Marcello, Benedetto Giacomo
- Eleanor Selfridge-Field
(b Venice, 24 June or July 24, 1686; d Brescia, July 24, 1739). Italian composer and writer. The son of a Venetian nobleman, he followed the career path of all Venetian nobles of his time: he was admitted to the Maggior Consiglio of the Republic on 4 December 1706 and, after completing studies in literature and law, served in various magistracies over the next two decades. The last decade of his life is riddled with mysteries: he married the commoner Rosanna Scalfi Marcello, his singing pupil, in May 1728; had a religious experience in August of the same year; was exiled to the Istrian city of Pula (then part of the Venetian Republic) for three years (1730–33) as provincial governor; was absent from civic records for the next five years; and received his final appointment in Brescia as chief financial officer.
It is not easy to segment the musical continuum of Marcello’s life, since he held no regular appointments of a musical nature and the majority of his musical works are undated. This demonstrates how severely separated in social experience dilettante composers were from the common ranks of musical ...