Tomaso Vitali, classical music composer

Tomaso Vitali image

Tomaso Vitali


The son of the famous Baroque cellist, Giovanni Battista Vitali, Tomaso Vitali's fame today almost entirely rests upon a single composition—the colossal Chaconne in G minor for violin. Tomaso was born on March 7, 1663 and his early music education likely came from his father. When the elder Vitali took up the post of vicemaestri di capelli at the d'Este court in Modena in 1675, Tomaso, then only twelve years of age, joined the court orchestra as a violinist. He would remain at the Modena court for nearly the remainder of his life, leaving the court just three years before his death. From an instrumentalist in the court orchestra, he eventually rose to the position of orchestral director. In 1703, he became a member of the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica, of which his father was a founding member. Within three years of joining, he earned the rank of composer within the academy. Tomaso died in Modena on May 9, 1745.

All of Vitali's surviving output is instrumental works. His first published compositions, two collections of trio sonatas (opp. 1 and 2) influenced by the style of his father and Corelli, appeared in 1693. Another collection, his opus 4, appeared a few years later and were dedicated to Cardinal Ottoboni, a prominent patron of music. The famous Chaconne in G minor is attributed to Vitali based on a manuscript, marked with Vitali's name in the corner, in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden. It was edited by Ferdinand David and published in 1867. Much speculation surrounds its authenticity. Though there is evidence to suggest the manuscript is authentic, many discredit the work's authenticity because of its wide-ranging modulations. Nonetheless, it remains a popular composition with violinists, appearing in several arrangement including one with a full orchestra accompaniment by Ottorino Resphigi. It has also been arranged for viola and cello.

Composer Title Date Action
Tomaso Vitali Chaconne 03/18/2009 Play Add to playlist
Tomaso Vitali Chaconne 01/15/2009 Play Add to playlist
Tomaso Vitali Chaconne 01/18/2009 Play Add to playlist
Tomaso Vitali Ciaccona 03/27/2011 Play Add to playlist
Tomaso Vitali Ciaconna / Chaconne in g for Violin and Orchestra 03/05/2016 Play