Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

Tomaso Albinoni, though not frequently performed, is one of the most prolific composers of the Baroque era.  He had no aspirations of making a career out of music, but found such joy in making music when taking violin and voice lessons as a child, that he continued on throughout his life.  His first few composition attempts proved to be unsuccessful, but when he explored composing an opera and trio sonata in 1694, he found favor from audiences.

As his music gained popularity, it was spread across Europe.  In 1705, he married soprano Margherita Raimondi and the couple had six children.  When his father died, Albinoni inherited part of his father’s stationery shop and earned revenue until 1721 when the business was lost in a lawsuit.  This was the same year that his wife passed away.

The following year, Albinoni’s career peaked with the success of his famous set of 12 Concerti a cinque.  He continued to compose into the 1740s creating a quite substantial collection of works: over 50 operas, nearly 50 solo cantatas, 100 sonatas for chamber ensembles, almost 60 concerti and 8 sinfonias.   Also impressive is that all of his material is original; he is not known for using other composers’ ideas, but is known for beautifully styled melodies.  Albinoni died in 1751 after suffering from illness for two years.  Though his music is still performed today, his legacy does not match the adoration received during his lifetime.

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