Martini, Giovanni Battista: 12 duetti da camera, Bologna, 1763


  • Composer(s): Giovanni Battista Martini
  • Edition: Da Vinci Edition, Pian & Forte
  • Format: A4 - Hardcover
  • Genre: Vocal
  • Instrumentation: Voice
  • Pages: 88
  • Period: Baroque
SKU: DVPF 20328 Category:

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Giovanni Battista Martini (b Bologna, 24 April 1706; d Bologna, 3 Aug 1784). Italian writer on music, teacher and composer. Referred to at his death as ‘Dio della musica de’ nostri tempi’, he is one of the most famous figures in 18th-century music. He had his first music lessons from his father Antonio Maria, a violinist and cellist; subsequent teachers were Angelo Predieri, Giovanni Antonio Ricieri, Francesco Antonio Pistocchi (singing) and Giacomo Antonio Perti (composition). In 1721, after indicating his wish to become a monk, Martini was sent to the Franciscan Conventual monastery in Lugo di Romagna. He returned to Bologna towards the end of 1722 and played the organ at S Francesco. In 1725 he succeeded Padre Ferdinando Gridi as maestro di cappella of S Francesco. He occupied that post until the last years of his life, and lived in the convent attached to the church. Martini received minor orders in 1725, and four years later was ordained a priest. His first extant works date from 1724 and the first publication of his music appeared in 1734, Litaniae atque antiphonae finales Beatae Virginis Mariae; only three other collections of his music, all secular, were published during his lifetime.

In 1758, at the age of 52, Martini was made a member of the Accademia dell’Istituto delle Scienze di Bologna, after presenting the ‘Dissertatio de usu progressionis geometricae in musica’. In the same year he was also admitted to the Accademia Filarmonica – belated recognition in this case, because the rules prohibiting the admission of monks had to be waived. Martini’s relationship with the Accademia is a matter of controversy. He was certainly not the author of the Catalogo degli aggregati della Accademia filarmonica di Bologna, an important manuscript long attributed to him but actually by O. Penna (c1736), though he was involved in the reworking of part of the Catalogo which resulted in the anonymous publication ‘Serie cronologica de’ principi dell’Accademia de’ filarmonici’ (in the Diario bolognese, 1776). In any case, Martini seems to have remained somewhat independent of the Accademia and its members. In 1776 he was elected a member of the Arcadian Academy in Rome, with the name Aristosseno Anfioneo.