Giuseppe Demachi


Born: 1732   Died: 1791  
Giuseppe Demachi was an Italian violinist and composer whose birthdate is recorded in the northern Italian city of Alessandria in 1732. First mention of him as an adult does not occur until 1763, when he is mentioned as first violinist in the orchestra belonging to the city of Alessandria, but by 1765 Demachi had moved to Casale Montferrato, where he worked in the service of Count Sannazzaro, with some interruptions, until 1776. About five years Read more before his departure from the count's employ, Demachi had established his residence in Geneva and served as first violinist of the city's first full-time orchestra, the Concerto di Ginevra of the Societé de Musique, from its inception in 1774. After 1777, Demachi's precise whereabouts are uncertain, but he is located giving concerts in London in 1791. Although Demachi's date of death has not been discovered, it is believed that he must have died not long after the London concert engagements, as there is no word whatsoever on Demachi afterward.

Judging from his publication history, Demachi was both a prolific and popular composer of instrumental music in his day; his published opus numbers run up to at least Opus 17, although there are several different "Opus 1"s issued by various houses. The earliest of these is a set of six sonatas for violin and continuo issued at Paris in 1769. Among his other published works one may find four symphonie concertante, 10 violin concerti, a pair of orchestral overtures and a curious set of six string quartets that are also "for orchestra," no less than 56 trio sonatas and 18 duo sonatas, plus other works in manuscript. However, Demachi is remembered to the greatest extent by his single, highly programmatic symphony La campagne di Roma (The Bells of Rome), a colorful and evocative orchestral work that counters the notion of a classical symphony as an invariably abstract form of compositional endeavor. Read less
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