Alessandro Marcello (1684~1750)
Marcel Ponseele (Baroque Oboe)
Ensemble Il Gardellino
Marcel Ponseele (conductor)
A slightly older contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, Marcello held concerts at his hometown of Venice. He composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas. Marcello often composed under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi). He died in Padua in 1747. Alessandro’s brother was Benedetto Marcello (1686~1739), also a composer.
Although his works are infrequently performed today, Marcello is regarded as a very competent composer. His La Cetra concertos are “unusual for their wind solo parts, concision and use of counterpoint within a broadly Vivaldian style,” according to Grove, “placing them as a last outpost of the classic Venetian Baroque concerto.”
A concerto Marcello wrote in d minor for oboe, strings and basso continuo is perhaps his best-known work. Its worth was attested to by Johann Sebastian Bach who transcribed it for harpsichord (BWV 974). A number of editions have been published of the famous Oboe Concerto in d minor. The edition in c minor is credited to Benedetto Marcello.