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Tomaso Vitali

Italian Composer Tomaso Vitali Was Born in 1663

The composer and violinist was prominent during the mid to late Baroque era


Tomaso Antonio Vitali was the eldest son of Giovanni Battista Vitali,  a noted composer, and cellist, who assumed the role of vicemaestri di capelli at the d'Este court in Modena in 1675.

Tomaso who was just twelve years old, joined the court orchestra as a violinist. He remained at the Modena court for most of his life, departing just three years prior to his death. Initially serving as an instrumentalist, Tomaso ascended to the position of orchestral director over time. In 1703, he gained membership in the esteemed Accademia Filarmonica, co-founded by his father, and attained the rank of composer within three years.

Vitali's surviving body of work exclusively comprises of instrumental compositions. His initial published pieces include two collections of trio sonatas (op. 1 and 2), which reflected influences from his father and Corelli- they were released in 1693. His other compositions include sonatas da camera (chamber sonatas), and violin sonatas.

Tomaso is primarily remembered for his 'Chaconne in G minor 'for violin and continuo, a composition traditionally attributed to him. This work was published from a manuscript found in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden in Die Hoch Schule des Violinspiels (1867), edited by German violinist Ferdinand David. However, the piece's extensive modulations into distant keys have led to speculation about its authenticity as a Baroque composition. Furthermore, the lack of resemblance to other works by Vitali has prompted modern scholars to question its attribution.

Tomaso passed away in Modena on May 9, 1745.



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