Donald Macleod continues our series, focusing upon Alessandro Scarlatti's disillusionment with Rome, and his opera failures for the Venetian Carnival season in 1707.
Feeling confined by Papal decree in Rome, Alessandro Scarlatti continued to seek commissions elsewhere. Donald Macleod follows Scarlatti's journey to Venice for the Carnival season in 1707. Scarlatti - in trying to impress the opera capital of the time - seems to have over-complicated his compositions, and the Venetian audience was not impressed.
Scarlatti eventually returned to Naples having been offered a post by the newly appointed Austrian Viceroy. He didn't sever links with Rome, for he was made a Knight of the Golden Spur by the Pope in 1716. It was during this latter part of his life that Scarlatti focused more on instrumental writing. We'll hear a set of 39 variations for harpsichord, on the theme La Folia, similar in form to Bach's Goldberg Variations. Scarlatti didn't stop writing for the Church, and the programme ends with the latter part of his Stabat Mater. This hymn to the virgin was very popular - until Pergolesi's version came along.