Baldassare Galuppi

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Galuppi, Baldassare

Galuppi, Baldassare, celebrated Italian composer, called “II Buranello” after his birthplace; b. on the island of Burano, near Venice, Oct. 18, 1706; d. Venice, Jan. 3, 1785. He began his musical training with his father, a barber and violinist, writing his first opera, La fede nelVincostanza ossia gli amid rivali, when he was 16. It failed at its premiere in Vicenza in 1722, so he pursued a thorough course of instruction in composition and keyboard playing with Antonio Lotti. He garnered his first unqualified success as a composer with the opera Dorinda (Venice, June 9, 1729), written in collaboration with G.B. Pescetti, and subsequently wrote numerous operas for the leading Italian opera houses. From 1740 to 1751 he was maestro di musica of the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice. He was active as a composer in London at the King’s Theatre at the Haymarket (1741–43), and also visited Vienna in 1748. He was named vice- maestro of the cappella ducale of S. Marco in Venice in 1748, and in 1762 was made Venice’s maestro di cappella. Turning to the new form of opera buffa, he established himself as a master of the genre with his L’Arcadia in Brenta (Venice, May 14, 1749), sealing his fame with his // Filosofo di campagna (Venice, Oct. 26, 1754), which was performed with great acclaim all over Europe. He was called to Russia in 1765 to serve as music director of the court chapel of Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg; his opera seria Ifigenia in Tauride was given at the court on May 2, 1768. He returned to Venice in 1768, and resumed his post at S. Marco; that same year, he also became maestro di coro of the Ospedale degli Incurabili. Galuppi was a pivotal figure in the development and refinement of opera buffa. His effective vocal and orch. writing, combined with Goldoni’s innovative librettos, ensured popular success. He was also a distinguished composer for the keyboard; his sonatas confirm his contemporary renown as a harpsi-chord virtuoso.


DRAMATIC Opera (all 1st perf. in Venice unless otherwise given): Gl’odj delusi dal sangue (Feb. 4, 1728; in collaboration with G.B. Pescetti); L’odio placato (Dec. 27, 1729); Argenide (Jan. 15, 1733); L’ambizione depressa (1733); Tamiri (Nov. 17, 1734); Elisa regina di Tiro (Jan. 27, 1736); Ergilda (Nov. 12, 1736); L’Alvilda (May 29, 1737); Issipile (Turin, Dec. 26, 1737); Alessandronelle Indie (Mantua, Carnival 1738); Adriano in Siria (Turin, Jan. 1740); Gustavo primo re di Svezia (May 25, 1740); Oronte re de’ Sciti (Dec. 26, 1740); Berenice (Jan. 27, 1741); Didone abbandonata (Modena, Carnival 1741); Penelope (London, Dec. 23, 1741); Scipione in Cartagine (London, March 13, 1742); Enrico (London, Jan. 12, 1743); Sirbace (London, April 20, 1743); Ricimero (Milan, Dec. 26, 1744); Antigono (London, May 24, 1746); Scipione nelle Spagne (Nov. 1746); Evergete (Rome, Jan. 2, 1747); L’Arminio (Nov. 26, 1747); L’Olimpiade (Milan, Dec. 26, 1747); Vologeso (Rome, Feb. 13?, 1748); Demetrio (Vienna, Oct. 16?, 1748); Clotilde (Nov. 1748); Semiramide riconosciuta (Milan, Jan. 25, 1749); Artaserse (Vienna, Jan. 27, 1749); Demofoonte (Madrid, Dec. 18, 1749); Olimpia (Naples, Dec. 18?, 1749); Alcimena principessa dell’Isole Fortunate, ossia L’amorefortunato ne’ suoi disprezzj (Dec. 26, 1749); Antigona (Rome, Jan. 9, 1751); Dario (Turin, Carnival 1751); Lucio Papirio (Reggio Emilia, 1751); Artaserse (Padua, June 11, 1751); Sofonisba (Rome, Feb. 24?, 1753); L’eroe cinese (Naples, July 10, 1753); Siroe (Rome, Feb. 10, 1754); Attalo (Padua, June 11, 1755); Idomeneo (Rome, Jan. 7, 1756); Ezio (Milan, Jan. 22, 1757); Sesostri (Nov. 26, 1757); Ipermestra (Milan, Jan. 14, 1758); Adriano in Siria (Livorno, 1758); Meilite riconosciuto (Rome, Jan. 13, 1759); La clemenza di Tito (1760); Solimano (Padua, 1760); Antigono (Carnival 1762); // re pastore (Parma, 1762); Siface, later known as Viriate (May 19, 1762); // Muzio Scevola (Padua, June 1762); Adrianna e Teseo (Padua, June 12, 1763); Sonofisba (Turin, Carnival 1764); Cajo Mario (May 31, 1764); Ifigenia in Tauride (St. Petersburg, May 2, 1768); Montezuma (May 27, 1772). D r a m m a s G i o c o s o : Laforza d’amore (Jan. 30, 1745); L’Arcadia in Brenta (May 14,1749); II conte Caramella (Verona, Dec. 18, 1749?); Arcifanfano re dei matti (Dec. 27, 1749); // paese della Cuccagna (May 7,1750);

II mondo alia roversa, ossia Le Donne che comandano (Nov. 14, 1750); La mascherata (Dec. 26?, 1750); Le virtuose ridicole (Carnival 1752); La calamita de’ cuori (Dec. 26, 1752); I bagni d’Abano (Feb. 10, 1753; in collabortion with Bertoni); // filosofo di campagna (Oct. 26, 1754); // povero superbo (Feb. 1755); Le nozze (Bologna, Sept. 14, 1755); La diavolessa (Nov. 1755); L’amante di tutte (Nov. 15, 1760); Li tre amanti ridicoli (Jan. 18, 1761); // caffe di campagna (Nov. 18, 1761); // marchese villano (Feb. 2, 1762); L’uomofemmina (Dec. 26, 1762); II puntiglio amoroso (Dec. 26, 1762); II re alia caccia (1763); La donna di governo (Rome, 1761; rev. version, Prague, 1763); La partenza il ritorno de’ marinari (Dec. 26, 1764); La cameriera spiritosa (Milan, Oct. 4, 1766); // villano geloso (Nov. 1769); Amor lunatico (Jan. 1770); L’inimico delle donne (1771); Gl’intrighi amorosi (Jan. 1772); La serva per amove (1773; Act 1 unfinished). OTHER: Several other dramatic works, including farsettas, pastorales, intermezzos, serenatas, and cantatas. His sacred works include oratorios, masses, Requiems, Magnificats, motets, and a number of pieces for the Russian Orthodox church. Among his instrumental works are numerous sonatas, toccatas, divertimenti, and other pieces for keyboard.


F. Raabe, G. als Instrumentalkomponist (diss., Univ. of Munich, 1926); W. Bollert, Die Buffoopern B. G.s (diss., Univ. of Berlin, 1935); A. Chiuminatto, The Liturgical Works ofB. G. (diss., Northwestern Univ., 1959); D. Pullmann, A Catalogue of the Keyboard Sonatas of B. G. (1706–1785) (diss., American Univ., 1972); R. Holmes, A Critical Edition of Selected Keyboard Sonatas by B. G. (1706–1785) (diss., Tex. Tech. Univ., 1976); R. Wiesend, Studien zur Opera Seria von B. G. (2 vols., Tutzing, 1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Early classical composer of church music and opera;b. Burano Island, near Venice (hence his nickname Il Buranello), Oct. 18, 1706; d. Venice, Jan. 3, 1785. His father, a barber and theater orchestra violinist, provided his first music training. After Galuppi's first opera failed in 1722, Benedetto marcello arranged for him to study composition with Antonio Lotti, and this resulted in a steady flow of commissions (112 operas in all). In 1748 he was named vice chapelmaster at St. Mark's, Venice, becoming first chapelmaster in 1762. He was invited to Russia by Catherine the Great, and he spent three years there (176568), composing and producing operas, teaching (Bortniansky was a pupil), and serving as the Czarina's adviser on music. By 1773 he had stopped composing operas in favor of oratorios (27) and church music. His sacred works (very few of which have been published) were projected in both an austere a cappella style and in a contemporary style like that of his operas, in which the solo parts are filled with elaborate coloratura passages and the role of the large orchestra is quite important. A gifted harpsichordist, Galuppi also wrote 51 keyboard sonatas, as well as a number of concerti.

Bibliography: No complete modern ed. of his music, but selected arias, sonatas, and Masses have been transcribed. a. della corte, Baldassare Galuppi (Quaderni dell'Accademia Chigiana 18; Siena 1948). w. bollert, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegen-wart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 4:134248. e. blom, Step-children of Music (London 1925). Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, ed. n. slonimsky (5th, rev. ed. New York 1958) 532533. r. eitner, Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten, 10 v. [Leipzig 190004; New York n.d. (1947)] 4:138141. james l. jackman, "Baldassare Galuppi" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v. 7, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 134138. d. monson, "Baldassare Galuppi" in International Dictionary of Opera, 2 v., ed. c. s. larue (Detroit 1993) 483486. m.t. muraro and f. rossi, eds., Galuppiana 1985: Studie ricerche atti del Convego Internazionale (Venezia, 2830 ottobre 1985) (Florence 1986). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York 1992) 596597. r. wiesend, Studien zur opera seria von Baldassare Galuppi (Tutzing 1981).

[r. steiner]

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Galuppi, Baldassare (b Island of Burano, nr. Venice, 1706; d Venice, 1785). It. composer. From 1728 comp. several operas for It. ths. Visited London 1741–3, with considerable operatic success at King's Th., Haymarket. Ass. choirmaster of St Mark's, Venice, 1748, choirmaster 1762. Visited St Petersburg 1766–8. His 112 operas incl. Adriano in Siria (1740); Didone abbandonata (1741); Scipione in Cartagine (1742); Il filosofo di campagna (1752); Il re pastore (1762); and Ifigenia in Tauride (1768). Also wrote oratorios, church mus., hpd. sonatas. Browning's poem A Toccata of Galuppi's refers to an imaginary comp.