Paisiello, Giovanni

Paisiello, Giovanni an eminent Italian composer, who wrote both secular and Church music, was born at Taranto in 1741. He received his musical education in the Conservatorio St. Onofrio at Naples, under the guidance of the celebrated musician Durante. Of Paisiello's earlier works none are of special interest to us, as they were principally of a secular character. Some of his best works, among which is II Barbiere de Seviglia, were written during an eight years' residence at St. Petersburg. At Vienna he composed twelve symphonies for a large orchestra, and the opera buffa II Re Teodoro. Between 1785 and 1799 he produced a number of operas for the Neapolitan theatre, and was appointed by Ferdinand IV his Maestro di Capella. In consequence of having accepted under the revolutionary government the office of national director of music, he was suspended from his functions for two years after the restoration of royalty, but eventually restored to them. In 1802 he went to Paris to direct the music of the consular chapel, and while in that position wrote a Te Deum for Napoleon's coronation. The indifferent reception shortly after given to his opera of Prosepine led him to return to Naples, where he died in 1816. His compositions are characterized by sweetness and gracefulness of melody and simplicity of structure. Besides no fewer than ninety operas, instrumental quartets, harpsichord sonatas, and concertos, he composed masses, requiems, cantatas, an oratorio, and a highly praised funeral march in honor of General Hoche. See Dhoron et Fayolle, Dictionnaire

Historique des Musiciens, s.v.; Quatremere de Quincy, Notices sur Paisiello; Fetis, Biogiraphie Universelle des Musiciens,

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