Antonio Bertali: Notes and Commentary

Antonio Bertali was born in Verona and received early music education there from Stefano Bernardi. Probably from 1624, he was employed as court musician in Vienna by Emperor Ferdinand II. In 1649, he succeeded Giovanni Valentini as court Kapellmeister.

Bertali’s compositions are in the manner of other northern Italian composers of the time and include operas, oratorios, a large number of liturgical works, and chamber music. Particularly his operas are notable for establishing the tradition of Italian opera seria in Vienna.

Approximately half of his output is now lost. The most important source for his work is the Viennese Distinta Specificatione catalogue, which lists several composers of the Habsburg court and provides titles and scoring for more than 2,000 compositions. The “Chiacona” or “Chiaccona” is perhaps his best known work. He lived from March 1605 to April 1669.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

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