Alessandro Scarlatti


SCARLATTI was born in Sicily, 1659, or possibly 1658, and died in Naples, Oct. 24, 1725.

Little is known of his early training, but his first opera, produced in Rome, 1679, won him the favor of Christina, Queen of Sweden.

In 1684 he was appointed Maestro di Capella to the Viceroy in Naples, and produced many operas and much chamber music. He was married, and his son Domenico was born during this period.

He went to Florence in 1702, where he composed operas for Ferdinand III. As there was no permanent post for him there he went to Rome, where he attained a high reputation.

He was at his old post in Naples at an increase of salary, however, in 1713, and at this time he attained the height of his fame. His popularity waned about 1719, and he revisited Rome.

After three or four years, he came back to Naples, and remained in comparative obscurity until his death. Scarlatti greatly augmented the scope of the orchestra in opera, introduced new harmonic effects, and gave greater variety to recitative, besides establishing the form of the operatic “aria.”

He was the first of the operatic innovators, and as such takes his place with Gluck, Weber, Wagner, and more modern composers.