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Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

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(1671 – 1751)

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni or most correctly Tomaso Albinoni (June 8, 1671, Venice, Italy – January 17, 1751, Venice) was a Venetian baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, some of which is regularly recorded. Famous “Albinoni Adagio in G minor”, which is one of the most frequently recorded pieces of Baroque music, actually was composed by the 20th-century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto and based on the disputed discovery of a manuscript fragment from Albinoni.

Born to Antonio Albinoni (1634–1709), a wealthy paper merchant and nobleman in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life, especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian Pietro, Cardinal Ottoboni (grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII); Ottoboni was an important patron in Rome of other composers, such as Arcangelo Corelli.

Albinoni was employed in 1700 as a violinist to the Fernando Carlo, Duke of Mantua, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 collection of instrumental pieces. In 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Grand Duke Ferdinand III of Tuscany.

In 1705 he was married; Antonino Biffi, the maestro di cappella of San Marco was a witness, and evidently was a friend of Albinoni’s.

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