Benedetto Giacomo Marcello (1686 1739) was an Italian
composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher.
Born in Venice, Benedetto Marcello was a member of a
noble family and his compositions are frequently
referred to as Patrizio Veneto. Although he was a music
student of Antonio Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, his
father wanted Benedetto to devote himself to law.
Benedetto managed to combine a life in law and public
service with one in music. In 1711 he was appointed a
member of the Council of Forty (in Venice's central
government), and in 1730 he went to Pola as
Provveditore (district governor). Due to his health
having been "impaired by the climate" of Istria,
Marcello retired after eight years to Brescia in the
capacity of Camerlengo where he died of tuberculosis in
Benedetto Marcello was the brother of Alessandro
Marcello, also a notable composer. On 20 May 1728
Benedetto Marcello married his singing student Rosanna
Scalfi in a secret ceremony. However, as a nobleman his
marriage to a commoner was unlawful and after
Marcello's death the marriage was declared null by the
state. Rosanna was unable to inherit his estate, and
filed suit in 1742 against Benedetto's brother
Alessandro Marcello, seeking financial support.
Marcello composed a variety of music including
considerable church music, oratorios, hundreds of solo
cantatas, duets, sonatas, concertos and sinfonias.
Marcello was a younger contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi
in Venice and his instrumental music enjoys a Vivaldian
As a composer, Marcello was best known in his lifetime
and is now still best remembered for his Estro
poetico-armonico (Venice, 17241727), a musical setting
for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and
occasional solo instruments, of the first fifty Psalms,
as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani.
They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John
Garth brought out an edition with English words
The Flute Sonata (Opus 2 No. 1) was originally written
for Recorder and Basso Continuo however, I created this
arrangement of the Allegro (Mvt. 4) for Woodwind Trio
(Flute, Oboe, & Bassoon).