Gasparini, Francesco eminent Italian composer and pedagogue; b. Camaiore, near Lucca, March 5, 1668;d. Rome, March 22, 1727. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna in 1685, then studied with Legrenzi in Venice in 1686. He subsequently went to Rome (1689), where he became a member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia; he may have received further instruction from Corelli and Pasquini. In 1701 he became maestro di coro of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. In 1713 Gasparini returned to Rome, where he became maestro di cappella of S. Lorenzo in Lucina in 1717. He was appointed to the same position at St. John Lateran in 1725, but ill health prevented him from assuming his duties. Gasparini distinguished himself as a composer of both secular and sacred music; he wrote about 50 operas in all. He was also an esteemed teacher, numbering Domenico Scarlatti, Quantz, and Benedetto Marcello among his students. He publ. the valuable treatise L’armonico pratico al cimbalo (Venice, 1708; many subsequent eds.; Eng. tr. by F. Stillings as The Practical Harmonist at the Keyboard, New Haven, 1963).
DRAMATIC Opera (all 1st perf. in Venice unless otherwise given): II Roderico (Rome, Jan. 25, 1694); L’Ajace (Rome, 1697); Mirena e Floro (Naples, 1699); Tiberio Imperatore d’Oriente (1702); Gli imenei stabiliti dal caso (Dec. 23, 1702); Il piùfedelfra I vassalli (Feb. 3, 1703); II miglior d’ogni amore per il peggiore d’ogni odio (Nov. 6, 1703); Lafede tradita e vendicata (Jan. 5, 1704); La maschera levata al vitio (1704); La Fredegonda (Dec. 24, 1704); Ambleto (Carnival 1705);Il principato custodito dallafrode (Jan. 31, 1705); Statira (Feb. 2, 1705); Antioco (Oct. 30, 1705); Flavio Anicio Olibrio (Carnival 1707); Anfitrione (1707); L’amor generoso (1707); Taican Re della Cina (1707); Engelberta (Carnival 1708); Atenaide (Vienna, Carnival 1709; Act 1 by A. S. Fiore, Act 2 by A. Caldara, and Act 3 by Gasparini); Sesostri Re d’Egitto (Carnival 1709); La ninfa Apollo (Feb. 12, 1709); Alciade, overo La violenza d’amore (Bergamo, 1709; Act 1 by Gasparini, Act 2 by C. F. Pollarolo, and Act 3 by F. Ballarotti); La principessa fedele (1709); Tamerlano (1710); L’amor tirannico (1710); Merope (Dec. 26, 1711); Costantino (1711); Amor vince I’odio, overo Timocrate (Florence, Carnival 1715);Il tartaro nella Cina (Reggio Emilia, 1715); II comando non inteso ed ubbedito (Florence, 1715); Giro (Rome, Carnival 1716); Teodosio ed Eudossa (Braunschweig, Sept. 12, 1716; in collaboration with J. Fux and A. Caldara); II trace in catena (Rome, Carnival 1716–17); Intermezzi in derisione della setta maomettana (Rome, Carnival 1717?); Pirro (Rome, Carnival 1717); II gran Cid (Naples, Carnival 1717); Democrito (Turin, Carnival 1718); Lucio Vero (Rome, Carnival 1719); Astianatte (Rome, Carnival 1719); L’oracolo delfato (Vienna, 1719); La pace fra Seleuco e Tolomeo (Milan, Jan. 8, 1720); Nino (Reggio Emilia, 1720; Act 1 by G. M. Capelli, Act 2 by Gasparini, and Act 3 by A. M. Bononcini); L’avaro (Florence, 1720?);Il Faramondo (Rome, Dec. 26, 1720); Dorinda (Rome, Carnival 1723); Gl’ecjuwoci d’amore e d’innocenza (1723); Tigrane (Rome, Jan. 12, 1724). VOCAL: O r a t o r i o s : Santa Maria egittiaca, piacere, pentimento, e Lucifero (n.d.); Moise liberato dal Nilo (Vienna, 1703?); L’Atalia (n.d.); La nascita di Cristo (1724); Le nozze di Tobia (1724). OTHER: Cantate da camera a voce sola, op.l (Rome, 1695); cantatas; arias; masses; motets.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire