Domenico Cimarosa: 17 Dec 1749 – 11 Jan 1801

By | September 4, 2020

Introduction

Painting of Domenico Cimarosa playing the piano

Domenico Cimarosa was an Italian composer of both comic and serious operas during the Classical period.

His family were not wealthy and moved to Naples to enable Domenico to go to a free school. His father was in construction and sadly died when he was only seven in a scaffolding accident. Anna, his mother then took on a position in a monastery which enabled Cimarosa to gain a good education and musical training from the monks.

Career

Cimarosa started his career in Naples and then he travelled around performing both serious and comic operas. He took the position offered to him by Empress Catherine II to become Court Musician in St. Petersburg. Despite his successes he was not as popular as his predecessors and left Russia in 1791. King Leopold II then invited his to go to Vienna. It was here that he wrote his masterpiece Il matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage). He returned to Italy after King Leopold’s death and Il matrimonio and his other works were greatly received.

Cimarosa became known internationally and his works were performed in the opera houses around Europe.

During the occupation of Naples by the Republicans Cimarosa openly shared his support to them and when the monarchy was restored he was imprisoned. He escaped the death sentence but was said to have been poisoned which was never proven. He was exiled from Naples and went to Venice – at this point he was terminally ill and died aged fifty one.

In the 1920’s a number of piano sonata’s written in manuscript were discovered. It is thought that many of these went together as three movement works. The works referred to as Cimarosa concerto for Oboe are in fact a mix of the sonata’s made of arrangements of movements. We have over ten arrangements on music-scores.com

Further Reading

For further information take a look at Wikipedia  and Britannica.

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