Tomaso Albinoni, 1671-1751

220px-Albinoni

Selected Recordings

Concerto for trumpet, 3 oboes, bassoon

Concerti a cinque, Op. 10

Oboe Concerto in C, Op. 9, No. 5

Selected Sheet Music

Concerto in F, Op. 9, No. 3

Concerto in F

Source: Petrucci

Showcase Piece

Adagio in G Minor

Notes and Commentary

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was an Italian Baroque composer. He is almost entirely known today for a piece of music he didn’t actually write: the Adagio in D Minor. The piece was mainly written by Italian musicologist Remo Giazotto, who, after Albinoni’s death, took the small bit that Albinoni wrote and turned it onto the piece that’s so well loved today.

“Giazotto came across the manuscript in a library in Dresden just after World War II. The music consisted of a bass line, a few bars of the violin part, and nothing more. Deciding that what he’d found was a church sonata, Giazotto scored the piece for organ and strings. The result is a work of solemnity and affecting simplicity, which has proved an astonishing durable favorite, almost on par with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.”—The Rough Guide to Classical Music (2001, 3rd ed.)

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). He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti and publish such works, and indeed today he is most noted for his oboe concertos.

His instrumental music greatly attracted the attention of Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni’s themes (Fugue on a Theme by Albinoni in A, BWV 950, Fugue on a Theme by Albinoni in B minor, BWV951) and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinoni’s work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library. As a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s. He lived from June 8, 1671 to January 17, 1751.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Tomaso Albinoni
Ulan Press, 2012
Remo Giazotto
$30.99 on Amazon
giazotto
“This book was originally published prior to 1923, and represents a reproduction of an important historical work, maintaining the same format as the original work. While some publishers have opted to apply OCR (optical character recognition) technology to the process, we believe this leads to sub-optimal results (frequent typographical errors, strange characters and confusing formatting) and does not adequately preserve the historical character of the original artifact. We believe this work is culturally important in its original archival form. While we strive to adequately clean and digitally enhance the original work, there are occasionally instances where imperfections such as blurred or missing pages, poor pictures or errant marks may have been introduced due to either the quality of the original work or the scanning process itself. Despite these occasional imperfections, we have brought it back into print as part of our ongoing global book preservation commitment, providing customers with access to the best possible historical reprints. We appreciate your understanding of these occasional imperfections, and sincerely hope you enjoy seeing the book in a format as close as possible to that intended by the original publisher.”—From Amazon

Tomaso Albinoni: The Venetian Composer and His World
Oxford University Press, 1994
Michael Talbot
$66.89 on Amazon

talbot
“One of the most successful examples of ths genre to emerge in English in the past few years … It reveals the clarity of thought, the propriety of style and idea, and the impeccable attention to detail viewed in breadth as well as in depth that have become the hallmarks of Professor Talbot’s scholarship … Professor Talbot’s book makes us see that Albinoni’s works deserve a greater hearing than they at present receive – his vocal as well as his instrumental works. This admirable study may well encourage the sort of platform they deserve.’ Rosamond McGuinness, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London.”—From Amazon

Selected Music

complete concertos Complete Concertos, Op. 9 (1999), 2-CD set

adagios Albinoni’s Adagios (1999), 1 CD

concertos Baroque, Volume 1: Concertos & Sonatas (1995), 1 CD

More Tomaso Albinoni music

Complete Works

Operas

  • Zenobia, regina de’ Palmireni
  • La Statira

None of Albinoni’s other known operas, some 50 in all, have survived in complete form. See a list of those.

Intermezzi

  • (Vespetta e) Pimpinone (Pietro Pariati), Venice 1708
  • Malsazio e Fiammetta (unidentified), Rome 1726 (text and music lost)
  • Il Satrapone (Antonio Salvi), P 1729 (music lost)

Serenate

  • Il nascimento de l’Aurora (unidentified), Venice ca. 1710
  • Il nome glorioso in terra, santificato in cielo (Vincenzo Cassani), Venice 1724
  • Il concilio de’ pianeti (Girolamo Baruffaldi), Venice 1729

Cantatas

  • 12 Cantate da camera a voce sola op. 4 (for voices and bass continuo), Venice 1702
    • Nr. 1: Amor, Sorte, Destino (for soprano)
    • Nr. 2: Da l’arco d’un bel ciglio (for alto)
    • Nr. 3: Del chiaro rio (for soprano)
    • Nr. 4: Riedi a me, luce gradita (for alto)
    • Nr. 5: Lontananza crudel, mi squarci il core (for soprano)
    • Nr. 6: Filli, chiedi al mio core (for alto)
    • Nr. 7: Ove rivolgo il piede (for soprano)
    • Nr. 8: Mi dà pena quando spira (for alto)
    • Nr. 9: Parti, mi lasci, ah quale (for soprano)
    • Nr. 10: Son qual Tantalo novello (for alto)
    • Nr. 11: Poiché al vago seren di due pupille (for soprano)
    • Nr. 12: Chi non sa quanto inumano (for alto)
  • 18 Cantatas for Soprano and Bass continuo, Staatsbibliothek Berlin, ms. 447
    • Nr. 1: Il bel ciglio d’Irene
    • Nr. 2: Già dal mar sorgea l’alba
    • Nr. 3: Amarissime pene, suonate ormai
    • Nr. 4: (as op. 4 Nr. 5)
    • Nr. 5: Sorgea col lume in fronte
    • Nr. 6: Lontan da te, mia vita
    • Nr. 7: Sovra letto d’erbette
    • Nr. 8: (as op. 4 Nr. 11)
    • Nr. 9: Il penar senza speranza
    • Nr. 10: Senti, bel sol, deh senti
    • Nr. 11: Quest’è l’ora fatale
    • Nr. 12: Di tante ree sciagure
    • Nr. 13: Fileno, caro amico
    • Nr. 14: Sovra molle origliere
    • Nr. 15: Clori nel ciel d’amor lucida stella
    • Nr. 16: Dubbio affetto il cor mi strugge (Amante timido)
    • Nr. 17: Rivolse Clori un giorno
    • Nr. 18: Donna illustre del Latio
  • Other cantatas
    • Bel fantasmo tu fosti al mio pensiero (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Bella, perché tu forsi (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Biondo crin, occhio nero, e sen d’avorio (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Che ne dici, che risolvi (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Crudelissimo amore (for alto and bass continuo)
    • Dove sei, che fai cor mio (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • E dove, Amor, mi guidi (for soprano, instruments and bass continuo)
    • Fatto bersaglio eterno (for alto and bass continuo)
    • Già tornava l’aurora
    • In alta rocca, ove d’un genio amico (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Io che per colpa sol del fatio rio (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Là dove il nobil Giano (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Quanta pietà mi date, o mesti fiori (for soprano and bass continuo)
    • Senza il core del mio bene (for soprano or alto and bass continuo)
    • Vorrei che lo sapessi (for alto and bass continuo)
    • Vorrei scoprir l’affanno (for soprano and bass continuo)

Albinoni’s works number in the hundreds. Access complete list. 

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