Alessandro Marcello

Italian composer Alessandro Marcello (1673–1747) enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the freedom to pursue his interest in music. Born in Venice, he was educated at the Collegio di S. Antonio. After studies, Alessandro joined the Venetian Arcadian society, the Accademia degli Animosi in 1698, and served the city as a diplomat. He held concerts in his hometown and composed and published several sets of concertos, including six under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonetti, and violin sonatas. A contemporary of Tomaso Albinoni, and Antonio Vivaldi, Marcello often published his works under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi). The Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor op.1 is perhaps his best-known work. Its worth was affirmed by Johann Sebastian Bach, who transcribed it for harpsichord (BWV 974). A number of editions have been published, including an edition in C minor to accommodate the baroque oboe, which was played a whole tone lower than the modern oboe.

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