Personalities | Vicente Martín y Soler | Classical Era | Classical
(Fi’-then-ti Mar’-ti-ni So-le) 1754–1806
Martín y Soler had moved to Naples by 1777, when his Ifigenia in Aulide was staged there. By the early 1780s, his operas were being given in north Italy and he moved to Venice; from this time on he wrote only comic operas. Three years later he was in Vienna, where he had important successes in operas to texts by Da Ponte, among them Una cosa rara (‘A Rare Thing’, 1786 – remembered through Mozart’s quotation of it in the Don Giovanni supper scene). Later he went to St Petersburg, where his works included an opera to a text by Catherine the Great, to London, where he collaborated again with Da Ponte, and back to Russia where he died. He was admired for his lyrical, pastoral style, full of melodic grace and charm; in his day, his operas won at least as much popularity as Mozart’s.
Una cosa rara, soloists, Reial de Catalunya, Concert des Nations (dir) Jordi Savall (Astrée)
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