ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1639 - 1682)
Alessandro Stradella lived most of his life in his native city of Rome. He may have been a nobleman. That he was forced to flee in 1677 because of a scandal is, unfortunately, typical for him. His reputation is tarnished by various love affairs with noble ladies, and, after at least one unsuccessful attempt at his life, he was finally murdered on the Piazza Bianchi in Genoa by a hired assassin because of another such dalliance. So colourful was his life that he was even the subject of a highly successful Romantic opera by Flotow, Alessandro Stradella (Hamburg 1844). Musically, his reputation is based chiefly on his pioneering rôle in the development of the concerto grosso. During his short life Stradella composed operas and other stage works, many oratorios and other compositions for the church, hundreds of cantatas, and 27 instrumental works.