Bernardo Pasquini (7 December 1637 – 22 November 1710) was an Italian composer of opera and church music. A renowned virtuoso keyboard player in his day, he was probably one of the most important Italian composers for harpsichord between Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, having also made substantial contributions to the Roman opera. One of his harpsichord pieces was transcribed for orchestra by Ottorino Respighi for his suite Gli uccelli.
He was born at Massa in Val di Nievole (Tuscany). (There is no evidence that he was related to Ercole Pasquini, the early 17th-century Roman organist.) He was a pupil of Antonio Cesti and Loreto Vittori in 1650. Later he moved to Rome and entered the service of Prince Borghese; subsequently he became organist of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. He enjoyed the protection of Queen Christina of Sweden, in whose honour an opera of his, Dov'è amore è pieta to a libretto by Cristoforo Ivanovich, was produced in 1679.
During Alessandro Scarlatti's second stay in Rome (1703–1708), Pasquini and Arcangelo Corelli were frequently associated with Scarlatti in musical performances, especially in connection with the Academy of Arcadia, of which all three were members. Pasquini died at Rome, and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina.
performed by Sylvia Kind
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Pasquini celebrated the ubiquitous cuckoo in Toccata con lo Scherzo del Cucco, freely and neatly written in florid style in 1702. It is perhaps the best keyboard cuckoo piece in existence for it interestingly imitates the cuckoo's notes, which seems to have been a favourite device in early baroque music.
- Mottetti a voce sola e composizioni per organo, Alea Musica, Alexandra Nigito. Tactus (TC.631802)
- Oratorio Caino e Abele, conductor Alessandro De Marchi. Symphonia 1990
- Oratorio Santa Agnese Consortium Carissimi. 2 CD Arion
- 2 passion cantatas – Hor ch'il Ciel fra densi horrori; Padre, Signore e Dio. Sharon Rostorf-Zamir, Furio Zanasi, Capella Tiberina, conductor Giovanni Caruso. Brilliant Classics, DDD, 2010
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pasquini, Bernardo". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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- Free scores by Bernardo Pasquini at the International Music Score Library Project
- Life of Bernardo Pasquini, portion of a master's thesis by Gloria Pasquini Terwilliger (1952)