Born in Camaiore, near Lucca, he studied in Rome with Corelli and Pasquini. His first important opera, Roderico (1694), was produced there. In 1702 he went to Venice and became one of the leading composers in the city. In 1720 he returned to Rome for his last important work, Tigrane (1724). He wrote the first opera using the story of Hamlet (Ambleto, 1705) though this was not based on Shakespeare's play.
Gasparini's 1705 Missa Canonica for four voices and basso continuo was known to Johann Sebastian Bach, who, in 1740, copied it out and—after adding parts for strings, oboes, cornett, trombone, and organ—performed its Kyrie and Gloria in both the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig and St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig. The Bach-Archiv Leipzig, whose Deputy Director Dr. Peter Wollny discovered the autograph Bach parts in 2012 in Weissenfels, stated that it was an important model for Bach in his exploration of the stile antico and of the canon in his last decade.
Gasparini was also a teacher, the instructor of Marcello, Quantz and Domenico Scarlatti. He was musical director of the Ospedale della Pietà, where he employed Antonio Vivaldi as a violin master. He wrote a treatise on the harpsichord (1708). At one time, Metastasio was betrothed to his daughter. He died in Rome in 1727.
- Dori & Daliso – Mirena & Floro, Auser Musici, Carlo Ipata, director, Symphonia SY 03207 (2004)
- Cantate da Camera a voce e basso continuo – Susanna Rigacci soprano; Gabriele Micheli harpsichord. Tactus TC 660701 (2004)
- Griffiths, Paul (2004). The Penguin Companion to Classical Music. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-190976-5. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Swain, Joseph P. (2013). Historical Dictionary of Baroque Music. Scarecrow. ISBN 0-81-087825-9. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Unger, Melvin P. (2010). Historical Dictionary of Choral Music. Scarecrow. ISBN 0-81-087392-3. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "Gasparini, Francesco". Auser Musici. 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "Unbekannte Handschrift Johann Sebastian Bachs entdeckt" (Press release). Bach-Archiv Leipzig. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Kennedy, Michael (2006), The Oxford Dictionary of Music, ISBN 0-19-861459-4
- Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, ISBN 0-19-869164-5
- Free scores by Francesco Gasparini at the International Music Score Library Project
- Free scores by Francesco Gasparini in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
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