Cimarosa Sheet Music and Biography
Domenico Cimarosa was an Italian composer of both comic and serious operas during the Classical period.
His family was not wealthy and moved to Naples to enable Domenico to go to a free school. His father worked in construction and sadly died in a scaffolding accident when Cimarosa was only seven years old. 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.
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 him to go to Vienna. It was here that he wrote his masterpiece Il matrimonio segreto (The Secret Marriage). His works received great reviews on his return to Italy following the death of King Leopold.
Cimarosa became known internationally and his works performed in the opera houses around Europe.
During the Republican occupation of Naples Cimarosa openly supported the Republicans. As a consequence of the restoration of the monarchy, he found himself imprisoned, very, fortunately, escaping the death sentence. Consequently, Cimarosa moved to Venice having being exiled from Naples. Sadly by this time he was terminally ill and died aged fifty-one.
In the 1920s there was a discovery of a number of his piano sonatas in manuscripts, which many agreed actually went together as three-movement works. Referred to as Cimarosa concerto for Oboe they are in fact a mix of the sonata’s created of arrangements of movements.