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Giovanni Battista Bassani (Composer)

Born: c1657 - Padua, Italy
Died: October 1, 1716 - Bergamo, Italy

Giovanni Battista Bassani was an Italian composer, violinist, and organist. It is thought that Battista studied in Venice under Daniele Castrovillari and in Ferrara under Giovanni Legrenzi. Charles Burney and John Hawkins claimed he taught Arcangelo Corelli, but there is no solid evidence for this assertion. He was an organist at the Accademia della Morte in Ferrara from 1667, but had probably left by 1675. He published his first music in 1677; the title page calls him maestro of music at the Confraternità della Morte in Finale Emilia, not far from Modena. He was maestro di cappella at Duke Alessandro II della Mirandola's court at 1680, and was elected principe at the Accademica Filarmonica in Bologna. He became maestro di cappella at the Accademia della Morte in Ferrara in 1683, and then maestro di cappella at Ferrara Cathedral in 1686. For his contributions to the musical life of Ferrara, he was often called "Bassani of Ferrara". He wrote 76 liturgically ordered services for use at Ferrara Cathedral between 1710 and 1712. He became director of music at S Maria Maggiore in Bergamo in 1712, and also taught at the Congregazione di Carità in the same city until his death.

Giovanni Battista Bassani was a celebrated violinist in his own time, and his fame was compounded by Burney's praise for him. His trio sonatas are his best-known and most often performed pieces in modern times. He wrote 13 oratorios, but only four survive, and all 13 of his operas have been lost aside from a few arias from Gli amori alla moda.

J.S. Bach Connection

About 1736-1740 J.S.Bach called upon an anonymous scribe (perhaps his son Gottfried Heinrich Bach, 1724-1763) to copy the entire contents of Bassani's Acroama missale (Augsburg, 1709), which consisted of six masses, each with Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, and Sanctus. Later, in 1747-1748, J.S.Bach himself composed ex novo the intonation (Credo in unum Deum) for the fifth of these. This brief composition (16 bars in length) in F major for four voices, instruments, and continuo (BWV 1081) follows the style of the collection and introduces the same plainchant intonation that J.S.Bach used in the Symbolum Nicenum of his Mass in B minor (BWV 232).


L'amorosa preda di Paride (1683)
Falarido tiranno d'Agrigento (1685)
L'Alarico Rè de' Goti (1685)
Vitige [Rè de'Vandali] (1686)
Agrippina in Baia (1687)
Gli amori alla moda (1688), 10 arias survive
Il trionfo di Venere in Ida (1688)
La Ginerva, infanta di Scozia (1690)
Le vicende di Cocceio Nerva (1691)
Gl'amori tra gl'odii, o sia Il Ramiro in Norvegia (1693)
Roderico (Ferrara, 1696)
L'Alarico (1709)
Armida al campo (Ferrara, 1711)

L'Esaltazione di S Croce (1675)
L'Epulone (1675)
La tromba della divina misericordia (1676)
L'amore ingeniero (1678)
Il mistico Roveto (1681)
Il Davide punito overo La pestilente strage d'Israele (1686); performed as Nella luna eclissata dal Cristiano valore, 1687, and as La Pietà trionfante della morte, 1692 and 1697
Il Giona (Ambrosini) (1689)
Mosè risorto dalle acque (1694)
Il conte di Bacheville (1696)
Susanna (1697)
Gl'impegni del divino amore nel transito della Beata Caterina Vegri detta di Bologna (1703)
Il trionfo della Fede (1704)
La morte delusa (1703); collaboration with G.B. Brevi, G.A. Perti, G. Bononcini, A. Scarlatti

Vocal works:
8 masses
at least 20 motets
various sacred solo vocal works and choral works
76 services, most with four solo voices, chorus, and basso continuo
~16 trio sonatas

Source: Wikipedia Website (from Smith/Vanscheeuwijck, "Giovanni Battista Bassani". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians online); Oxford Composer Companions J.S. Bach (OUP, 1999, Editor: Malcom Boyd, Article author: Alberto Basso)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2008)

Works arranged / copied / performed by J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach composed Intonation Credo in unum Deum (BWV 1081) for Mass in F major by J.B. Bassani (the 5th Mass in Bassani's Acroama missale (Augsburg, 1709), which consisted of six masses) - performed by J.S. Bach. in Leipzig 1747-1748

Links to other Sites

HOASM: Giovanni Battista Bassani
Giovanni Battista Bassani (Wikipedia)
Giovanni Battista Bassani - Biography (Naxos)

Giovanni Battista Bassani (
Giovanni Battista Bassani (SpeedyLook Encyclopedia)
Giovanni Battista Bassani (Hutchinson Encyclopedia)


C. Wolff: Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs (Wiesbaden, 1968).

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Last update: ýNovember 23, 2008 ý16:27:33