Locatelli, Pietro

1695 - 1764

Italian composer of sonatas and concerti, but best known as a virtuoso violinist playing mostly in Amsterdam where he settled in 1721.

The Italian composer and violinist Pietro Antonio Locatelli was born in Bergamo, later moving to Rome. He won a reputation as a virtuoso, performing in Italy, in Bavaria and in Berlin.

Locatelli wrote a number of concerti grossi, following the example of Corelli. The first set, published in Amsterdam in 1720, include twelve fugues. A further set of six concertos was published two years later. Locatelli combines the Roman style of Corelli with, in his solo concertos, the virtuosity of Vivaldi in Venice.

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Scarlatti, Allessandro

1660 - 1725

Leading composer of early Italian opera and one of the most important figures in developing classical harmony.

Scarlatti, Alessandro may have studied with Carissimi in Rome, where his first opera was produced in 1679. In 1684 he went to Naples as master of the royal chapel and there composed operas for the royal palace and chamber music for the aristocracy.

Later he was also active in Florence, Rome, and Venice. He wrote more than 100 operas. His church music includes motets and masses; he also wrote serenades and madrigals, and he composed almost 700 chamber cantatas, which represent the highest development of his art.


Vivaldi, Antonio

1678 - 1741

Italian violinist and composer from Venice, whose more than five hundred concertos for various instruments helped define the genre in the Baroque and into the Classical era.

Vivaldi also composed more than fifty operas, but he is best known for his concertos (mostly for violin), some of which express a poetic program, such as 'The Four Seasons'.

Vivaldi lived in Venice during the Baroque period, and the music he wrote for the violin and for its deeper-toned relatives, the viola, cello, and double-bass, perfectly sums up the spirit of those times. He influenced many contemporaries, most notably J.S.Bach, who made a number of arrangements of his music.

Beyond that, Vivaldi's development of the concerto and the sonata looked forward to the Classical age of Haydn and Mozart, in the latter part of the 18th century. His powers of musical description, in such works as The Four seasons, looked even further forward, to the Romantic era of the 19th century.