Bernardo Pasquini

Tuscany, Italy in 1637-1710 Bernardo Pasquini (7 December 1637 – 22 November 1710), was an Italian composer keyboard player. He was born at Massa in Val di Nievole (Tuscany). He was a pupil of Antonio Cesti and Loreto Vittori. He came to Rome while still young and entered the service of Prince Borghese and studied with Antonio Cesti and Loreto Vittori. Around 1663, he became organist of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. At some point around 1670 he entered the employ of Prince Giambattista Borghese as harpsichordist and music director. He enjoyed the protection of Queen Christina of Sweden, in whose honour an opera of his, Dov'è amore è pieta, was produced in 1679. Famous in his time as an outstanding keyboard virtuoso, Pasquini frequently performed with Corelli; the two became members, along with Alessandro Scarlatti, of the Arcadian Academy in 1706. He was renowned as a teacher; his students included Francesco Gasparini, Georg Muffat, and possibly Domenico Scarlatti. He composed a considerable amount of vocal music (much of it lost), including about seventeen oratorios, fourteen operas, and over fifty cantatas. He is also remembered as a vigorous composer for the harpsichord. One of his harpsichord pieces was transcribed for orchestra by Ottorino Respighi for his suite, 'Gli Uccelli'. His present reputation rests on his keyboard works, especially his suites and variations, most unpublished during his lifetime. Pasquini died at Rome, and was buried in th...

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