Corbetta, Francesco

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Corbetta, Francesco

Corbetta, Francesco , distinguished Italian composer; b. Pavia, c. 1615; d. Paris, 1681. He was in Bologna as a guitar teacher by 1639. About 1643 he entered the service of the Duke of Mantua. He entered the service of the Archduke of Austria about 1648. He was taken to Paris by Cardinal Mazarin, where he was guitar master to King Louis XIV. Following a sojourn in London as teacher to the king and the nobility, he returned to Paris in 1671 as guitar master to the dauphin. After another sojourn in London in 1675, he settled in Paris. As a composer, Corbetta was an out-standing master of the Baroque guitar genre. His collections Scherzi armonici (Bologna, 1639), Varii capricii (Milan, 1643), and Varii scherzi di sonate (Brussels, 1648) are the embodiment of the Italian style of guitar writing of his era. In his collections La guitarre royal dédiée au roy de la Grande Bretagne (Paris, 1671) and La guitarre roy ale dàdiàe a roy (Paris, 1674), he also demonstrated a mastery of the French style of guitar writing.


R. Pinnell, The Role of F. C. (1615–1681) in the History of Music for the Baroque Guitar (diss., Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles, 1976; includes transcriptions of his works).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire