DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749 - 1801)
Trained in Naples, Cimarosa became one of the more important composers of Italian comic opera in the last quarter of the 18th century. He spent some years from 1787 as maestro di cappella to Catherine the Great in St Petersburg and at the court of the Emperor Leopold II in Vienna in 1791, the year of Mozart’s death. His later association with republicans in Naples led to a brief period of imprisonment before his death in Venice in 1801.
Cimarosa composed a very large number of operas, of which the best remembered is Il matrimonio segreto, based on the English comedy The Clandestine Marriage by David Garrick and George Colman.
Although Cimarosa is primarily known as a composer of opera, his name has long been familiar from the attribution of an Oboe Concerto that was arranged by Arthur Benjamin from Cimarosa’s keyboard sonatas and has provided a popular item of repertoire.