Firenze, September 14, 1760 – Parigi, March 15, 1842

Luigi Cherubini

Firenze, September 14, 1760 – Parigi, March 15, 1842

A musician admired by Beethoven, Cherubini is one of the great musicians of the Italian scattering. He began composing while still very young in one of his favorite genres, sacred music (he wrote his first Mass for soloists and orchestra at 13 years old), but after 1780, his career as an opera composer began to take the lead and within ten years he had attained success across Europe. He travelled to many destinations including Paris, where he moved a few of years before the Revolution, her he took his place as director of the conservatoire, before and after the fall of Napoleon. The other major cities he visited were London and Vienna, where he moved in 1805 on the recommendation of Beethoven and Haydn. Cherubini’s work is very broad and covers all genres of music: he wrote thirty operas, the most famous being Medea (1797) – a work loved by Callas, Lodoïska (1791), Les deux journées (1800), and Anacreon of 1803. His sacred works were also notable: various Masses (a solemn Mass in F major, a Mass for the coronation of Louis XVIII), three Requiems (the one in C minor is particularly famous), a Creed and many other pieces. We were also left a Symphony (written for London) and several orchestral works. Within chamber music, the most important works are a series of six quartets, recently available in various complete recorded editions. Cherubini, who was thought of as unmatched in composition by his contemporaries, is still waiting to be rediscovered and given his proper place in the history of music.

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