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Francesco Durante
Featured on:
Perle del Barocco cdc 008
Perle/Paganini cdc 008/009

Real Audio:
La Pazzia
Francesco Durante (born in Frattamaggiore 31 March 1684, died in Naples 30 September 1755) was a composer and famous teacher who occupied a position of the very greatest importance in the musical life of Naples. At the time this was a city which in musical terms was a vital point of reference for the whole of Eurospe. Together with Alessandro Scarlatti, Durante is considered one of the founding fathers of the Neapolitan school.
This composer for the most part was a teacher at the conservatories of Sant’Onofrio, dei Poveri di Gesu Cristo, and S. Maria di Loreto. A generation of other composers of exceptional talent working in the field of Neapolitan melodrama would come to form a distinct Durante school. Amongst them we find Pergolesi, Paisiello, Piccinni, Jommelli, Guglielmi, and Sacchini. Despite this distinguished lineage, Durante himself wrote almost nothing for the theatre.
His musical works were largely religious compositions, harpsichord music, and quartet concertos. His was a music of extreme purity, great freedom of melodic invention, and highly developed imagination.
"La Pazzia", in Perle del Barocco (cdc 008), is a very special work of great significance in the history of music. In this piece Durante manifests all his different states of mind and emotion. It is extremely difficult in structure and organisation but elaborated in rather simple form. In arranging this piece Malipiero has respected the approach of the composer in the emphasis on the special role of repeated changes in mood and sound. This composition is an example of that "musical extravagance" which was in vogue during the seventeenth century and present at the beginning of the eighteenth. This is a first recording which is based upon a manuscript discovered by Maestro Prencipe over thirty-five years ago.

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