Bernardo Pasquini (7 December 1637 – 21 November 1710) was an Italian composer of opera, oratorio, cantata and keyboard music. A renowned virtuoso keyboard player in his day, he was one of the most important Italian composers for harpsichord between Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, having also made substantial contributions to the opera and oratorio.
He was born at Massa in Val di Nievole today Massa e Cozzile (Tuscany). He was a pupil of Mariotto Bocciantini in Uzzano. Around 1650 he moved in Ferrara with his uncle Giovanni Pasquini. In 1654-55 he was organist of Accademia della Morte. Later he moved to Rome and in 1657 became organist of Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa nuova). In November 1667 entered to the service of Prince Borghese. In February 1664 he was appointed organist of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Maria in Aracoeli. As a composer and keyboard player, he collaborated to the music performances patronised by most famous patrons in Rome, such as cardinals Flavio Chigi, Benedetto Pamphilj, Pietro Ottoboni, and the Queen Christina of Sweden. He composed numerous operas, all staged in Rome between 1672 and 1692, and partially replayed in several Italian theaters (Florence, Pisa, Naples, Ferrara, Perugia etc.).
- La sincerità con la sincerità ovvero il Tirinto (1672)
- L’amor per vendetta ovvero l’Alcasta (1673)
- La donna ancora è fedele (1676)
- Trespolo tutore (1677)
- Dov’è amore è pietà (Ipermestra) (1679)
- Idalma ovvero chi la dura la vince (1680)
- Il Lisimaco (1681)
- La Tessalonica (1683)
- Arianna (1685)
- Santa Dinna (1687; only II act)
- I giochi troiani (1688)
- La caduta del regno delle Amazzoni (1690)
- Alessio (1690)
- Il Colombo overo l’India scoperta (1690)
- Eudossia (1692)
He also composed a number of oratorios
- Caino e Abele (1671)
- Agar (1675)
- Assuero (1675)
- S. Alessio (1675)
- Divae Clarae triumphus (1682)
- L’idolatria di Salomone (1686)
- I fatti di Mosè nel deserto (1687)
- Il martirio dei santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia (1687)
- La purità trionfante overo Martiniano il santo (1688 in collaboration with G.L. Lulier, T.B. Gaffi, G. Ercole, L. Amadori)
- La sete di Cristo (1689)
- La caduta di Salomone (1693)
- Davide trionfante contro Goliath (1694)
- S. Maria di Soria (1694)
- S. Filippo Neri
He composed around sixty cantatas, mainly for one voice and continuo, but also for two or three voices, with or without instruments, and continuo.
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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- Complete modern edition Bernardo Pasquini, Le cantate, ed. by Alexandra Nigito, Turnhout, 2012.
- Arnaldo Morelli, Pasquini, Bernardo, in Die Musik in Geschicht und Gegenwart – Personenteil, 2. Ausgabe, Kassel, Bd. 13, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bernardo Pasquini.|
- 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)