Benedetto Marcello

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Benedetto Marcello
Marcello Benedetto.jpg
BornJune or July 24, 1686
DiedJuly 24, 1739(1739-07-24) (aged 52–53)
OccupationLegal scholar, composer
Notable work
  • Psalm settings
  • La Giuditta (oratorio) (1709?)[1]
  • Il teatro alla moda (1720) (Satire)
  • Officiale alla Messetteria (1711)
  • Giudice all'Esaminador (1714)
  • officiale alla Ternaria vecchia (1715)
  • membro della Quarantia civil vecchia (1717)
  • provveditore a Pola (1733)
  • officiale alla Giustizia vecchia (1735)
  • camerlengo a Brescia (1738)

Benedetto Giacomo Marcello (* June 24 or July 24, 1686, † July 24, 1739) was, like his brother Alessandro Marcello, an Italian composer of the Baroque period.


Legal career

Benedetto Marcello came from a Venetian family of advocates, and so it was natural that he should also study law. In 1711 he was elected to the Council of Forty; he held this office for 14 years.

In 1730 he was sent to Pola in Istria in present-day Croatia as Provveditore (Governor) of the Republic of Venice. However, Marcello, who was already ailing, could not tolerate the climate there; his health deteriorated and he had to return to Venice in 1737. Already the following year he was transferred to Brescia as camerlengo (chancellor, treasurer). Here he died on July 24, 1739, at the age of 53; the Pope ordered a one-day mourning.(Abbridged from Wikipedia)[1]

Marcello as a musician

Despite his professional obligations, Marcello never neglected music from the beginning. Only when he had to go to Pola did he stop composing.

Already as a young man, Benedetto Marcello published songs and sonatas. However, because composing was always only possible alongside his public career, he always referred to himself as a "nobile Veneto dilettante di contrappunto", that is, a lover, or layman, of music. Eventually, however, he took up his compositional studies with Francesco Gasparini (1668-1727) and Antonio Lotti (c. 1667-1740).

The first setting of Italian psalm paraphrases, L'Estro Poetico-Armonico, brought the now 38-year-old Marcello fame throughout Europe. These psalm settings follow the text down to the smallest detail. The work also includes, among others, a setting of Maos Zur, a song sung in the Jewish liturgy at Hanukkah, and a version of the Kaddish prayer.

A master of the solo cantata, Marcello is one of the last exponents of the great pathetic vocal style, sometimes placing small dramas within the framework of the genre. Marcello also wrote sonorous chamber music such as piano, violoncello, and flute sonatas, as well as instrumental concertos.(Abbridged from Wikipedia)[1]

Il teatro alla moda

Marcello was less successful as an opera composer. He may have wanted to take revenge on this genre when he wrote the satire Il teatro alla moda in 1720. In it, he rebuked the excesses of the theatre, its habits and its schematism. (Abbridged from Wikipedia)[1]

Benedetto Marcello in Philippe Jaroussky's discography, filmography and performance history

Studio albums

Year Title Studio album
2020 "Tuona il ciel" La Vanità del Mondo (Album)

On video

Concert programs

Year Title Studio album

See the respective program page for a list of possible recordings.

Complete list of musical pieces by Benedetto Marcello

This listing only reflects the musical pieces performed by Philippe Jaroussky.

Year published or performed Title Lyricist Work Album, video or concert program Year first published/performed
2020 "Tuona il ciel" anonymous La Giuditta La Vanità del Mondo (Album) 1709 (?)[1]


{{Reflist|refs= [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Benedetto Marcello". Wikipedia. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021. }}