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date: 18 January 2020

Cavalli [Caletti, Caletto, Bruni, Caletti-Bruni, Caletto Bruni], (Pietro) [Pier] Francescolocked

  • Thomas Walker
  • , revised by Irene Alm


(b Crema, Feb 14, 1602; d Venice, Jan 14, 1676). Italian composer, organist and singer, son of Giovanni Battista Caletti. He was the most performed, and perhaps the most representative, composer of opera in the quarter-century after Monteverdi and was a leading figure, as both composer and performer, in Venetian musical life.

According to the contemporary account of Lodovico Canobio (see Sforza Benvenuti, 1888), Cavalli received his first instruction in music from his father and was an unusually gifted boy soprano; he probably sang in the cathedral choir. His sweetness of voice and musical accomplishment brought him to the notice of Federico Cavalli, Venetian governor of Crema from July 1614 to March 1616, who with some difficulty (if this is not an embellishment of Canobio) persuaded Caletti to let him take the boy to Venice at the end of his term of office. Doubtless under the protection of Cavalli (whose name he later adopted: see below), Francesco entered the ...

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