Francesco Maria Veracini (born 1 February 1690) was an Italian composer and violinist best known for his sonatas. Quite surprisingly though, half of his output was vocal.
He was one of the leading violinists of his time in the eighteenth century.
Veracini was born in Florence. His father was an undertaker and pharmacist, however, the remainder of his family were violinists in one form or another. Francesco’s Uncle Antonio taught him the violin. His grandfather had been one of the first violinists in Florence and even ran his own music school from the house, which was taken over by Antonio on his retirement.
Life & Career
Veracini performed at important events in London and Venice before being enticed by a pretty amazing salary to the court in Dresden in 1717 as Kapellmeister.
Quite shockingly, whilst in Dresden, it is unknown if it was an attempted suicide or murder but Veracini fell from a third-floor window. He survived, however, there were apparently rumours of his madness….
He is most famous for his 12 Sonate accademiche of 1744 for the violin. A year later he was the survivor of a shipwreck losing all his possessions including two of his prized Stainer violins which he named St. Peter and St. Paul.
In 1750 he returned to Italy working as Kapellmeister in two churches. He mostly spent his final years and occasionally performing with the violin. He died in Florence.
Musical Downloads & Further Reading
On music-scores.com we have various arrangements of Francesco Maria Veracini Sonata Prima Sheet music.