Baroque opera and church composer (original name, Pier Francesco Caletto-Bruno); b. Crema (Lombardy), Italy, Feb. 14, 1602; d. Venice, Jan. 17, 1676. He received musical training under his father, G. B. Caletto, an organist, and in March 1616 undertook studies with monteverdi in Venice, adopting the surname of Federigo Cavalli, the patrician who made his education possible. He spent his life in Venice, serving at San Marco as singer, organist, or maestro di cappella. While he was the leading exponent of early Venetian opera, he composed also a number of Masses and motets in various forms, from solo monodies to two-choir works, all in the stile moderno. These works, though dramatic, are not operatic, and it is clear that Cavalli distinguished between church and stage music. In the smaller ones there are devices common to less pretentious concertato music, and in the polychoral works there is the fullness of sound characteristic of Venetian religious music of that time. Like almost all his sacred music, his unpublished Requiem, reputedly a work of great solemnity, is still unavailable in a modern edition.
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