Marcello, Benedetto



Italian composer of noble birth; born at Venice. Was a pupil of Lotti and Gasparini, studying violin first and afterward turning his attention to singing and composition. In obedience to his father he studied law, but when he returned to Venice, on his father's death, he gave as much attention to music as to his legal practice. He held important positions under the government, being a member of the Council of Forty in 1711, and in 1730 receiving the appointment of Proweditore of Pola. Owing to the climate of Pola, his health gave out, and he was made Camerlango at Brescia, where he died. He was made Cavaliere of the Filarmonici of Bologna and also a member of the Pastori Arcadi at Rome. The work for which he is remembered is his Estro poetico-armonico, Parifrasti sopra i primi 5O Psalmi, Poesia di Girolamo Giustiniani, a work in eight volumes, which appeared in Venice in 1724 to 1727. They are written for one, two, three and four voices, with figured basses, sometimes with two violins and violoncello obbligati, and are considered very fine work of the kind. An English edition of them appeared in London, 1757. Besides his music, Marcello showed great ability as a poet, and is said to have written the libretto for Ruggpeni's Arato in Sparta. The manuscript of many of his musical works may be found in various libraries and museums in Italy. Rossini is said to have used the whole of Marcello's twentyfirst Psalm in his music for the overture of the Siege of Corinth.