17 Aug 2014

Agostino Steffani (1654-1728)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 17 August 2014
Basilica il Santo Padua

Basilica il Santo Padua where Steffani was a chorister Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0

Who was Agostino Steffani? He’s not the most well-known composer these days, but does that mean he’s not worth remembering?

Steffani began his musical career as a chorister and was an operatic lead in Venice at the age of 11. Later he was an organist, instrumentalist, Kapellmeister and composer, spending most of his career in Germany.

Samantha Owens has a theory about his obscurity:

Steffani’s neglect up until this time can’t be attributed to the quality of his music. What’s more likely is that he simply failed to meet the nationalistic objectives of those responsible for assembling the earliest complete editions of individual composer’s works, back in the nineteenth century. The music of an Italian composer living in Germany and influenced by the French musical style simply didn’t fit.

Music Details:

STEFFANI: Sinfonia from Tassilone - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 5741)
STEFFANI: Stabat Mater - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 5336)
SCHUTZ: Bone Jesu - Sebastian Hennig (treble) (Harmonia Mundi HMX 290 8006)
STEFFANI: Triduanas a Domino - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 5336)
STEFFANI: M05b Menuet from Orlando generoso - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 5741)
STEFFANI: Ogni core puo sperar - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 473)
STEFFANI: Notte amica al cieco Dio  - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 473)
STEFFANI: Placidissime catene - Arcadia/ Attilio Cremonesi (Glossa GCD 2K0902)
STEFFANI: Sarabande from Itrionfi del fato - I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis (Decca 478 5741)