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(1666 - 1729)

A distinguished and versatile musician, Attilio Ariosti was born in Bologna. He joined the Servite order, but in 1696 he was in the service of the Duke of Mantua, travelling thence to Berlin at the request of the Electress Sophie Charlotte and continuing as a composer of operas and other music. Recalled by his religious superiors, he returned by way of Vienna, where he spent some years intermittently in the service of the court. By 1716 he was in London, where he played the viola d’amore in an entr’acte in Handel’s Amadigi. His successful career continued in London with Italian operas; he seems to have died there in 1729.

Stage, Choral and Vocal Music

Ariosti left over 20 stage works, his first, the probably collaborative pastoral drama Tirsi, staged in Venice in 1696 and his last, Teuzzone, in London in 1727. In the latter city he wrote and in 1724 published a set of six cantatas, settings of Italian secular texts for soprano, two violins and continuo (dedicated to George I, brother of the Electress Sophie Charlotte), together with a set of six lessons for viola d’amore.

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