Bertali, Antonio

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Bertali, Antonio

Bertali, Antonio, influential Italian composer; b. Verona, March 1605; d. Vienna, April 17, 1669. He was a student of Stefano Bernardi in Verona (1611–22). In 1622 he entered the service of Archduke Carl Joseph, Bishop of Breslau and Bressanone, the brother of Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria. In 1624 he went to Vienna, where he became a composer and violinist in the service of the imperial court. He composed much sacred and secular music, and was called upon to write works for various important official functions. Among the latter were the cantata Donna real for the marriage festivities of the future Emperor Ferdinand III and the Spanish Infanta Maria in 1631, the Missa Ratisbonensis for the imperial diet in Regensburg in 1636, and the Requiem pro Fer diñando III in 1637. In 1649 he was appointed imperial court Kapellmeister by Emperor Ferdinand III, and thereafter did much to establish the Italian style of opera in Vienna. He composed at least 10 operas, but only three complete scores are extant. Bertali’s extant instrumental sonatas are notable, particularly his writing for large ensembles in which he deftly combined Venetian polychoral writing with the sonata concertata. Among his sacred works were many oratorios, masses, Magnificats, Te Deums, Psalms, and motets.


C. LaRoche, A. B. ais Opern- und Oratorienkomponist (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1919).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire