Benedetto Marcello

Benedetto Marcello (* between that 24. July and that 1. August 1686 in Venice; † 24. or 25. July 1739 in Brescia) was an Italian composer of the baroque.

Table of contents

the legal career

Benedetto Marcello came of to an lawyer family and like that was only natural it that also it studied first law. Thus public career anything did not stand to it in the way. 1711 he was selected into the venezianischen “advice of the forty ”. This office dressed he 14 years long. 1730 it as Provisor (governor) was sent to the Republic of Venice after Pola. The now already ailing Marcello did not stand however the climate in Pola, its state of health worsened so much that it had to return 1737 to Venice. But in the following year it was already shifted as “camalengo ” (chancellor, treasurer) after Brescia. Here it died to 24. or 25. July 1739.

Marcello of the musicians

Trotz of its vocational obligations never neglected Marcello from the outset the music. Only as it to Pola to go had, had it stopped to compose.

Already as a young man it had published songs and sonnets. Because composing was possible apart from its public career however always only, he called always “nobile Veneto dilettante himself contrappunto”, thus as a dilettante layman of the music. Finally however it took its composition studies on with Francesco Gasparini (1668-1727) and Antonio Lotti (around 1667-1740).

The first Vertonung of Italian Psalmenparaphrasen “L'Estro Poetico Armonico” brought in in the meantime 38jährigen Marcello European-wide fame for that. The extensive work from 50 Solopsalmen to Girolamo Ascanio Giustiniani was in former times an attempt of “archaisierenden solo singing”. Altogether this of 8 volumes, 1-4stimmig with general bass consists works for organ or piano, partly with obligatory Violoncello or two violins. In this work a rather traditional kontrapunktische sentence technology outweighs. In addition, it alternates often completely unexpectedly with compact, homophonen, nearly folkloristischen portions. In the smallest detail this Psalmvertonungen follows the text.

As a master of the Solokantate Marcello is one of the last representatives of the large pathetischen singing style, which puts sometimes small dramas into in the context of the kind. Besides Marcello wrote also sound-magnificent chamber music such as piano, violoncello and Flötensonaten as well as instrument valley concerts.

Also its brother Alessandro Marcello stepped out as a composer.

IL teatro alla moda

as an opera composer was less successfully Marcello. Did it want itself at this kind thus throats, when it wrote the satire IL in the year 1722 teatro alla moda? Therein he blamed the excrescences of the theatre, its habits and his schematism. The criticism concerned however only the outward appearances of an opera enterprise become the routine. A reform of the opera did not introduce this culture-historically interesting writing. This remained for the French music aesthetics and, being based on Marcello, Raniero di Calzibigi (1714-1795) and Christoph Willibald luck (1714-1787) reserve. The singing despotism, which Primadonnen and Kastratenunwesen had in such a manner over hand taken that there was clearance for the music hardly still, and the composers themselves were put on ever more and closer chains. Naturally the excrescences of this system in artistic and social relationship were also otherwise denounced. But Marcellos satire had brought the conditions of the Venezianeroper schäfstens on the point.

the work

Benedetto Marcellos complete work covers also 348 lay Kantaten and some instrument valley concerts except numerous religious works (alone 10 fairs and 15 Motetten, 5 Oratorien). The soon necessary reproductions of its Psalmvertonungen were recommended later to George Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) and Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) by Giovanni Bononcini (1640-1678), euphorically. It is however difficult to arrange Marcello stylistic into the number of these composers. It seems to be affected in its instrument valley concerts by the galanten style Antonio Vivaldis, but in the sakralen music it maintains a quite self-willed personnel style.

In the range of the chamber music the Sonaten OI

  • is worth mentioning. 2 for Blockflöte or transverse flute or violin and Basso Continuo

furthermore is received and of importance:

  • Concerti A 5 stromenti (1701)
  • Cellosonaten OI. 1 (1712)
  • Klaviersonaten OI. 2 (1712)
  • Flötensonaten op.3 (1712)
  • Canzoni madrigalesce OD air by camera a2, A 3, A 4 voci (1717)
  • Oratorium “Gioa” (o.A.)
  • salvo (o.A.)
  • Tantum ergo (6-stimmig, canonically)
  • a allegorisches Oratorium: IL trionfo della poesia e della musica nel celebrarsi la morte, la esaltazione e la coronazione Maria (o.A.)


  • Eleanor Selfridge Field: The music OF Benedetto and Alessandro Marcello. A topic catalogue, with commentary on the composers, repertory and SOURCEs. Clarendon press, Oxford 1990, ISBN 0-19-316126-5

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and over Benedetto Marcello in the catalog of the DDB



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