Francesco Gasparini (19 March 1668 – 22 March 1727) was an Italian Baroque composer and teacher whose works were performed throughout Italy, and also on occasion in Germany and England.
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 established as 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)
- Kennedy, Michael (2006), The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 985 pages, ISBN 0-19-861459-4
- Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 782 pages, 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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