Tomaso Albinoni, classical music composer

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Tomaso Albinoni

Biography

Though little known today outside of his instrumental works, Tomaso Albinoni was once considered a master equal in stature to Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi. The oldest son of a wealthy Venetian paper merchant, Albinoni was accorded the rare luxury of pursuing music without financial concerns. He never sought employment at a church or court, and consequently produced music of remarkable individuality, despite his prolific rate of composing.

Little is known of Albinoni's life, despite his career being contemporaneous with many of the late Baroque's greatest masters and the relatively well-documented period of the early 18th century. Born in Venice on June 8, 1671, Albinoni studied both violin and singing, and reportedly developed a fine technique on the former. He initially set out to establish himself as a composer of sacred music but was unsuccessful. However, he soon found his niche as an opera composer. Composing a staggering number of roughly eighty operas during his career, his works were highly original. His fame as an operatic composer grew and his operas spread throughout the Italian Peninsula, being performed in Venice, Genoa, Bologna and Naples. His success eventually took him to Munich for productions of his I veri amici in honor of the marriage of the Prince Elector of Bavaria.

In addition to his many operas, Albinoni also composed a large number of instrumental pieces, particularly sonatas and concerti, and for which he is primarily known today. Most important among these are his concerti for oboe, in which he was the first Italian composer to treat the instrument as a lyrical soloist. His compositions were also highly regarded by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach composed two fugues on themes by Albinoni, and also frequently used Albinoni's figured basses as exercises for his pupils.

Albinoni was originally thought to have died prior to 1740 because of a posthumous collection of sonatas published in Paris in that year. However, Albinoni in fact still resided in Venice, albeit in obscurity. Tomaso Albinoni died on January 17, 1751.


Composer Title Date Action
Tomaso Albinoni Sinfonia a cinque in g minor 09/26/2010 Play Add to playlist
Tomaso Albinoni Concerto a cinque, Op. 2 No. 4 10/10/2010 Play Add to playlist