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Benedetto Marcello (1686 – 1739)
Born in Venice, Benedetto Marcello was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. Although he was a music student of Antonio Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, his father wanted Benedetto to devote himself to law. Benedetto managed to combine a life in law and public service with one in music. In 1711 he was appointed member of the Council of Forty (in Venice's central government), and in 1730 he went to Pola as Provveditore (district governor). Due to his health having been "impaired by the climate" of Istria, Marcello retired after eight years to Brescia in the capacity of Camerlengo where he died of tuberculosis in 1739.
Marcello composed a diversity of music including considerable church music, oratorios, hundreds of solo cantatas, duets, sonatas, concertos and sinfonias. Marcello was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi in Venice and his instrumental music enjoys a Vivaldian flavor. As a composer, Marcello was best known in his lifetime and is now still best remembered for his Estro poetico-armonico (Venice, 1724-1727), a musical setting for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and occasional soloist instruments of the first fifty Psalms, as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani. They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John Garth brought out an edition with English words (London, 1757). Although he wrote an opera called La Fede riconosciuta and produced it in Vicenza in 1702, he had little sympathy with this form of composition, as evidenced in his writings.
In Memoriam A.H.H. is a poem by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, completed in 1849. It is a requiem for the poet's Cambridge friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly in Vienna in 1833.
Thank you for the information about Marcello. The poem by Lord Tennyson is even more touching in view of the fact that it was written as requiem for a friend. Tennyson's poem has always been a favorite of mine.
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