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Leonardo Leo

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Leonardo Leo (5 August 1694 – 31 October 1744), more correctly Lionardo Oronzo Salvatore de Leo was an Italian Baroque composer.

Leonardo Leo was born in San Vito degli Schiavoni (current San Vito dei Normanni, province of Brindisi), then part of the Kingdom of Naples.

He became a student at the Conservatorio della Pieta dei Turchini at Naples in 1703, and was a pupil first of Francesco Provenzale and later of Nicola Fago. It has been supposed that he was a pupil of Pitoni and Alessandro Scarlatti, but he could not possibly have studied with either of these composers, although he was undoubtedly influenced by their compositions. His earliest known work was a sacred drama, L’infedelta abbattuta, performed by his fellow-students in 1712.

In 1714 he produced, at the court theatre, an opera, Pisistrato, which was much admired. He held various posts at the royal chapel, and continued to write for the stage, besides teaching at the conservatory. After adding comic scenes to Francesco Gasparini’s Bajazette in 1722 for performance at Naples, he composed a comic opera, La’mpeca scoperta, in Neapolitan dialect, in 1723.

His most famous comic opera was Amor vuol sofferenze (1739), better known as La Finta Frascatana, highly praised by Des Brosses. He was equally distinguished as a composer of serious opera, Demofoonte (1735), Parnace (1737) and L’Olimpiade (1737) being his most famous works in this branch, and is still better known as a composer of sacred music. He died of a stroke while engaged in the composition of new arias for a revival of La Finta Frascatana.

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  • georgise

    wonderful!

    15 Nov 2010 Reply
  • fergusmcphail

    Just discovered the wonderful cello concertos last week. Can't stop playing them as the charts seem to testify! :o)

    21 Nov 2008 Reply

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