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Benedetto Marcello

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Benedetto Marcello (July 31 or August 1, 1686 – July 24, 1739) was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher.

Born in Venice, Benedetto Marcello was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. Although he was a music student of Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, his father wanted Benedetto to devote himself to law.

Indeed, Benedetto combined a life in law and public service with one in music. In 1711 he was appointed member of the Council of Forty (in Venice’s central government), and in 1730 he went to Pola as Provveditore (district governor).

Due to his health having been “impaired by the climate” of Istria, Marcello retired after eight years to Brescia in the capacity of Camerlengo and there he died.

Benedetto Marcello was the brother of Alessandro Marcello (1669 -1747), also a composer of some note.

Marcello vented his opinions on the state of musical drama at the time in the satirical pamphlet Il teatro alla moda, published anonymously in Venice in 1720. This little work, which was frequently reprinted, is not only extremely amusing, but is most valuable as a contribution to the history of opera.

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