Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Donald Macleod considers the ways that access to Queen Christina of Sweden's intellectual circle assisted Stradella.

Alessandro Stradella finds a creative collaborator in one of Rome's most significant cultural figures, Queen Christina of Sweden.

Stradella's life ended abruptly when he was stabbed in the street at the age of just 42. By this time he had weathered a whole series of scandals revolving around dodgy business deals, an affair with his patron's mistress and an almost fatal beating by two thugs. Posthumously these events so captured the public imagination they were reinterpreted in a popular novel and in an opera bearing Stradella's name by Friedrich von Flotow. However dramatising his life has unfairly skewed the focus away from his musical achievements. In fact Stradella was a highly respected and successful composer. He wrote in all the genres of the period, oratorios, cantatas, theatre music, serious opera, songs, sacred music, and instrumental music - all in all amounting to over 300 hundred compositions. His musical language was innovative and ahead of its time, he produced one of the earliest known comic operas as well as writing the first datable work scored for concerto grosso instrumentation in 1674, well before Corelli produced his famous Opus 6 set.

In today's programme, Donald Macleod considers the ways that access to Queen Christina's intellectual circle assisted Alessandro Stradella. It was for her that he created one of his best known secular cantatas, to a scenario she had written herself.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Alessandro Stradella

    Chi resiste al Dio bendato - cantata G/Mc.1.4-2 for SSB, concertino & conc.grosso

    Performer: Estevan Velardi. Performer: Rosita Frisani. Performer: Alessandro Stradella Consort.
    • Chaconne.
    • Chan 0728.
  • Alessandro Stradella

    San Giovanni Battista - oratorio G/Mc.3-3 for SSATB & orch

    Singer: Philippe Huttenlocher. Singer: Gérard Lesne.
    • Erato: 229245739-2.
    • Erato.
    • 28.
  • Alessandro Stradella

    Moro Per Amore

    Singer: Silvia Piccollo. Singer: Roberta Invernizzi. Singer: Marco Beasley. Singer: Marco Lazzara. Conductor: Esteban Velardi. Ensemble: Alessandro Stradella Consort.
    • Bon Giovanni: GB 2153/54/55-2.
    • 10.
  • Alessandro Stradella

    Il Barcheggio - serenata (cantata) G/Mc.1.4-5 for SAB, hn, 2 vn & bc

    Performer: Nora Tabbush. Singer: Claudio di Carlo.
  • Alessandro Stradella

    Sinfonia 17

    Ensemble: Purcell Quartet. Performer: Robert Woolley.
    • CHANDOS.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.