Benedetto Marcello, 1686-1739


Selected Recordings

Sonata in E minor for Violoncello & Continuo

Concerto Grosso No.1

Concerto Grosso No.2

Selected Sheet Music

Cello Sonata in A minor, Op.19


Showcase Piece

Le quattro stagioni, Sinfonia for strings

Notes and Commentary

Benedetto Giacomo Marcello was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher. Born in Venice, he was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. He was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi in Venice, and his instrumental music exhibits a Vivaldian flavor.

Benedetto Marcello composed church music, oratorios, hundreds of solo cantatas, duets, sonatas, concertos, and sinfonias. He was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi in Venice, and his instrumental music has a Vivaldian flavor. His music is “characterized by imagination and a fine technique and includes both counterpoint and progressive, galant features” (Grove, 1994).

He enjoyed some fame during his life and to a great extent he’s remembered today for his Estro poetico-armonico (Venice, 1724–1727), a musical setting for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and occasional solo instruments, of the first fifty Psalms, as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani. They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John Garth brought out an edition with English words (London, 1757). Although Marcello wrote an opera called La Fede riconosciuta and produced it in Vicenza in 1702, he had little sympathy with this form of composition.

With the poet Antonio Conti he wrote a series of experimental long cantatas: a duet, Il Timoteo, then five monologues, Cantone, Lucrezia, Andromaca, Arianna abandonnata, and finally Cassandra.

Marcello vented his opinions on the state of musical drama at the time in the satirical pamphlet Il teatro alla moda, published anonymously in Venice in 1720. This little work, which was frequently reprinted, is amusing and a valuable contribution to the history of opera. He lived from July 31 or August 1, 1686, to July 24, 1739.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Il Teatro Alla Moda (Italian Edition)
Amazon Digital Services, 2012
Benedetto Marcello
$0.99 on Kindle

The Theater of Fashion

The Works of Benedetto and Alessandro Marcello
Oxford University Press, 1990
Eleanor Selfridge-Field
$195 on Amazon

marcello works

Selected Music

venetian Requiem in the Venetian Manner (1999), 1 CD

grossi 12 Concerti Grossi, Op. 1 (2000), 2-CD set

son-op2 Sonatas Op. 2 (2006), 2-CD set

More Benedetto Marcello music

Complete Works

  • Api che raccogliete
  • Arianna
  • Cantan lieti ne’ boschetti
  • Cassandra
  • Cello Sonata in A minor
  • Cello Sonata in F major
  • 6 Cello Sonatas, Op.1
  • E ti parti e mi lasci e m’abbandoni
  • Estro poetico-armonico
  • Filli, tu sol lasciasti
  • La fonte del mio ciglio impara a piangere
  • Le fresche erbette
  • Fugue in G minor
  • Fugue in G minor
  • La gara amorosa
  • Harpsichord Sonata in B-flat major
  • In soccorso del core
  • Ingratissima Clori
  • Il maggior de’ miei mali
  • Messa canonica
  • Miro la tortorella
  • Nel primo momento
  • Onda d’amaro pianto
  • Piante amiche, ombre care
  • 12 Recorder Sonatas
  • Saria pur dolce Amor, saria pur grato
  • Se franger non potete
  • Se nel mondo vi è mai
  • Senza gran pena
  • Sfortunati miei sospiri
  • Il teatro alla moda
  • Timoteo
  • Un tormentoso affanno
  • Veggio Fille
  • Vi giuro, o mia Dorinda
  • Vi raccolgo in questo seno

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