Biography of Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690)

Italian composer, son of the violinist Giovanni Maria. He studied in Venice and Bergamo, and in the latter city, he was appointed organist of Santa María la Mayor (1654). At this time he maintained contact with Vitali and Cazzati, which exerted great influence on his early compositions. The sonatas published in 1655 offer first an example of two genres other than the sonata da chiesa and Sonata da camera. Between 1657 and 1665 he was choirmaster at the Academy of the Holy Spirit, which represented his first operas, written on libretti of the Marquis of Bentivoglio. Seven years later settled in Vienna, where continued to write for the theatre and its instrumental and vocal parts were printed. In plays gave clear signs of his instrumental art and preferred the heroico-comicos topics. He joined in a same score the tragic and dramatic, comic and satirical, using elements such as dances and songs. In 1681 he was appointed Deputy Minister of a chapel of San Marcos and four years later ascended master, dedicated since then, mainly to religious music.