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Veracini, Francesco Maria

Veracini, Francesco Maria

Veracini, Francesco Maria, noted Italian violinist and composer, nephew of Antonio Veracini; b. Florence, Feb. 1,1690; d. there, Oct. 31,1768. He studied violin with his uncle, with whom he appeared in concerts in Florence, and also received instruction from Giovanni Maria Casini and Francesco Feroci, and from G.A. Bernabei in Germany (1715). In 1711 he went to Venice, where he appeared as a soloist at the Christmas masses at San Marco; in 1714 he gave a series of benefit concerts in London, and in 1716 entered the private service of the Elector of Saxony; in 1717 he went to Dresden and entered the court service. In 1723 he returned to Florence, where he was active as a performer and composer of sacred works; he also gave private concerts. In 1733 he returned to London, where he played for the Opera of the Nobility, a rival to Handel’s opera company; he also composed operas during his London years. In 1745 he returned to Italy, where from 1755 until his death he was maestro di cappella for the Vallambrosian fathers at the church of S. Pancrazio in Florence; he also held that position for the Teatini fathers at the church of S. Michele agl’Antinori there (from 1758). He acquired a reputation as an eccentric, and some considered him mad. Nonetheless he was esteemed as a violinist and composer.

Works

dramatic: Opera (all 1stperf. in London): Adriano in Siria (Nov. 26, 1735); La clemenza di Tito (April 12, 1737); Partenio (March 14, 1738); Rosalinda (Jan. 31, 1744). INSTRUMENTAL: (12) Sonatefor Violin or Recorder and Basso Continuo (1716; ed. by W. Kolneder, Leipzig, 1959-61); (12) Sonatefor Violin and Basso Continuo, op.l (Dresden, 1721; ed. by W. Kolneder, Leipzig, 1958-59); (12) Sonate accademichefor Violin and Basso Continuo, op.2 (London and Florence, 1744; ed. by F. Bar, Kassel, 1959- ); (12) Dissertazioni...sopra l’opera quinta del Gorelli (n.d.; ed. by W. Kolneder, Mainz, 1961); 15 sonatas in MS; 3 concertos in contemporary collections; 2 concertos and an overture in MS. VOCAL: 8 oratorios, all lost; a few sacred works, all of which are lost; some cantatas and songs.

Bibliography

H. Smith, FM. V.´s II trionfo della pratica musicale (diss., Ind. Univ., 1963); M. Clarke, The Violin Sonatas of FM. V.: Some Aspects of Italian Late Baroque Instrumental Style Exemplified (diss., Univ. of N.C., 1967); J. Hill, The Life and Works of FM. V.(diss., Harvard Univ., 1972; rev., Ann Arbor, 1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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