Attilio Ariosti, 1666-1729


Selected Recordings

Sonata No. 12 in E minor for viola d’amore

Cantata for alto, flute, violin and basso continuo

Sonata G dur

Selected Sheet Music




Showcase Piece

Sonata in A Minor for Viola d´amore

Notes and Commentary

Attilio Malachia Ariosti, principally noted for his work with viola d’amore and opera, was a Servite Friar and Italian composer in the Baroque style, born in Bologna. He produced more than 30 operas and oratorios, numerous cantata, and instrumental works.

In 1697, in Berlin, he wrote and collaborated in the writing of a number of stage works performed for the court. He resided as the court composer until 1703.

His first opera was performed in Venice in 1697. From 1703 to 1709 he was the General Austrian Agent for Italy, during the reign of Joseph I. After 1716 he achieved success in Paris and London. In London, he shared with Georg Frideric Handel and Giovanni Bononcini the directorship of the Royal Academy of Music, and he played the viola d’amore in an entr’acte in Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula. In 1724 he published a Collection of Cantatas, and Lessons for the Viola d’Amour, which he sold by subscription. This publication might have been the most successful sale of music by subscription in the 18th century.

He wrote 21 solo sonatas for the the viola d’amore, which is a viola with resonating or sympathetic strings (unplayed strings beneath the regular stings that resonate when the strings above them are played). These are usually called the Stockholm Sonatas, as the sole surviving source for most of them is in the Statens Musikbibliotek in Stockholm, Sweden. The Stockholm Sonatas display Ariosti’s liking for surprising harmonies, his inventive use of silence, and his wit.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Attilio Ariosti in Berlin (German Edition)
Leipzig, Druck von Giesecke & Devrient, 1905 (facsimilie)
Alfred Leopold Ebert
$10.44 on Amazon


Collection of Lessons for the Viol d’amore
Attilio Ariosti


Die Viola d’amore
Heinz Berck
38.50 euros

Selected Music

stockholm sonatas Stockholm Sonatas 1 (2007), 1 CD

six sonatas Six Sonatas for Viola d’Amore and Harpsichord (1979), 1 vinyl album

aa-chamber Chamber Music, Cantatas, 1 vinyl album

More Attilio Ariosti music

Complete Works

Instrumental music

  • Concerts (lost)
  • Some sonatas for viola and violoncello

The best known is “La Passione di Cristo” (Vienna, 1709)
Altogether 23 operas, among them:

  • La festa di Imeneo” – (Berlin) balletto.
  • Atys” – (Berlin).
  • La fede nei tradimenti” – (Berlin, 1701).
  • Marte e Irene” – (Berlin, 1703).
  • I gloriosi presagi del Scipione Africano” – (Vienna, 1704).
  • La profezia d’Eliseo nell’assedio di Samaria” – (Vienna, 1705).
  • Marte placato” – (Vienna, 1707).
  • La gara delle antiche eroine ne’ campi elisi” – (Vienna, 1707).
  • Amor tra nemici” – (Vienna, 1708).
  • La Placidia” – (Vienna, 1709).
  • Coriolano” – (London, 1723).
  • Lucio Vero” – (London, 1726).
  • Vespasiano e Artaserse” – (London, 1724).
  • Dario” – (London, 1725).


  • Gli amori di Polifemo“, music by Giovanni Bononcini.

Excerpted from Wikipedia

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He lived from November 5, 1666, to 1729.


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