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Baroque Era

British parliament repeals law punishing witchcraft with death • Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler publishes first systematic mechanics textbook • Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham (Eng) defends Christianity against Deism in Analogy of Religion 

Medici family’s rule in Tuscany ends with death of Gian Gastone; Duke Franz Stephen of Lorraine becomes Grand Duke of Tuscany • Joshua Ward (Eng) produces sulfuric acid • Pierre Marivaux (Fr): comedy
Les Fausses confidences • Theatre censorship by the Lord Chamberlain is introduced in Britain
European powers seemingly agree Pragmatic Sanction, which secures Habsburg lands to Maria Theresa of Austria • Count Gyllenborg overthrows Arvid Horn as chief Swedish minister • Armies of Nadir Shah (Persia) overrun Afghanistan and invade India • Austria loses Orsova and Semindria to Turks • Pope Clement XII attacks Freemasonry in bull (proclamation) In Eminenti  • John Gay (Eng): Fables, second series, published posthumously

Russia and Turkey agree Treaty of Belgrade: Russia keeps Azov but is forbidden to build a Black Sea fleet • Preacher George White-field (Eng) influences Great Awakening in North America • Philosopher David Hume (Scot) develops empiricist philosophy in
Treatise on Human Nature • Dick Turpin, notorious English highwayman, is convicted of horse theft and executed • François Boucher – The Breakfast
Holy Roman Emperor Karl VI (Aus) dies; Europe’s Great Powers refuse recognition of his daughter, Maria Theresa, as heir to Austria, despite earlier agreement to do so: Karl Albrecht of Bavaria, Felipe V of Spain and Augustus III of Saxony claim Austria, leading to War of the Austrian Succession • Samuel Richardson (Eng): novel Pamela


Joseph Butler (18 May 1692 – 16 June 1752) was an English bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher. 



By this time Georg Fhilipp Telemann's second wife, Maria Catharina, has left him, having burdened the family with gambling debts.

3 February
Austrian composer and teacher Johann Georg Albrechtsberger is born in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna.

William Boyce’s sacred cantata David’s Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan is introduced at the Apollo Academy in Fleet Street, London.

'David's Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan'' -William Boyce

19 February
George Frideric Handel directs the first performance of his Ode Alexander’s Feast at Covent Garden. Composed in 20 days, the work showcases Handel's new rising star, the 19-year-old tenor John Beard (c. 1716 – 5 February 1791, was an English tenor. He is best remembered for creating an extensive number of roles in the operas and oratorios of George Frideric Handel). The evenings entertainments also include a cantata (Cecilia volgi) and three concertos, including the Harp Concerto in B flat major. With a full house and rapturous reception, Handel enjoys his best opening night for years.

George Frideric Handel - Alexander`s Feast HWV 75

Händel: Cecilia, volgi, HWV 89

Handel - Harp Concerto in B flat Major, HWV 294

2 April
After nearly half a century’s near-constant service to St Mark’s, Venice, Antonio Lotti finally secures the post of maestro di cappella. He receives a salary of 400 ducats and free lodging.

27 April
George Frideric Handel obediently directs his anthem Sing unto God at the wedding of his antagonist, Prince Frederick of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.

George Frideric Händel : Judas Maccabaeus - SING UNTO GOD 

4 May
Nicola Antonio Porpora presents his serenata La festa d’lmeneo at the King’s Theatre, London, for the ongoing wedding celebrations of his patron, the Prince of Wales. Realising that the Opera of the Nobility is on the verge of collapse, the Italian composer leaves England during the summer.

16 March
The 26-year-old Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, having just completed his Stabat Mater and Salve regina, dies in Pozzuoli, outside Naples. 
The likely cause of death is consumption.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Stabat Mater
00:00 "Stabat Mater Dolorosa"
04:39 "Cujus animam gementem"
07:47 "O quam tristis et afflicta"
10:22 "Quae moerebat et dolebat"
13:12 "Quis est homo"—"Pro peccatis suae gentis..."
16:14 "Vidit suum dulcem natum"
19:48 "Eja mater fons amoris"
22:42 "Fac ut ardeat cor meum"
25:23 "Sancta mater, istud agas"
31:22 "Fac ut portem Christi mortem"
35:06 "Inflammatus et accensus"
37:57 "Quando corpus morietur" —"Amen..."

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Salve Regina in Do minore

12 May
George Frideric Handel stages his opera Atalanta, dedicating it to the Prince of Wales in honour of his recent marriage. This, together with his wedding anthem of the previous month, begins a process of reconciliation between the two adversaries.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Atalanta HWV 35
ATTO I: 0:00
ATTO II: 45:16
ATTO III: 1:33:23

Johann Sebastian Bach loses his authority to appoint choral prefects at the Thomasschule. He falls out with both the new rector, Johann August Ernesti, and the Leipzig town council, leading to strained relations over the next two years.

19 November
Johann Sebastian Bach receives the title of court composer to Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.

30 March
Johann Sebastian Bach directs a revised version of his St Matthew Passion at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig.

Bach: St. Matthew Passion

28 December
Renowned for his oratorios, cantatas and operas, Italian composer Antonio Caldara dies in Vienna, aged about 65. 

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, (born February 3, 1736, Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, Austrian Habsburg domain [now in Austria]—died March 7, 1809, Vienna), Austrian composer, organist, and music theorist who was one of the most learned and skillful contrapuntists of his time. His fame attracted many pupils, including Ludwig van Beethoven.


Albrechtsberger studied organ and thorough bass with Leopold Pittner and from 1755 to 1766 held various posts as organist. In 1772 he was appointed deputy court organist in Vienna, succeeded Mozart as an assistant Kapellmeister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral after the latter’s death in 1791, and became full Kapellmeister in 1793. One of the finest organists of his day, he was also an influential teacher who trained a generation of Viennese musicians, including Beethoven, Carl Czerny, and Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

Of Albrechtsberger’s more than 750 compositions, most remain in manuscript. They include 35 masses, 240 fugues for various instruments, many string quartets and two-movement sonatas, and other religious and chamber music. His main theoretical work, Gründliche Anweisung zur Composition (1790; “Fundamentals of Composition”), was based mainly on earlier works by Johann Joseph Fux and Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg.

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger - Organ Works

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger - Partita for Harp & Orchestra

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger - Missa Assumptionis Beatae Mariae Virginis

Kyrie 00:00
Gloria 04:43
Graduale (Motette) 13:11
Credo 15:04
Et Resurrexit 17:29
Assumpta Est (Motette) 26:22
Sanctus 29:19
Benedictus 31:20
Agnus Dei 34:36



Christoph Willibald Gluck, aged 22, becomes a chamber musician to Prince Antonio Melzi in Milan. It is possible that around this time he also begins taking lessons from Giovanni Battista Sammartini.

George Frideric Handel develops paralysis in his right arm, probably due to the stresses of the opera season. 
His mental health is also deteriorating.

Johann Franck takes Franz Josef Haydn from his parental home in Rohrau to Hamburg. There the five year old continues his schooling and receives musical tuition.

12 April
Francesco Maria Veracini’s version of La clemenza di Tito is introduced by the Opera of the Nobility at the Kings Theatre, London. It manages only four performances.

Pietro Antonio Locatelli continues to push the boundaries of performance technique in his 12 da camera violin sonatas Op. 6, published in Amsterdam.

Pietro Antonio Locatelli - Violin Sonata

00:00:00 Sonata in B-Flat, Op. 6 No. 1
00:17:03 Sonata in F, Op. 6 No. 2
00:35:18 Sonata in B, Op. 6 No. 3
00:49:40 Sonata in E, Op. 6 No. 4
01:03:46 Sonata in C Minor, Op. 6 No. 5
01:20:40 Sonata in D, Op. 6 No. 6
01:39:08 Sonata in F Minor, Op. 6 No. 7
02:01:41 Sonata in C, Op. 6 No. 8
02:18:12 Sonata in B Minor, Op. 6 No. 9
02:32:30 Sonata in G, Op. 6 No. 10
02:49:20 Sonata in E-Flat, Op. 6 No. 11
03:03:06 Sonata in D Minor, Op. 6 No. 12
03:23:27 Sonata in G Minor
03:30:23 Sonata in F, Op. 8 No. 1
03:43:01 Sonata in D, Op. 8 No. 2
03:52:50 Sonata in E-Flat, Op. 6 No. 11
04:04:26 Sonata in C, Op. 8 No. 4
04:18:36 Sonata in G, Op. 8 No. 5
04:37:22 Sonata in E-Flat, Op. 8 No. 6

Antonio Vivaldi's opera Catone in Utica, with libretto by Pietro Metastasio, is first performed in Verona.

Vivaldi - Opera Catone in Utica, RV705

11 June
The Opera of the Nobility closes down with debts of £12,000. Their leading castrato, Farinelli departs England for Spain a very wealthy man.

George Frideric Handel convalesces in the sulphur baths of Aix-la-Chapelle. He returns to England in 
November having made a full recovery.

Jean-Fery Rebel invents the tone-cluster for his final work, the ballet suite Les elemens. The first movement, Cahos (Chaos), opens with the orchestra playing every note of the D harmonic minor scale simultaneously. According to the septuagenarian composer this intense dissonance represents the ‘confusion that reigned among the elements before the moment ... they took their ordained places in the order of nature’.

J.-F. Rebel: «Les Éléments» Simphonie nouvelle 
1. Le Cahos : L’Eau - L’Air - La Terre - Le Feu 0:01
2. [Loure I :] La Terre 6:59
3. Chaconne : Le Feu 8:43
4. Ramage : L’Air 11:11
5. Rossignols 12:30
6. Rondeau : Air pour l’Amour 13:45
7. Loure [II] 14:50
8. Sicillienne 16:38
9. Caprice 17:51
10. Premier Tambourin : L’Eau 20:46
11. Second Tambourin : L’Eaux 21:43
12. Premier Tambourin : L’Eau 22:35

George Frideric Handel fires off three operas in quick succession. Arminio is withdrawn after six performances, Giustino fairs slightly better with nine and Berenice collapses after only four. When his revival of the Triumph of Time also falls flat, the composer faces bankruptcy.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Arminio HWV 36

Georg Friedrich Händel - Giustino HWV 37


Handel. "Triumph of Time and Truth". Airs and scenes

Georg Philipp Telemann visits Paris where he secures a 20-year publishing privilege. He stays there until the following May.

14 September
Johann Michael Haydn, Austrian composer, born.

24 October
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s greatest opera, the five-act mythical tragedy Castor et Pollux, premieres with just modest success at the Paris Opera. Castor later becomes a regular fixture at the Opera and remains popular until the 1780s.

Jean-Philippe Rameau - Castor et Pollux  (1737 version)

4 November
Domenico Natale Sarro's opera Achille in Sciro, on a libretto by Pietro Metastasio, inaugurates the San Carloopera house in Naples.

Domenico Sarro - Achille in Sciro (ouverture)

17 December
George Frideric Handel’s funeral anthem The ways of Zion do mourn is first performed with around 80 singers and a 100-piece orchestra for the funeral of Queen Caroline, at Westminster Abbey.

Georg Friedrich Handel "The ways of Zion do mourn"
Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline HWV 264

Josef Mysliveček, Czech composer, born.

18 December
Renowned violin-maker Antonio Stradivari dies in Cremona, aged about 90.

Michael Haydn

Michael Haydn, in full Johann Michael Haydn, (baptized Sept. 14, 1737, Rohrau, Austria—died Aug. 10, 1806, Salzburg), one of the most accomplished composers of church music in the later 18th century. He was the younger brother of Joseph Haydn.


Like his brother, Michael Haydn became a choirboy at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, receiving his early musical instruction there. He was dismissed from the choir school when his voice broke, and he then earned a precarious living as a freelance musician. In 1757 he became kapellmeister to the bishop of Grosswardein in Hungary (now Oradea, Rom.), and in 1762 he became concertmaster to the archbishop of Salzburg. He remained in Salzburg as concertmaster for the rest of his life and succeeded Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as cathedral organist in 1781.

During his lifetime Michael Haydn was considered a better composer of church music than his brother. Of the many masses he wrote, Missa a due cori (also known as Missa Hispanica; 1786) is an outstanding work for orchestra and vocal soloists, and his Requiem of 1771 influenced Mozart’s own famous Requiem of 1791. Haydn also wrote numerous symphonies, divertimenti, and other secular compositions. He was an intimate friend of Mozart (who wrote his violin-viola duos to fulfill a commission Haydn was too ill to complete) and was a teacher of Carl Maria von Weber. After his death, Haydn’s reputation suffered a long eclipse, and it was not until after World War II that his merit was again recognized.


Musicologist Karl Geiringer has claimed that Michael Haydn has not received the recognition he deserves from posterity. His church music, his choruses for male voices, and many of his instrumental works are on respectable level and ought to be revived; but so long as even Joseph Haydn's music is far from being fully available, the chances of his younger brother becoming more performed are not good.

Haydn's sacred choral works are generally regarded as his most important; his musical taste and skill showed themselves best in his church compositions and were already in his lifetime old-fashioned. Some of these works include the Requiem pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo (Requiem for the death of Archbishop Siegmund) in C minor, which greatly influenced the Requiem by Mozart; Missa Hispanica (which he exchanged for a diploma at Stockholm); his magnificent last St. Francis Mass in D minor; the motet Lauda Sion which he wished to have sung at his funeral; and a set of graduals, forty-two of which are reprinted in Anton Diabelli's Ecclesiasticon. He was also a prolific composer of secular music, including forty symphonies and wind partitas, and multiple concertos and chamber music including a string quintet in C major was once thought to have been by his brother Joseph.

Johann Michael Haydn - Requiem in C minor MH.155 (1771)

Haydn Johann Michael - Missa Sancti Aloysii

J. M. Haydn - Missa Sancti Joannis Nepomuceni MH 182

Johann Michael Haydn - Missa in Honorem Sancti Cyrilli et Methodii (1758)

Johann Michael Haydn - Te Deum in C Major (1786)

Michael Haydn - Missa in re minore subtitulo Sancti Francisci (1803) 

Michael Haydn - Missa Hispanica Missa a due cori MH 422

Michael Haydn Missa in honorem Sanctae Ursulae MH 546

Michael Haydn - Violin Concerto in B-flat major, P. 53

Josef Mysliveček

Josef Mysliveček (9 March 1737 – 4 February 1781) was a Czech composer who contributed to the formation of late eighteenth-century classicism in music. Mysliveček provided his younger friend Wolfgang Amadeus

Mozart with significant compositional models in the genres of symphony, Italian serious opera, and violin concerto; both Wolfgang and his father Leopold Mozart considered him an intimate friend from the time of their first meetings in Bologna in 1770 until he betrayed their trust over the promise of an operatic commission for Wolfgang to be arranged with the management of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. He was close to the Mozart family, and there are frequent references to him in the Mozart correspondence.

Mysliveček was born in Prague, studied philosophy at Charles-Ferdinand University.  In Prague, he studied composition with Franz Habermann and Josef Seger in the early 1760s. His ambitions led him to travel to Venice in 1763 to study with Giovanni Pescetti. He was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna in 1771. He earned his living through teaching, performing, and composing music, and frequently received gratuities from wealthy admirers. Financially irresponsible throughout his life, he died destitute in Rome in 1781.

After his arrival in Italy in 1763, Mysliveček never left the country except for a visit to Prague in 1767–68, a short visit to Vienna in 1773, and an extended stay in Munich between December 1776 and April 1778. His return to Prague led to the production of several of his operas. He was invited to Munich by the musical establishment of the Elector Maximilian III Joseph to compose an opera for the carnival season of 1777 (Ezio).

Mysliveček's first opera, Semiramide, was performed at Bergamo in 1766. His Il Bellerofonte was a great success in Naples after its first performance at the Teatro San Carlo on 20 January 1767, and it led to a number of commissions from Italian theaters. Ever after, his productions would almost always feature first-rate singers in the leading roles. Almost all of his operas were successful until a disastrous production of Armida that took place at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan for the carnival season of 1780.

Josef Myslivecek - Six Symphonies
00:00 Sinfonia in D major
09:04 Sinfonia in F major
20:57 Sinfonia in B major
31:30 Sinfonia in E flat major
41:02 Sinfonia in G major
52:21 Sinfonia in C major

Josef Myslivecek  - Violin Concerto in D major

Josef Myslivecek - Violin Concerto in A major

Josef Myslivecek - Violin Concerto in F major

Josef Mysliveček - Flute Concerto in D Major

Josef Mysliveček - Cello Concerto in C-major

Michael Haydn
Josef Mysliveček


George Frideric Handel becomes one of the first contributors to The Fund for the Support of Decayed Musicians (later named the Royal Society of Musicians).

This year sees the publication of six concertos for chamber organ and orchestra as the composers Op. 4.

Handel Georg Friedrich - 6 Organ Concertos , Op. 4 

4 March
Thomas Augustine Arne triumphs with his setting of Milton’s masque Comus at Londons Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Thomas Augustine Arne - To Dances from Comus.

Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville's violin sonatas Les sons harmoniques are published in Paris and Lille. Eclectic and broad in style, they are the first printed violin works to contain notated harmonics.

Jean-Joseph de Mondonville "Six Sonatas en symphonies op.3"

Domenico Scarlatti has his Essercizi per gravicembalo published in London. The set of 30 single-movement sonatas is dedicated to King Joao V of Spain, who this year ennobles Scarlatti as a Knight of the Order of Santiago.

Domenico Scarlatti - Essercizi per Gravicembalo K1 - K30

28 March
George Frideric Handel stitches together some previously composed sacred works in a production advertised as An Oratorio at the Kings Theatre. He reputedly makes £1,000 from the evening.

15 April
George Frideric Handel's opera Serse (Xerxes) begins a run of only five performances at the King’s Theatre.

The breathtaking song ‘Ombre mai fu’ (Never was a Shade) from Act 2 will later become Handel’s most famous air, popularised by the instrumental transcription Largo.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Serse

John Stanley, aged 26, marries Sarah Arlond, a captain’s daughter, who brings with her a substantial dowry of £7,000. Sarah’s sister Ann shortly becomes the blind composers amanuensis.

Georg Philippe Telemann publishes his Nouveaux quatuors en 6 suites in Paris.

G.P. Telemann The Paris Quartets 

1. Concerto Primo in G major  0:00
2. Concerto Secondo in D major  10:13
3. Sonata Prima in A major  20:52
4. Sonata Seconda in G minor  32:31
5. Première Suite in E minor  43:34
6. Deuxième Suite in B minor  1:01:45

A marble statue of Handel by Louis Roubiliac is unveiled in Vauxhall Gardens, London. It is the first time a living composer has been honoured in this way.

Louis-François Roubiliac - George Frederick Handel 

3 January
George Frideric Handel's opera Faramondo premieres at the King’s Theatre. Back in collaboration with the impresario Heidegger, Handel shares the opera season with two other composers, Francesco Maria Veracini and Giovanni Battista Pescetti. Marking the London debut of the castrato Caffarelli, the production achieves only eight performances.

Handel - Overture from Faramondo - HWV 39

7 January
Antonio Vivaldi, special guest at the centenary celebrations of Amsterdam’s Schouwburg Theatre, introduces his Violin Concerto in D major RV562a, composed for the occasion. His absence 
from Venice results in the termination of his contract with the Pieta.

Vivaldi -  Concerto Grosso à 10 Stromenti in D major RV 562a

Carl Philippe Emanuel Bach takes up an unofficial post as court harpsichordist to Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia.

Having heard that Heidegger is unable to raise funds for a new opera season, George Frideric Handel embarks on the composition of an oratorio, Saul, in collaboration with the scholar Charles Jennens.
Saul was first performed at the King's Theatre in London on 16 January 1739.
Immediately following its completion, Handel writes the oratorio
Israel in Egypt.

20 December
Institutionalised for insanity, 
French composer Jean-Joseph Mouret dies in Charenton, aged 56.



Johann Sebastian Bach publishes his Clavier-Ubung III. Comprising organ pieces based around the catechism and various hymns, it is the largest of his keyboard collections.

Bach - Clavier Übung Dritter Theil (Cd No.1) - (BWV 552), (669 - 689), (802 - 805)

Bach - Clavier Übung Dritter Theil (Cd No.2) - (BWV 552), (669 - 689), (802 - 805)

12 May
Composer Johann Baptist Wanhal  is born in Nechanice, Bohemia.

21 May
Jean-Philippe Rameau's fourth opera, Les fetes d’Hebe, enjoys spectacular success with a first run of 71 performances at the Paris Opera.

Rameau - Les Fetes D'Hébé

Francesco Geminiani publishes his Sonate Op. 4, 12 sonatas for violin and eontinuo, in London.

F. Geminiani - Violin Sonata, Op 4, No 5, 1, 8, 9, 10

Johann Mattheson, now severely deaf, brings out Der vollkommene Capellmeister (The Complete Music Master) in Hamburg. Chiefly a manual on music directing, the publication also discusses the doctrine of the ‘affections’.

24 July
Benedetto Giacomo Marcello dies in Brescia, aged 53. His tombstone inscription reads ‘the Michelangelo of music’.

He is an old man with a prodigious passion for composing. I have heard him boast of composing a concerto in all its parts faster than a copyist could write it down.

29 August
Charles de Brasses on Antonio Vivaldi.

Antonio Vivaldi learns that his revived opera Siroe (1727) has failed in Ferrara. He is currently banned from the town due to suspicions over his relationship with the prima-donna Anna Giro, and his refusal to say mass (which, he maintains, is due to respiratory problems). The composers fortunes and favour, even in Venice, are at low ebb.

12 September
Pioneering German opera composer Reinhard Keiser dies in Hamburg, aged 65.

16 January
George Frideric Handel's oratorio Saul, composed the previous year, begins a run of six performances at the King’s Theatre, London.

Handel - Saul, HWV 53

4 April
George Frideric Handel's second oratorio of the season, Israel in Egypt, fails to captivate audiences.

Despite entertaining musical representations of flies, frogs, hail and other Egyptian plagues, together with some of Handel’s most poignant musical symbolism, the work is withdrawn after just three performances.

Handel : Israel in Egypt (HWV 54)

1 May
George Frideric Handel stages his 'pasticcio opera Giove in Argo (Jupiter in Argos) at the King’s Theatre. It manages only two performances. Handel is by now totally disillusioned—audiences seem to want neither his oratorios nor his operas.

Handel, Giove in Argo HWV A14, Ouverture

16 January
George Frideric Handel's oratorio Saul, composed the previous year, begins a run of six performances at the King’s Theatre, London.

19 November
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera Dardanus achieves 26 performances at the Paris Opera, despite criticisms of its nonsensical plot.

Rameau - Dardanus - Tragédie en musique, 1739

22 November
As England enters into conflict with Spain (the so-called ‘War of Jenkins’ Ear’), George Frideric Handel lifts public spirits with his Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, performed at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Playing to packed houses, he also revives his Ode Alexander’s Feast (1736) and Acis and Galatea (1732), each for two performances.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Ode for St Cecilia’s Day HWV 76

Johann Baptist Wanhal

Johann Baptist Wanhal (May 12, 1739 – August 20, 1813), also spelled Waṅhal (the spelling the composer himself and at least one of his publishers used), Wanhall, Vanhal and Van Hall (the modern Czech form Jan Křtitel Vaňhal was introduced in the 20th century), was an important Czech classical music composer. He was born in Nechanice, Bohemia, and died in Vienna.


Wanhal was born in Nechanice, Bohemia, into serfdom in a Czech peasant family. He received his first musical training from his family and local musicians, excelling at the violin and organ from an early age. From these humble beginnings he was able to earn a living as a village organist and choirmaster. He was also taught German from an early age, as this was required for someone wishing to make a career in music within the Habsburg empire.
By the age of 21 Wanhal must have been well under way to become a skilled performer and composer, as his patron, the Countess Schaffgotsch, took him to Vienna as part of her personal train in 1760. There he quickly established himself as a teacher of singing, violin and piano to the high nobility, and he was invited to conduct his symphonies for illustrious patrons such as the Erdődy families and Baron Isaac von Riesch of Dresden. During the years 1762-63, he is supposed to have been the student of Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, even though they were born the same year. Baron Riesch sponsored a trip to Italy in 1769, so that Wanhal could learn the Italian style of composition, which was very much in fashion. To return the favour, Wanhal was supposed to become Riesch's Kapellmeister.Around 1780, Wanhal stopped writing symphonies and string quartets, focusing instead on music for piano and small-scale chamber ensembles, and Masses and other church music. He died in 1813.

Johann Baptist Vanhal - Stabat Mater in F-minor 

Johann Baptist Vanhal  - Three Symphonies

Jan Baptist Vaňhal - Missa Solemnis in E flat major

Vanhal - Flute Concerto No.3 in Eflat Major

Vaňhal - Violin Concerto in B-flat major

Vaňhal - Concerto for 2 Bassoons and Orchestra in F major

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (2 November 1739 – 24 October 1799) was an Austrian composer, violinist and silvologist.

Dittersdorf was born in the Laimgrube (now Mariahilf) district of Vienna, Austria, as August Carl Ditters. His father was a military tailor in the Austrian Imperial Army of Charles VI, for a number of German-speaking regiments. After retiring honorably from his military obligation, he was provided with royal letters of reference and a sinecure with the Imperial Theatre. In 1745, the six-year-old August Carl was introduced to the violin and his father's moderate financial position allowed him not only a good general education at a Jesuit school, but private tutelage in music, violin, French and religion. After leaving his first teacher, Carl studied violin with J. Ziegler, who by 1750, through his influence, secured his pupil's appointment as a violinist in the orchestra of the Benedictine church on the Freyung.

Prince Joseph of Saxe-Hildburghausen soon noticed young Ditters, and on 1 March 1751 hired him for his court orchestra.  After a few years Prince Joseph disbanded the orchestra, since he had to leave Vienna to assume the regency in Hildburghausen, and the Austrian Empress hired Dittersdorf for her own orchestra through Count Durazzo, Theatre Director at the Imperial Court. In 1761 he was engaged as violinist in the Imperial Theatre orchestra, and in 1762 its conductor. It was during this period that he became acquainted with Christoph Willibald Gluck. Back in Vienna in 1764, his contract with Count Durazzo expired that winter, but he met the great Joseph Haydn and became one of his closest friends.
In 1764, Ditters assumed the post of Kapellmeister at the court of Ádám Patachich, Hungarian nobleman and Bishop of Nagyvárad (Oradea, Romania). The following year he was introduced to Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch, the Prince-Bishop of Breslau, who was in the process of creating a cultural center around his court based at Château Jánský vrch (Johannesberg) in Javorník (today part of the Czech Republic). He accepted the post of Hofkomponist (court composer) in 1771, and it was during his tenure at Johannesberg that most of his creative output was produced. Over the next twenty years he wrote symphonies, string quartets and other chamber music, and opere buffe. In 1773 the prince-bishop appointed him Amtshauptmann of nearby Jeseník (Freiwaldau), one of several measures to help entice the cosmopolitan composer to remain at isolated Johannesberg. Since this new post required a noble title, Ditters was sent to Vienna and given the noble title of von Dittersdorf. His full surname thus became "Ditters von Dittersdorf", but he is usually referred to simply as "Dittersdorf".In 1794, after twenty-four years at Johannesberg, Dittersdorf, after a serious clash with von Schaffgotsch, was expelled from his palace. Sometime the following year, he was invited by Baron Ignaz von Stillfried to live in his spare château known as Červená Lhota, in southern Bohemia.
He died at Nový Dvůr (Neuhof, or "New Court") where Château Červená Lhota stood, and was buried in the town of Deštná.

Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf - Requiem (1784)

Dittersdorf - Concertos for Flute & Symphonies

Concerto For Flue And Strings In E Minor I 
Symphony In C Major
Concerto For Double Bass And Orchestra In D Major 
Symphony In D Major

Carl Ditters Von Dittersdorf - Viola Concerto in F Major

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf: 6 Symphonies after Ovid's "Metamorphoses"  - I - II - III - IV - V - VI

Johann Baptist Wanhal
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf


Johann Mattheson lists his top 149 musicians, past and present, in his Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte.

The eight-year-old Josef Haydn moves from Hamburg to Vienna to take up a place in the St Stephen’s Cathedral choir.

Matthias Georg Monn composes the earliest known four-movement symphony with a third-movement minuet. It is unique among the composers symphonies, all of which otherwise follow a three-movement plan.

Georg Matthias Monn - Sinfonia a quattro in B-flat

John Stanley’s Eight Solos for Flute and Continuo are issued in London as the composers Op. 1.

Stanley - Sonata (Opus 1 No. 1) for Flute & Strings

Georg Telemann, around this time, issues his Essercizii musici, a marvellous collection of solo and trio sonatas for a variety of lead instruments (including oboe, viola da gamba and recorder) and two suites for harpsichord.

Georg Philipp Telemann - Essercizii Musici

London publisher Walsh issues George Frideric Handel's 12 Grand Concertos (Op. 6), masterpieces of the concerti grossi genre, written the previous year within the space of a month. Six members of the royal family are among the subscribers to the collection. A (second) set of Handel’s organ concertos is published towards the end of this year, including The Cuckoo and the Nightingale.

Georg Friedrich Handel - Concerti Grossi Op 6 N 1-12
in G Major, Op. 6, No. 1, HWV 319

in F Major, Op. 6, No. 2, HWV 320   0:11:21

in E Minor, Op. 6, No. 3, HWV 321:   0:22:22

in A Minor, Op. 6, No. 4, HWV 322:   0:33:42

in D Major, Op. 6, No. 5, HWV 323:   0:44:47 

in G Minor, Op. 6, No. 6, HWV 324:   1:00:01

in B-Flat Major, Op. 6, No. 7, HWV 325:   1:15:29

in C Minor, Op. 6, No. 8, HWV 326:   1:29:34

in F Major, Op. 6, No. 9, HWV 327:   1:45:40

in D Minor, Op. 6, No. 10, HWV 328:    1:59:45

in A Major, Op. 6, No. 11, HWV 329:   2:13:13

in B Minor, Op. 6, No. 12, HWV 330:   2:29:21 

Georg Friedrich Händel, Organ Concerto in F - HWV295 ('The Cuckoo and the Nightingale')

9 May
Italian opera composer Giovanni Paisiello is born at Roccaforzata, near Taranto.

5 January
Composer Antonio Lotti, famous above all for his operas and sacred music, dies in Venice, aged about 73.

12 May
With Antonio Vivaldi about to leave Venice for Vienna, the Pieta governors decide to purchase 20 concertos from him at around three and a half ducats each.

27 February
George Frideric Handel’s oratorio L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, with an adapted Milton text by Jennens, receives the first of six badly-attended performances at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London.

Handel - L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato

31 May
As Frederick the Great of Prussia takes to his throne, Carl Philippe Emanuel Bach is officially appointed Court Harpsichordist in Berlin at an annual salary of 300 thalers. Also in the king’s musical retinue is Johann Joachim Quantz, flute teacher and court composer engaged at 2,000 thalers a year, and Carl Heinrich Graun, who gains the same wage with his promotion to Kapellmeister the following year.

21 March
Antonio Vivaldi's Sinfonia in G major (RV149) and three concertos (RV540, 552, 558) are premiered at the Pieta in Venice.

Antonio Vivaldi - Sinfonia in G major RV149

Vivaldi. Concierto en Re menor, RV 540

Vivaldi - Concerto for 2 violins RV 552 "Europa Galante"

1 August
Thomas Augustine Arne's Rule Britannia is heard for the first time as part of the composer’s masque Alfred, performed at a garden party of the Prince of Wales at Cliveden House, near Maidenhead.

Thomas Augustine Arne - Rule Britannia!

22 November
George Frideric Handel’s opera Imeneo, begun two years previously but only completed the previous month, is introduced at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It survives just two performances, adding to Handel’s catalogue of operatic failures.

George Frideric Handel - Imeneo

Giovanni Paisiello

Giovanni Paisiello, Paisiello also spelled Paesiello, (born May 9, 1740, Roccaforzata, near Taranto, Kingdom of Naples [Italy]—died June 5, 1816, Naples), Neapolitan composer of operas admired for their robust realism and dramatic power.

Paisiello’s father, who intended him for the legal profession, enrolled him at age five in the Jesuit school in Taranto. When his talent for singing became obvious, he was placed in the Conservatory of San Onofrio at Naples. For the theatre of the conservatory he wrote some intermezzi, one of which attracted so much notice that he was invited to write two operas, La Pupilla (“The Female Pupil”), for Bologna, and Il Marchese Tulissano, for Rome. His reputation established, he settled for some years at Naples, where he produced a series of successful operas. In 1776 Paisiello was invited by the Russian empress Catherine II to St. Petersburg, where he remained for eight years. Among the works he produced for Catherine was Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1782; The Barber of Seville), which some consider his masterpiece, on a libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini, after Beaumarchais’s comedy Le Barbier de Séville.

In 1784 Paisiello left Russia and, after a brief sojourn in Vienna, where he composed for Joseph II, entered the service of Ferdinand IV of Naples. During his 15 years as music director there, he composed several of his best operas, including La Molinara (1788) and Nina (1789). After many vicissitudes resulting from political and dynastic changes, he was invited to Paris in 1802 by Napoleon. Paisiello conducted the music of the court in the Tuileries; the Parisian public, however, received his opera Proserpine (1803) without enthusiasm. Disappointed at the failure of his only opera with a French libretto, he returned to Naples in 1804. There he was reinstated in his former appointment by Joseph Bonaparte and Joachim Murat, but he was unable to meet the demands for new works, and he left in 1815. The power of the Bonaparte family was tottering, and Paisiello’s fortunes fell with it; he died in political disgrace a year after King Ferdinand was restored to power.

Paisiello’s popularity and influence during his lifetime were considerable. His success with Il Barbiere di Siviglia (produced in Vienna in 1783) led Mozart to set its sequel (Le nozze di Figaro, 1786), and traces of his style may be found in this and Mozart’s second Da Ponte collaboration, Don Giovanni (1787); moreover, the persistent popularity of Il Barbiere was a substantial roadblock for Gioachino Rossini, whose operatic version of the play (early 1816) eventually displaced Paisiello’s. In all, Paisiello is known to have composed more than 80 operas. His church music comprises about 40 masses and many smaller works. His instrumental music includes symphonies, a harp concerto, string quartets, and sonatas for harp and for violin and cello. In the 20th century, Il Barbiere and La Molinara were revived, and several of his operas and piano concerti, string quartets, and keyboard pieces were republished.

Giovanni Paisiello - Fedra

Giovanni Paisiello - Pulcinella vendicato nel ritorno di Marechiaro (1769)

Giovanni Paisiello - IL RE TEODORO IN VENEZIA

Giovanni Paisiello - Messe en pastorale pour le premiere consul, Dixit dominus.

Paisiello: 6 Quartets, Op. 23 for flute violin, viola & cello

Giovanni Paisiello - Piano concerti

Giovanni Paisiello - Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Giovanni Paisiello

François Boucher – The Breakfast

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