur trois notes (Que le jour me dure)

John Christopher Smith

John Christopher Smith (born Johann Christoph Schmidt; 1712, Ansbach – 1795, London) was an English composer who, following in his father's footsteps, became George Frideric Handel's secretary and amanuensis.


John Christopher Smith was the son of Johann Christoph Schmidt (John Christopher Smith Sr.) (died 1763), Handel's first copyist in London. His father, known to Handel from Halle, was summoned from Germany in 1716. He brought his family to London around 1720.

John Christopher Smith Jr. had a few lessons from Handel and Johann Christoph Pepusch but studied mostly with Thomas Roseingrave. He later became Handel's secretary, musical assistant and amanuensis, when blindness prevented Handel from writing or conducting in his later years. The last year where Handel conducted performances of his oratorios was 1752.

Handel fell out with Smith Sr. in the 1750s, but remained on good terms with the son. From 1753 to the composer's death in 1759, Smith conducted Handel's oratorios that were to be performed in those years.
After the success of his oratorio Paradise Lost in 1760, he became artistic director of the Covent Garden Royal Theatre, a position that he was forced to relinquish due to health reasons in 1772. He died in London.

John Christopher SMITH: Sonata No.9 in C minor

Prelude ( from Suite # 4 ) - John Christopher Smith

John Stanley
Jacopo Puccini
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
John Christopher Smith


Francois Couperin publishes the first of four volumes of programmatic and descriptive harpsichord music in Pieces de clavecin.

Francois Couperin - First book (1713) - Ordres 1 to 5
Ordre 1er de clavecin in G minor
Ordre 2ème de clavecin in D major
Ordre 3ème de clavecin in C major
Ordre 4ème de clavecin in F major
Ordre 5ème de clavecin in A major

The 18-year-old Earl of Burlington offers George Frideric Handel residency at his house in Piccadilly, London. The composer will live there for three years.

Around this time Giuseppe Tartini composes his famous Devil’s Trill Sonata, allegedly inspired by a dream in which the Devil performed on his violin with astonishing skill and elegance.

Giuseppe Tartini - Violin Sonata in G minor Devil's Trill

8 January
Influential Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli dies in Rome, aged 59.

Antonio Vivaldi’s earliest known opera, Ottone in villa (Otho in the Country), enjoys success in Vicenza. This year marks the completion of the composer’s Op. 4 set of concertos, La stravaganza (The Extravagance).

Antonio Vivaldi - Ottone in villa 

Antonio Vivaldi - La Stravaganza Op.4

Concerto n.1 in si bemolle maggiore RV 383a

Concerto n.2 in mi minore RV 279 - 9:07

Concerto n.3 in sol maggiore RV 301 - 19:37

Concerto n.4 in la minore RV 357 - 28:56

Concerto n.5 in la maggiore RV 347 - 38:26

Concerto n.6 in sol minore RV 316a - 48:30

Concerto n.7 in do maggiore RV 185 - 59:33

Concerto n.8 in re minore RV 249 - 1:08:00

Concerto n.9 in fa maggiore RV 284 - 1:15:45

Concerto n.10 in do minore RV 196 - 1:24:19

Concerto n.11 in re maggiore RV 204 - 1:32:55

Concerto n.12 in sol maggiore RV 298 - 1:40:10

7 July
George Frideric Handel’s first English sacred works, a Te Deum and Jubilate, are introduced at St Paul’s Cathedral in celebration the Peace of Utrecht. By this time Handel has been officially fired from his post in Hanover.

G. F. Händel - Dettingen Te Deum, HWV 283 

Handel - Jubilate d'Utrecht, HWV279

10 January
George Frideric Handel returns to heroism and spectacle in his opera Teseo, premiered at the Queen’s Theatre, London. Following the second performance the theatre manager makes off with all the takings, escaping to Italy. With the cast unpaid, the impresario John Heidegger steps in and rescues the production. Teseo triumphs and restores Handel to his former glory.

George Frideric Handel - THESEUS, OPERA HWV 9

Domenico Scarlatti 
is appointed assistant maestro di cappella at St Peter’s, Rome.

28 December
Queen Anne grants George Frideric Handel a lifetime yearly pension of £200.



Arcangelo Corelli's Op. 6 collection of 12 concerti grossi, including the stunning Christmas Concerto (No. 8), is published in Amsterdam, a year after the composers death. Some of the concertos may have been conceived over 30 years previously.

Arcangelo Corelli - Op. 6 - 12 concerti grossi
Concerto 1 in D major
Concerto 2 in F major   12:34
Concerto 3 in C minor   23:19
Concerto 4 in D major   34:19
Concerto 5 in B flat major   44:30
Concerto 6 in F major   55:05
Concerto 7 in D major    1:06:17
Concerto 8 in G minor Fatto per la notte di Natale (Christmas Concerto)    1:15:12
Concerto 9 in F major    1:29:26
Concerto 10 in C major    1:38:30
Concerto 11 in B flat major    1:50:56
Concerto 12 in F major    2:00:23
Sinfonia (WoO1) (to the oratorio Santa Beatrice d'Este)   2:10:43
Sonata a Quattro (WoO 2)    2:19:09

17 April
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, prolific German composer of church cantatas, dies in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, aged 56.

2 July
Opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck is born in Erasbach, Upper Austria.

Arriving from Naples, the violinist-composer Francesco Geminiani begins a new life in London. He secures the lasting patronage of William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex.

28 August
Three years after the death of his first wife, Georg Heinrich Telemann, aged 33, marries Maria Catharina Textor, aged 16. The composer’s second marriage produces nine children, but ultimately comes to a sorry end.

Johann Mattheson issues some spirited keyboard music in his Pieces de clavecin en deux volumes.

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

John Stanley, aged two, stumbles holding a china basin that shatters in his face as he falls on a marble hearth. The accident leaves the future composer and organist clinically blind for life.

2 March
Johann Sebastian Bach is promoted to the post of Konzertmeister to the Duke of Weimar. This year he begins to compose his first cycle of sacred cantatas. He is also at work on Das Orgel-Buchlein (The Little Organ Book-1717), most of which is completed by the following year.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Cantata BWV 182: Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (25 March 1714)

1. Sonata for flute in G major
2. Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (Chorus) 02:02
3. Siehe, ich komme, im Buch ist von mir geschrieben (Recitative: B) 05:34
4. Starkes Lieben (Aria: B) 06:14
5. Leget euch dem Heiland unter (Aria: A) 09:02
6. Jesu, laß durch Wohl und Weh (Aria: T) 16:09
7. Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude  20:21
8. So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden  23:55

10 September
Composer Niccolo Jommelli is born in Aversa, near Naples.

26 September
At St James’s Palace, London, a Te Deum by George Frideric Handel is performed in the presence of King George I—Handel’s former employer at the electoral court of Hanover.

G. F. Händel - Dettingen Te Deum, HWV 283 

Antonio Vivaldi’s second opera, Orlando finto pazzo (Orlando Feigns Madness), struggles at the Teatro San Angelo, Venice.

Antonio Vivaldi -  Orlando finto pazzo, part 1

Antonio Vivaldi -  Orlando finto pazzo, part 2

Domenico Scarlatti is promoted to maestro di cappella at St Peter’s, Rome.

8 March
Johann Sebastian Bach's second surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, is born in Weimar. Georg Philipp Telemann becomes his godfather.

Jean-Joseph Mouret's Le manage de Ragonde et de Colin, the first comedie lyrique, premieres at Sceaux, Paris.

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

Niccolò Jommelli

Niccolò Jommelli, (born Sept. 10, 1714, Aversa, Kingdom of Naples [now Italy]—died Aug. 25, 1774, Naples), composer of religious music and operas, notable as an innovator in his use of the orchestra.


Jommelli’s first two operas were comic: L’errore amoroso (Naples, 1737) and Odoardo (Florence, 1738). He went to Rome in 1740 and produced two serious operas there, his first in the genre that would thereafter be the mainstay of his career. He went on to Bologna (1741), where he established a lifelong friendship with Padre Martini, writing operas for Bologna, Venice, Turin, and Padua over the next few years. From 1747, he was in Rome, and he became maestro coadiutore to the papal chapel in 1749. In addition to the music he wrote for the chapel, he continued to write operas that were staged in Rome and elsewhere in Italy. Beginning in 1749 he also began writing for Vienna, and through this work received high praise from Metastasio, the famed librettist. A comic opera of his was performed in Paris in 1753, helping to spark the notorious Querelle des Bouffons (“Quarrel of the Buffoons”), but about that time Jommelli himself became kapellmeister to the duke of Württemberg at Stuttgart. There he wrote his best operas, including L’olimpiade and Fetonte (first performed 1768), in which he introduced a free use of accompanied recitative and broke with the tradition of the da capo aria, thus anticipating Gluck. Indeed, he became known as “the Italian Gluck.” As the result of intrigue, Jommelli left Stuttgart for good in 1769, thereafter writing mainly for Lisbon, Naples, and Rome. His last composition (for Naples) was a Miserere for two voices, finished just before his death and for long his best-known work.

Niccolò Jommelli: Requiem

Niccolò Jommelli - Miserere (pietà, pietà Signore)

Niccolò Jommelli - Mass in D Major

Niccolò Jommelli - Piano Concerto in D-major

Niccolò Jommelli - Sinfonia in G major

Niccolò Jommelli = Concerto in re maggiore per traversiere archi e basso

Niccolò Jommelli


The annual Three Choirs Festival, held alternately in the cathedrals of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford, is established around this time.

The Three Choirs Festival is a music festival held annually at the end of July, rotating among the cathedrals of the Three Counties (Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford) and originally featuring their three choirs, which remain central to the week-long programme. 

Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford cathedrals

Virtuoso violinist Francesco Geminiani makes his court debut before King George I, with George Frideric Handel accompanying him on the harpsichord.

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini's intermezzo Bacocco e Serpilla is first performed in Verona. Under this and alternative titles (with revisions by other composers), it becomes one of the most often performed musical dramas of the 18th century.

Orlandini - Bacocco e Serpilla

25 May
George Frideric Handel introduces his opera Amadigi di Gaula at the Kings Theatre (formerly the Queens Theatre) in London. Over the next five years he will write no new operas, concentrating instead on sacred and instrumental music.

Handel `AMADIS OF THE GALI` (1715) HWV 11

22 January
On the death of Marc’Antonio Ziani, Johann Joseph Fux is promoted to Kapellmeister at the court of Charles VI in Vienna.

The Pieta governors reward Antonio Vivaldi with a bonus of 50 ducats for a steady stream of sacred works supplied over the last two years. He has compensated for the absence of the former choirmaster, Francesco Gasparini, who took leave in 1713 and never returned.

29 January
Composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil is born in Vienna.

16 February
Alessandro Scarlatti presents Il Tigrane, one of his most respected operas, at the court theatre of San Bartolomeo, Naples.

A. Scarlatti - Tigrane - Aria 'Sussurrando il venticello' 

21 April
Johann Sebastian Bach's joyous cantata Der Himrnel lacht! Die Erdejubilieret (Heaven laughs! The Earth rejoices) receives a festive Easter Day performance at Weimar.

J. S. Bach - Cantate BWV 31 - Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubiliert

Georg Christoph Wagenseil

Georg Christoph Wagenseil (29 January 1715 – 1 March 1777) was an Austrian composer.


He was born in Vienna, and became a favorite pupil of the Vienna court's Kapellmeister, Johann Joseph Fux. Wagenseil himself composed for the court from 1739 to his death. He also held positions as harpsichordist and organist. His pupils included Johann Baptist Schenk (who was to teach Ludwig van Beethoven), and Marie Antoinette. He traveled little, and died in Vienna having spent most of his life there.

Wagenseil was a well-known musical figure in his day — both Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are known to have been familiar with his works. His early works are Baroque, while his later pieces are in the Classical style. He composed a number of operas, choral works, symphonies, concertos, chamber music and keyboard pieces.

Johann Joseph Fux’s one-act Orfeo ed Euridice celebrates the birthday of Charles VI, in Vienna.

Johann Joseph Fux: Orfeo ed Euridice Rondinella

Detail from “Orpheus leading Eurydice from the underworld” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Georg Christoph Wagenseil: Concerts choisis

G. C. Wagenseil. Symphony in G major, WV 413

G. C. Wagenseil - WV418 Symphony In G Minor

G. C. Wagenseil -  Concerto for Harp, Two Violins and Cello

Georg Christoph Wagenseil

Sebastiano Ricci - Madonna and Child with Angels

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