- Brian W. Pritchard
(b Venice, 1671; d Vienna, Dec 28, 1736). Italian composer. He was one of the most prolific among an unusually productive generation of composers and contributed to the rapid evolution of Italian vocal music, carrying its late stage to Vienna and there effecting an amalgam of Italian and German styles.
The absence of birth and baptismal records leaves the year of Caldara's birth open to debate but his death certificate, which suggests he died ‘in his 66th year’, points to 1671. He was the son of Giuseppe Caldara (d ?Rome, ?1711) a rank-and-file violinist from whom he may have received his earliest instruction in music. It is assumed that he studied with Giovanni Legrenzi, maestro di cappella at S Marco from 1681, and possibly with the cello virtuoso Domenico Gabrielli. In 1693 Caldara styled himself ‘musico di violoncello’, perhaps an indication of an already established reputation or of his position as cellist at S Marco, where, after several years' employment on a casual basis, he was made a permanent member of the ...