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Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is known today for his instrumental music, such as the concerto.[1] He is also known for a work that was falsely attributed to him: Adagio in G minor, actually written by Remo Giazotto, a modern musicologist and composer.[2]

Contents

1 Biography 2 Music and influence 3 References 4 External links

Biography[edit] Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a wealthy paper merchant in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII). His first opera, Zenobia, regina de Palmireni, was produced in Venice
Venice
in 1694. Albinoni was possibly employed in 1700 as a violinist to Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 collection of instrumental pieces. In 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.[1] In 1705, he was married; Antonino Biffi, the maestro di cappella of San Marco was a witness, and evidently was a friend of Albinoni. Albinoni seems to have no other connection with that primary musical establishment in Venice, however, and achieved his early fame as an opera composer at many cities in Italy, including Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Mantua, Udine, Piacenza, and Naples. During this time he was also composing instrumental music in abundance: prior to 1705, he mostly wrote trio sonatas and violin concertos, but between then and 1719 he wrote solo sonatas and concertos for oboe.[1] Unlike most composers of his time, he appears never to have sought a post at either a church or noble court, but then he was a man of independent means and had the option to compose music independently. In 1722, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct two of his operas in Munich. Around 1740, a collection of Albinoni's violin sonatas was published in France as a posthumous work, and scholars long presumed that meant that Albinoni had died by that time. However, it appears he lived on in Venice
Venice
in obscurity; a record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Tomaso Albinoni
Tomaso Albinoni
died in Venice
Venice
in 1751, of diabetes mellitus.[3] Music and influence[edit] Further information: List of compositions by Tomaso Albinoni Most of his operatic works have been lost, largely because they were not published during his lifetime. However, nine collections of instrumental works were published. These were met with considerable success and consequent reprints. He is therefore known more as a composer of instrumental music (99 sonatas, 59 concerti and 9 sinfonie) today. In his lifetime these works were compared favourably with those of Corelli and Vivaldi. His nine collections published in Italy, Amsterdam and London were either dedicated to or sponsored by an impressive list of southern European nobility. Albinoni wrote at least fifty operas, of which twenty-eight were produced in Venice between 1723 and 1740. Albinoni himself claimed 81 operas (naming his second-to-last opera, in the libretto, as his 80th).[4][5] In spite of his enormous operatic output, today he is most noted for his instrumental music, especially his oboe concerti. He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti (c. 1715, in his 12 concerti a cinque, op. 7) and publish such works,[6] although earlier concerti featuring solo oboe were probably written by German composers such as Telemann
Telemann
or Händel.[5] In Italy, Alessandro Marcello published his well-known oboe concerto in D minor a little later, in 1717. Albinoni also employed the instrument often in his chamber works.

Concerto
Concerto
in D minor for oboe and strings (played on saxophone in this recording)

First movement, Allegro e no presto

Performed by David Hernando Vitores (4:29)

Third movement, Allegro

Performed by David Hernando Vitores (3:22)

Problems playing these files? See media help.

His instrumental music attracted great attention from Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni's themes ( Fugue
Fugue
in A major on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 950, Fugue
Fugue
in B minor on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 951) and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinoni's work was lost in World War II
World War II
with the destruction of the Dresden
Dresden
State Library. As a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s. The famous "Adagio in G minor" for violin, strings and organ, the subject of many modern recordings, is thought by some to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto. However, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazotto's last assistant before his death, has cast some doubt on that belief. Among Giazotto's papers, Mangano discovered a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion, and six fragmentary bars of the first violin, "bearing in the top right-hand corner a stamp stating unequivocally the Dresden provenance of the original from which it was taken". This provides support for Giazotto's account that he did base his composition on an earlier source.[7] References[edit]

Citations

^ a b c Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni at Encyclopædia Britannica ^ "Tomaso Albinoni: Adagio in G minor".  ^ Giazotto, Remo (1945) Tomaso Albinoni : musico di violino dilettante veneto : (1671-1750) : con il catalogo tematico delle musiche per strumenti, 197 esempi musicali e 14 tavole fuori testo; Milano : F.lli Bocca. ^ .Michael Talbot, "Tomaso Albinoni", Grove Music On-line. Oxford Music On-line, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/00461 (accessed 30 December 2011). ^ a b Baroque Composers and Musicians: Tomaso Albinoni ^ George J. Buelow, A history of baroque music, Indiana University Press, 2004, p. 467. ^ Nicola Schneider, "La tradizione delle opere di Tomaso Albinoni
Tomaso Albinoni
a Dresda", tesi di laurea specialistica (Cremona: Facoltà di musicologia dell'Università degli studi di Pavia, 2007): pp. 181–86.

Bibliography

Eleanor Selfridge-Field, Venetian Instrumental
Instrumental
Music, from Gabrieli to Vivaldi. New York, Dover Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-486-28151-5 Michael Talbot: "Tomaso Albinoni", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed June 25, 2005), (subscription access) Franco Rossi: Catalogo Tematico delle composizioni di Tomaso Albinoni Tomo I - Le 12 opere strumentali a stampa - edition "I Solisti Veneti", Padova 2002 Franco Rossi: Catalogo Tematico delle composizioni di Tomaso Albinoni Tomo II - Le opere strumentali manoscritte - Le opere vocali - I libretti - edition "I Solisti Veneti", Padova 2003

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tomaso Albinoni.

Free scores by Albinoni at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 2655278 LCCN: n80019663 ISNI: 0000 0001 2270 4189 GND: 118644300 SELIBR: 206360 SUDOC: 07782492X BNF: cb13890645f (data) MusicBrainz: 83903121-f611-4875-984c-673ae7173e56 NLA: 35633130 NDL: 00798526 NKC: jn19990000083 ICCU: ITICCUCFIV78349 BNE: XX878

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