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James L. Jackman

(d Bonn, early 1752). Italian composer. His early life remains obscure, but Thayer discovered that at least by 1719 (Eitner said 1714) he was serving the Elector Joseph Clemens at the court in Bonn as second of its three Konzertmeister. When such music had an instrumental accompaniment, as in opera productions, Donnini, rather than the director of instrumental music, conducted. By 1722 he was also working as court composer; by 1719 he had written a three-act ‘tragedy’, Ester ( I-MOe ), to celebrate a visit by Albert Charles and Ferdinand, Princes of Bavaria (not Clemens August, as appears on the score). In this oddly constructed work, the middle act abandons the nominal plot line, and, in the voices of such allegorical personages as Fortuna, Usura, Amor proprio and Virtù, sings the praises of the visitors' distinguished family. In 1722 Donnini's singers numbered 22.

On 30 November 1723...

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James L. Jackman

revised by Marco Bizzarini

(b ?Brescia, c1683; d after 1768). Italian composer. Early historians name Rome as his birthplace, but some contemporary documents describe him as being from Brescia, where Baldassari was quite a common name. From his works it can be assumed that he was in Brescia in 1709, and in librettos he is named maestro di cappella of the Oratorio di S Filippo Neri (Congregazione della Pace) in Brescia. He held this post from 1714 until at least 1768 and until 1754 he was also maestro di cappella of S Clemente, Brescia. In December 1717 he competed, unsuccessfully, for the same post at the basilica of S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. He took holy orders.

Apart from the componimento per musica, Il giudizio di Paride, written to celebrate the name day of the Empress Amalia Wilhelmina, little of Baldassari's music has survived. From that which has survived, his musical language can be said to bear traces of the canonic writing practised by members of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. A letter to Padre Martini dated ...