Locatelli, Pietro Antonio

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Locatelli, Pietro Antonio

Locatelli, Pietro Antonio, important Italian violinist and composer; b. Bergamo, Sept. 3, 1695; d. Amsterdam, March 30, 1764. As a youth, he played violin at S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. He then went to Rome, where he performed in the basilica of S. Lorenzo in Damaso (1717–23). After serving as virtuoso da camera at the Mantuan court, he traveled in Italy; then played at the Bavarian court in Munich and at the Prussian court in Berlin (1727) and in Kassel (1728). He settled in Amsterdam, where he devoted himself principally to leading an amateur ensemble and teaching; also made occasional tours abroad. As a virtuoso, he amazed his auditors with his technical feats, particularly in double stops; by changing the tuning of his violin, he produced marvelous effects; Paganini is said to have profited by his innovations. Among his works were XII concerti grossi a 4 e a 5 con 12 fughe for 2 Violins, 1 or 2 Violas, and Basso, op.1 (1721; corrected ed., 1729); XII sonate for Flute and Basso Continuo, op.2 (1732); L’arte del violino: XII concerti...con XXIV capricci ad libitum for Violin, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Bass, op.3 (1733); Parte 17: VI introduttioni teatrali; Parte II7: VI concerti for 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello, and for 2 Violins, Viola, and Bass, op.4 (1735); VI sonate a 3 for 2 Violins, or Flute and Basso Continuo, op.5 (1736); XII sonate de camera for Violin and Basso Continuo, op.6 (1737); VI concerti for 4 Violins, 2 Violas, and Bass, op.7 (1741); and X sonate, op.8 (1744; second ed., 1752; 6 for Violin and Basso Continuo and 4 for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo). See A. Koole, ed., Pietro Antonio Locatelli: Gesamtausgabe, Monumenta Musicae Neerlandicae, IV (1961).


A. Koole, Leven en werken van P.A. L. da Bergamo (Amsterdam, 1949); A. Meli, Gli esodi in patria di P.A. L.(Bergamo, 1971); A. Dunning, ed., Intorno a L.: studi in occasione del tricentenario della nascita di P.A. L: 1695–1764 (2 vols., 1995); M. Eynard, II musicista P.A. L.: Un itinerario artìstico da Bergamo ad Amsterdam (Bergamo, 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire