Caldara, Antonio, important Italian composer; b. Venice, c. 1670; d. Vienna, Dec. 28, 1736. He was a choirboy under Giovanni Legrenzi at San Marco in Venice, where he received training in composition, viola da gamba, cello, and keyboard playing. In 1699 he became maestro di cappella da chiesa a dal teatro to the Duke of Mantua, where he had the opportunity to hone his skills as a dramatic composer. In 1708 he went to Rome, where his Lenten oratorio IImartirio di S. Caterina was given at the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni. Following a sojourn in Spain, where his II più bel nome (Barcelona, Aug. 2, 1708) was the first Italian opera to be performed in that country, he returned to Rome as maestro di cappella to prince Rusopoli. During this time, Caldara’s Venetian style was refined to embrace galant modes of expression. In 1716 he was called to Vienna to serve as vice-Kapellmeister under Fux at the court, where he concentrated much of his compositional energies on the creation of operas. His style was further refined to a greater use of contrapuntal writing. Caldara was a prolific composer of vocal music, producing some 3, 400 works, with his historical significance resting mainly upon his contributions to the development of opera and oratorio.
DRAMATIC: (all are drammi per musica and were 1st perf. in Vienna unless otherwise given): LArgene, trattenimento per musica (Venice, 1689); II Tirsi, drama pastorale (Venice, 1696; in collaboration with others); La promessa serbata al primo (Venice, 1697); L’ingratitudine gastigata (Venice, 698?); L’oracolo in sogno (Mantua, June 6, 1699; Act 2 by A. Quintavalle and Act 3 by CF. Pollarolo); La Partenope (Mantua, May 1701; rev. Ferrara, May 1709); Opera pastorale (Manuta, 1701; rev. as the drama pastorale La costanza in amor vince l’inganno, Rome, Feb. 9, 1711); Farnace (Venice, 1703); Gli equivoci del sembiante (Casale, 1703); Paride sull’lda, overo Gl’amori di Paride con Enone, favola pastorale (Mantua, 1704); L’Arminio (Genoa, Carnival 1705); II selvaggio eroe, tragicomedia eroico-pastorale (Venice, Nov. 20, 1707); II più bel nome, componimento da camera (Barcelona, Aug. 2, 1708); Sofonisba (Venice, 1708); L’inimico generoso (Bologna, May 11, 1709); II nome più glorioso, componimento da camera (Barcelona, Nov. 4, 1709); L’Atenaide (1709; Act I by A.S. Fiore and Act 3 by Gasparini; rev. as Teodosio ed Endossa, Braunschweig, Sept. 12, 1716; in collaboration with Fux and Gasparini); L’Anagilda, o vero La fede ne’ tradimenti (Rome, Jan. 4, 1711); Giunio Bruto, overo La caduta de’ Tarquinii (1711; not perf.; Act I by CF. Cesarmi and Act 3 by A. Scarlatti); Tito e Berenice (Rome, Carnival 1714); L’Atenaide (Nov. 19, 1714; Act 1 by M.A. Ziani and Act 2 by A. Negri); II giubilo della salza, festa (Salzburg, 1716); II maggior grande, componimento per musica da camera (Oct. 1, 1716); Pipa e Barlafuso, intermezzo (Nov. 19, 1716); Caio Marzio Coriolano (Aug. 28, 1717); II Tiridate, overo La verità nell’inganno (Nov. 11, 1717); Ifigenia in Aulide (Nov. 5, 1718); Sirita (Aug. 21, 1719); Dafne, dramma pastorale (Salzburg, Oct. 4?, 1719); Lucio Papirio dittatore (Nov. 4, 1719); Apollo in cielo, componimento da camera (Nov. 4, 1720); Psiche, componimento da camera (Nov. 19, 1720; in collaboration with Fux); Gli eccessi dell’infedeltà (Salzburg, 1720); L’inganno tradito dall’amore (Salzburg, 1720); // germanico Marte (Salzburg, Oct. 4, 1721); Ormisda, re di Persia (Nov. 4, 1721); Nitocri (Aug. 30, 1722); Camaide, imperatore della China, overo Li figliuoli rivali del padre (Salzburg, Oct. 4?, 1722); Scipione nelle Spagne (Nov. 4, 1722); La contesa de’ numi, servigio di camera (Prague, Oct. I, 1723); La concordia de’ pianetti, componimento teatrale (Nov. 19, 1723); Euristeo (May 16, 1724); Andromaca (Aug. 28, 1724); Giangiur, imperatore del Mogol (Nov. 4, 1724); II finto Policare, tragicommedia per musica (Salzburg, 1724); Semiramide in Ascalone (Aug. 28, 1725); Astarto (Salzburg, Oct. 4, 1725); II Venceslao (Nov. 4, 1725); Amalasunta (Jaromërice?, 1726); I due dittatori (Nov. 4, 1726); L’Etearco (Slzburg, 1726); Don Chisciotte in corte della duchessa, opera serioridicola (Feb. 6, 1727); Imeneo, pastorale (Aug. 28, 1727); Ornospade (Nov. 4, 1727); La verità nell’inganno, ossia Arsinoe (Salzburg, Nov. 15, 1727); La forza dell’amicizia, ovvero Pilade ed Oreste (Graz, Aug. 17, 1728; Act 1 by G. Reutter); Amor non ha legge, favola pastorale (Jaromëfice, 1728); Mitridate (Nov. 4, 1728); I disingannati, commedia per musica (Feb. 8, 1729); Enone, pastorale (Aug. 28, 1734); Caio Fabbrizio (Nov. 13, 1729); Sancio Pansa, governatore dell’isola Barattaria, commedia per musica (1730; rev. Jan. 27, 1733); La pazienza di Socrate con due mogli, scherzo drammatico (Jan. 17, 1731; in collaboration with G. Reutter); II Demetrio (Nov. 4, 1731); Livia, festa teatrale (Nov. 19, 1731); L’asilo d’amore, festa teatrale (Linz, Aug. 28, 1732); Adriano in Siria (Nov. 9, 1732); L’olimpiade (Aug. 30, 1733); Demofoonte (Nov. 4, 1733); La clemenza di Tito (Nov. 4, 1734); Le cinesi, componimento drammatico (Carnival 1735); II natale di Minerva Tritonia, festa per musica (Aug. 28, 1735); Scipione Africano il maggiore, festa di camera (Nov. 4, 1735); Achille in Sciro (Feb. 13, 1736); Ciro riconosciuto (Aug. 28, 1736); II Temistocle (Nov. 4, 1736). other: Over 40 oratorios (1697–1735); masses; mass sections; cantatas; motets; Psalms; vespers; hymns; antiphons; canons; madrigals; (12) Suonata a 3 for 2 Violins, Cello, and Organ (Venice, 1693); (12) Suonate da camera for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo (Venice, 1699).
L. Posthorn, A. C.s Instrumental-Musik (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1920); M. Barnes, The Trio Sonatas of A. C. (diss., Fla. State Univ., 1960); E. Fissinger, Selected Sacred Works of A. C. (diss., Univ. of 111., 1965); U. Kirkendale, A. G: Sein Leben und seine venezianische- römischen Oratorien (Graz, 1966); J. Wagner, The Keyboard Works of A. C.(diss., Washington Univ., St. Lous, 1966); U. Kirkendale, A. G: La vita (Florence, 1971); B. Pritchard, éd., A. G: Essays on His Life and Times (London, 1987).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
Baroque vocal composer; b. Venice, c. 1670; d. Vienna, Dec. 28, 1736. His early life is obscure, but it has been established that he was a pupil of legrenzi. By 1690 he was composing operas to metastasio librettos
and oratorios to texts by Apostolo Zeno. After travels in Spain and Italy he settled in Vienna in 1716 as assistant chapelmaster to J. J. fux under Charles VI, retaining this post until his death. Although during his early period he was esteemed as a cellist and string composer, he is known primarily for his vocal writing, particularly his mangificent 16-part Crucifixus, and has been favorably compared to Lotti in this sphere. In his works, which include many Masses, cantatas, and other sacred compositions, he unites the lyrical Italian cantilena with impeccable contrapuntal technique and utilizes indigenous elements that produce a valid and individual expression of the Austrian baroque. His canonic writing as exemplified in the Missa in contrapunto canonico … was said to be especially admired by Fux.
Bibliography: a. caldara, Kirchenwerke, ed. e. mandy czewski, Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich 26 ; Kammermusik für Gesang Kantaten, Madrigale, Kanons, ed. e. mandyczewski (ibid. 75). b. paumgartner, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume 10 v. (Kassel-Basel 1949–) 2:645–650. r. eitner, Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten 10 v. (Templin 1898–). c. gray, "Antonio Caldera," Musical Times 70(1929) 212–214. k. g. fellerer, The History of Catholic Church Music, tr. f. a. brunner (Baltimore 1961). m. f. bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York 1947). p. m. young, The Choral Tradition (New York 1962). r. freeman, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 3:613–616. g. krombach, "Modelle der offertoriumskompositonen bei Antonio Caldara, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, und Joseph Preindl," Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 71 (1988) 127–136. b. w. pritchard, ed., Antonio Caldara: Essays on His Life and Times (Aldershot 1987). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996). n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York 1992). e. r. walter, The Masses of Antonio Caldara (Ph.D. diss. Catholic University of America, 1973).