Giuseppe Sarti Biography

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Who was Giuseppe Sarti? What did Giuseppe Sarti do? Information on Giuseppe Sarti biography, works and compositions.


Giuseppe Sarti; (1729-1802), Italian composer, celebrated in his time for his melodious operas. He was bom in Faenza and was baptized there on Dec. 1, 1729. He was a student of the eminent teacher-composer Giambattista Martini and went on to become the teacher of another noted composer, Luigi Cherubini. Sarti became the most celebrated composer of Italian operas of his day and enjoyed international acclaim. He held a succession of important posts in Italy and at foreign courts, notably those of director of Italian opera at the court of King Frederick V of Denmark; maestro di cappella of the Milan Cathedral; and, for the last 18 years of his life, court composer to Catherine the Great of Russia and her successors. He died in Berlin, Germany, on July 28, 1802.

Sarti composed cantatas, oratorios, sonatas, and other music, but he was primarily an opera composer, writing some 75 works in that genre. They are all well-wrought, highly singable operas in the best 18th century Italian style, but as enjoyable as they would undoubtedly be today, they remain in oblivion. Only a snippet of his great operatic output is heard today—a tune from his opera Fra due litiganti il terzo gode (1782) that Mozart quoted in Don Giovanni (1787). Sarti’s other operas include Vologeso (1754), Siroe (1779), and II trionfo della pace (1783).

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