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Alessandro Scarlatti

1660 - 1725

Alessandro Scarlatti (2 May 1660 – 22 October 1725) was an Italian Baroque composer, especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.

Key Works

(b. Palermo, May 2, 1660; d. Naples, October 22, 1725)

Italian composer. He was the last “old A master” of the Italian Baroque and the most important operatic composer of the early 18th century in Italy. His parents were both musical and he received training in Palermo and, from 1672, Rome, where his talent quickly attracted important patrons and helped him become an established figure in the city’s cultural life while he was still in his teens. Between 1679 and 1683 he served as maestro di cappella at two important Roman churches and basked in the favor of leading Roman aristocrats, including Cardinal Pamphili and Sweden’s Queen Christina. But his desire to compose operas, public performances of which were banned in Rome, led him to accept an offer of a position in Naples as maestro di cappella at the royal chapel there. Despite intrigues against him on the part of Neapolitan musicians who resented an outsider’s being put in charge, and financial pressures associated with his growing family, Scarlatti flourished. He left Naples in 1703, for reasons having to do with what can best be described as political miscalculations, and spent several years in Rome and Venice before returning in 1708 to his old post as master of the royal chapel. He continued to crank out operas, his pace slower than before, his works less successful, and his debts still deep. He died famous, but in penury.

Scarlatti as a young man.

An autograph manuscript of Scarlatti's Griselda

6 Concerti Grossi

1. Concerto No. 1 in F minor 0:00
2. Concerto No. 2 in C minor 7:49
3. Concerto No. 3 in F major 14:41
4. Concerto No. 4 in G minor 22:43
5. Concerto No. 5 in D minor 29:08
6. Concerto No. 6 in E major 34:44

7 Concerti di flauto, violini, violetta e bassi (1725) 

Concerto for flute, strings and basso continuo in A major

I. Allegro - 0:05
II. Fuga - 1:00
III. Adagio - 2:54
IV. Allegro - 4:48

Concerto for flute, strings and basso continuo in D major

I. Allegro, adagio - 6:12
II. Fuga - 8:21
III. Largo - 10:25
IV. Allegro - 12:14

Concerto for recorder, strings and basso continuo in A minor

I. Allegro - 13:39
II. Largo - 15:39
III. Fuga - 17:17
IV. Piano - 19:23
V. Allegro - 21:11

Concerto for recorder, strings and basso continuo in C minor

I. Moderato - 23:06
II. Fuga - 24:27
III. Largo - 26:20
IV. Allegro - 27:51
V. Andante - 29:21

Concerto for recorder, strings and basso continuo in A minor

I. Andante - 30:15
II. Allegro - 34:27
III. Veloce, lento - 36:20
IV. Allegro - 37:33

Concerto for recorder, strings and basso continuo in C major

I. Adagio - 39:29
II. Fuga - 41:07
III. Largo - 43:26
IV. Allegro - 44:57

Concerto for recorder, strings and basso continuo in G minor

I. Allegro - 46:33
II. Fuga - 47:27
III. Largo - 49:38
IV. Allegro - 51:39

Cello Sonatas

1.Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor 0:00
Allegro, Allegro, Largo, A tempo giusto
2. Cello Sonata No. 2 in C minor 7:47
Allegro, Allegro, Piano. Presto
3. Cello Sonata No. 3 in C major 13:34
Allegro, Allegro, Amoroso, Presto

Alessandro Scarlatti 

Scarlatti’s output was voluminous. He composed masses, motets, and a large number of oratorios; sonatas, concerti grossi, and keyboard pieces; more than 600 secular cantatas, most of them for solo voice and instrumental accompaniment; and probably more than 100 operas, of which about 65 are known today. Because of his large output of cantatas and operas and the high quality of his music, Scarlatti was seen as a model by many younger composers who ended up more successful than he, including Handel, Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), and Niccolojommelli (1714-74). His operas helped establish the use of the three-part overture known as a Sinfonia and such devices as accompanied recitative and the full DA CAPO aria.

A maestro di cappella at 18, and with six successful operas performed in Rome’s aristocratic circles by 23, Scarlatti’s career had a remarkable start. He moved to Naples and by the 1690s was at the peak of his fame. By 1700 the city rivalled Venice as the leading operatic city, but Scarlatti was by then running into money problems — partly due to his large family — and, in looking for freelance work, he often ignored his contractual duties. After problematic spells in Rome and Venice, he returned to Naples, but, despite his fine reputation, his later, more complex operas achieved only a lukewarm success. Routinely called the founder of Neapolitan opera, it seems his style was mostly pan-Italian; only one of his 110-plus operas, Trionfo dell’onore, is Neapolitan in music and text. He died in poverty, and is remembered as the father of the composer Domenico.

1670s   Studies in Rome
1679    Writes Gli equivoci nel sembiante, opera
1680   L’honesta negli amori performed for the                Queen of Sweden
1685    Back in Naples. Domenico born
1706    Admitted to Arcadian Academy in Rome
1721    Composes the St Cecilia Mass


Stabat Mater

1_Stabat Mater
2_Cuius Anima
3_O Quam Tristis
4_Quae Morebat et dolebat
5_Qui est Homo
6_Quis non posset contristari
7_Pro peccatis suae gentis
8_Vidit Suum dulcem natum
9_Pia Mater
10_Sancta Mater
11_Fac Ut Ardeat cor meum
12_Tui nati vulnerati
13_Juxta crucem
14_Virgo virginum praeclara
15_Fac Ut Portem Christi mortem
16_Inflammatus et accensus
17_Fac me cruci custodiri
18_Quando Corpus morietur

Toccatas for Cembalo

Dixit Dominus

Humanita  e Lucifero

La Vergine dei dolori - 1

La Vergine dei dolori - 2

Maddalena  - 1

Maddalena - 2

Mitridate Eupatore - 2

Mitridate Eupatore - 1

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