Francesco Provenzale

(c. 1626—1704)

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(b Naples, c.1626; d Naples, 6 Sept. 1704). Italian composer. His name has often been associated with the beginnings of the so-called Neapolitan School of opera from about 1652. However, enormous problems with the attribution of his works over the next two decades make his precise contribution difficult to determine, although the quality of the two undisputed operas of the 1670s is undeniable. His influence was certainly strong through his important teaching posts at the conservatories of S. Maria di Loreto (1663–75) and S. Maria della Pietà dei Turchini until 1701, for which he composed sacred operas and religious works. He was maestro di cappella to the city of Naples from 1665 and maestro at the treasury of S. Gennaro from 1686 to 1699, when he was dismissed because his style was considered old-fashioned. Indeed, he had already been passed over for the young Alessandro Scarlatti as maestro to the royal court, but was retained as maestro onorio.

From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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