At first glance, the Introduzioni appear to be lively three-movement works with a standardized order of movements and harmonic order: fast - slow - fast, major - minor - major. With regard to style, the short symphonies resemble the Neapolitan opera buffa, the descriptive title Introduzioni implying the function, the introduction to stage works.
With his 6 Introduzioni teatrali, composed in 1735, the talented Italian violinist and composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli who had lived in Amsterdam since 1729 perhaps paid tribute to the great demand on the part of the Dutch amateur orchestras. But were the master and his oeuvre actually as well adjusted as it seems?
Locatelli's works were well known throughout Europe until the end of the 18th century, although the composer led a very secluded life. He had no students and never performed in public. In his adopted city Amsterdam he worked freely, without being controlled by the church or the court. An unusual lifestyle for an 18th-century composer – and also an unusual composition?
Pietro Antonio Locatelli
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