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Alessandro Marcello (24 August 1669 – 19 June 1747) was an Italian nobleman and dilettante who excelled in various areas, including poetry, philosophy, mathematics and, perhaps most notably, music.


A slightly older contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, Marcello held concerts at his hometown of Venicemarker. He composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas. Marcello often composed under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi ). He died in Padua in 1747. Alessandro's brother was Benedetto Marcello, also a composer.


Although his works are infrequently performed today, Marcello is regarded as a very competent composer. His La Cetra concertos are "unusual for their wind solo parts, concision and use of counterpoint within a broadly Vivaldian style," according to Grove, "placing them as a last outpost of the classic Venetian Baroque concerto."

A concerto Marcello wrote in D minor for oboe, string and basso continuo is perhaps his best-known work. Its worth was attested to by Johann Sebastian Bach who transcribe it for harpsichord (BWV 974). A number of editions have been published of the famous Oboe Concerto in D minor. The edition in C minor is credited to Benedetto Marcello.

The Breitkopf & Hartel edition of the Oboe Concerto in D minor states that Alessandro Marcello was born in 1684 and died in 1750. However, the majority of other archives state 1669-1747.

External links

Marcello's birth/death dates are given as 1684 to 1750 in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.


  • The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music, Oxford University Press, 1994

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