Biography of Domenico Alberti (ca. 1710-1746)

Composer, harpsichordist and Italian singer born in Venice around 1710 and died in Rome October 14, 1746. His greatest contribution to the history of music was his frequent use of what we know today as "Low Alberti", a pattern of accompaniment which appears in keyboard music from the 18th century and which consists in carrying out the triad chords in the left hand of arpegiada in the following order form: first note more severe, secondly the sharpestthen the middle and finally, again the sharpest.

Few details are known of his life, but it is known that he/she studied singing and counterpoint with A. Biffi and A. Lotti, this last master of Chapel of the Venetian Cathedral of San Marcos.

About 1736, Alberti traveled to Spain with the Ambassador of Venice Pietro Cappello and, due to his excellent voice, made a very good impression to the castrato Carlo Farinelli, who at that time served on the Madrid Court (see castrato). Years later, Alberti joined the House of the Marquis Giovanni Carlo Molinari in Rome.

Regarding his work, it is necessary to highlight his sonatas for keyboard, of which approximately forty survive. His Opus 1, composed of eight sonatas, was published by the music publisher Walsh in 1748. The sonatas of Alberti are inscribed in the tradition of the gallant style and already contain the foundations of what will be the future Mozartian style. Typically Italian works consisting of two contrasting movements of a binary structure, the first of them normally written as are sonata and the second closest to the character of a dance. In addition, the Venetian composer was one of the first to use the tempo Allegro cantabile within a sonata for keyboard.

Their vocal output consists of a Salve regina and a large number of arias, many with texts of the famous librettist Pietro Metastasio.


FREEMAN, D. E.: Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music, New York: R. L. Marshall, 1994.

STONE, D.: The Italian Sonata for Harpsichord and Pianoforte in the Eighteenth Century (1730-1790), Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press, 1952.