The biography

Antonio Domenico Viraldini an Italian composer, musician and pedagogue-enlightener, was born on November 4th 1705 in Venice in the family of a violin player Maurizio Viraldini.

Viraldini has got musical education under the guidance of a composer and conductor Carlo Tortora, who taught him composition, conducting, playing violin, harpsichord and organ.

From his youth Viraldini became very popular as a masterful violinist, harpsichord and organ player and also a brilliant composer (his first editions dated 1714, and famous double-voiced "Fughetta Cromatica" for harpsichord/organ among them).

At the age of ten he came to the conductor’s stand for the first time. It happened at the St. Marcus’ Cathedral, where the little conductor performed Messa in c-moll by Tortora.

For a number of years till 1736 Viraldini's life and work were closely connected with musical life of Italy. He gave many performances as a violin player and pedagogue and also as a conductor of choir as well as orchestra and an author of several instrumental works, operas, cantatas and oratoriae.

Being gifted with a deep sense of sound colour, Viraldini widely experimented with different musical instruments, orchestra and choir, creating many works for various ensembles. Yet, having been a brilliant performer, he never longed to an overwhelming virtuosity in his work – his masterful style served the brighter impressions of the whole work's idea.

From 1725 to 1735 Viraldini worked in Milan at the Duke's court. Up to that time he took the holy orders of a minorite priest and created several sacred and secular works, some of them made to order. Among them there was a monumental opera-oratorio "Rut esultante" for two choirs, doubled orchestra, organ, harpsichord and four soloists. Its full score has not been found so far, there was recently discovered only a description and some odd parts of that work (among them the famous Rutta's air with choir), also a cantata "Le Quattr' Epoche" in its complete and instrumental edition, and some other works.

At the same time Viraldini made some opera works for local theatres. Written on tradition Bible plots, the "Danae" and "Perseo ed Andromeda" (in some editions "II Crollo di Gorgona “) also "Il Fallimento di Babilono" and "Il Tentazione di Assuro" due to that period of time.

Since 1725 Viraldini headed a musical asylum for young lads "II Conservatorio Ospedale del Pace" (similar to "Il Conservatorio Ospedale della Pieta" for young maids headed by Vivaldi). There for the first time in musical pedagogy's history he put choir singing as a fundamental base of musical education. Advanced instrumental specifics were taught in parallel with improved choir lessons. Thus the asylum has become a truly creative laboratory for the composer. The pupils graduated from the asylum being completely formed musicians accepted and demanded throughout the whole Italy.

Within a number of years Viraldini gave a lot of concerts not only in different Italian cities but also in some European capitals, such as Paris, Prague and so on, often jointly with Anna Gironi, a prominent singer considered to be the best performer of soprano parts in Viraldini'i works.

Later Viraldini returned to Venice, but unexpectedly he clashed with a lot of intigues carried by Catholic clergy and local musicians. Soon after he forced to get away, and for that time it was Vienna he went to.

It was his last journey. In Vienna on November 28th 1741 Viraldini died of an unknown disease (according to the book by A. Orlov-Sokolsky "Antonio Domenico Viraldini, His life and Work", "Musichna Ukraina" 1984, it was a sheer heart attack). He finished his life in deep poverty and was buried on a cemetery for paupers, which was lost long ago.

At a present time among all preserved Viraldini's heritage his vocal & instrumental works are considered to be mostly interesting. Unlike his antagonist S. Barcello, who concentrated rigidly on instrumental genres, Viraldini, besides 114 cantatas for various ensembles and 19 concertos for different instruments, composed 8 operas, 2 oratoriae, several serenades and nearly 10 sacred works manifesting absolute supremacy of choir singing.

Дневник Виральдини
  • 26 февраля 1725. Милан
    Кроме кота Маркелино, никаких домашних животных у меня никогда не было. Правда, были еще вши, но вши не в счет. К тому ж...
  • 1 марта 1725
    Сегодня много репетировали. Десятилетний Гуарески, отъявленный хулиган и лентяй, играл скрипичное соло как никогда вирту...
  • Декабрь 1726
    ...Анна помолвлена, а я посвящен. Почему же муки мои усиливаются и прежние мысли терзают меня именно теперь, когда испра...
  • Июль 1735
    Восемь лет я не прикасался а этому дневнику, но все эти годы где-то на краю сознания жила мысль о нем. И вот тайник вскр...
  • Сентябрь 1735
    Постановка "Данаи" близится к концу. Мы с Анной очень сблизились за время репетиций. Сейчас я сам удивляюсь - ...
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