Schiassi, Gaetano: Concerto a 4 con violino primo obbligato


  • Composer(s): Gaetano Schiassi
  • Edition: Da Vinci Edition, Pian & Forte
  • Format: A4 - Paperback
  • Genre: Concerto
  • Instrumentation: Violin
  • Pages: 48
  • Period: Baroque
SKU: DVPF 20313 Category:

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Gaetano Schiassi: (b Bologna, 10 March 1698; d Lisbon, 1754). Italian composer. Born of Bolognese parents, Carl Antonio Schiassi and Catterina Minghetti, he was a member of the Accademia Filarmonica as a suonatore, and a violinist among the virtuosos at the ducal court of Alderano Cybo Malaspina, to whom he dedicated his Trattenimenti per camera in 1724. About three years later he was employed by the Landgrave of Darmstadt. During this period several of his operas and oratorios were performed on Italian stages; Barilli noted that his setting of Didone abbandonata was extremely successful (‘incontrò a meraviglia’). Of special interest is his comedy La Zanina finta contessa, partly written in Bolognese dialect in the manner of G.M. Buini.

From at least the end of 1734 he lived in Lisbon, where he served in the royal chapel and founded the Academia da Trindade. His letters from Lisbon to Padre Giambattista Martini from 3 January 1735 to 30 September 1753 (now in I-Bc) reveal his activities there as composer, teacher and singer. He was asked to compose oratorios based on texts by Metastasio, for which he enlisted Martini’s help in supplying fugues for the choruses. The letters also reveal several insights into performing practice and taste in 18th-century Lisbon, where the king refused to allow women to take roles in operas and prohibited all kinds of entertainment during his illness except for oratorios and church festivals. Schiassi also obtained several important books for Martini’s library, including a copy of Cerone’s rare El melopeo.
Schiassi’s training as a violinist is reflected in his instrumental writing, which often demands a high level of virtuosity and reflects a good understanding of the instrument. Forms include sonatas, sinfonias, concertos and dance pieces for combinations of one to four instruments with continuo. The vocal music is often written in a pastoral style similar to that of Bolognese composers like G.A. Perti in the first half of the 18th century.