Agostino Steffani

Biography

Born: July 25, 1654; Castelfranco   Died: February 12, 1728; Frankfurt, Germany  
Agostino Steffani was an important Italian composer of vocal music from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. His chamber duets, operas (generally written in the bel canto style), and sacred works constitute his finest efforts. Steffani was born in Castelfranco, near Venice, on July 25, 1654. He served as a choirboy at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua from 1664-1667 under maestro di cappella Antonio dalla Tavola, who likely Read more gave him instruction in music. By age 11 Steffani was regularly appearing in operas and concerts, and a year later was taken to Munich at the behest of the Elector Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria.

Young Steffani sang in operas and in church services there while receiving excellent musical education under the guidance of the maestro di cappella of the Elector's Court, Johann Kaspar Kerll. By age 14 Steffani was taking organ lessons from Kerll, but rarely appearing as a singer anymore.

In 1672 he traveled to Rome to study composition with Ercole Bernabei. During his nearly two-year stay there, Steffani produced Psalmodia vespertina, a collection of Psalm settings, and a Magnificat. Shortly after Steffani's return to Munich in 1674 he was appointed court organist.

In 1680 he was ordained a priest and a year later appointed court director of chamber music by the new Elector Maximilian II Emanuel, whose father Ferdinand Maria died in 1679. Steffani would also take on duties as a diplomat with neighboring courts. In composition he remained quite active, too: having written his first opera Marco Aurelio in 1677, he composed his next four, which included Servio Tullio in the period 1685-1688, all premiered at the busy Munich Court.

Steffani left Munich in 1688 to work at the Hanover Court, where he spent 15 years as kapellmeister and diplomat. He composed several successful operas during his tenure there, including Orlando generoso (1691).

In 1702-1703 he produced a fine collection of chamber duets at Hanover, after which he accepted a post at the Düsseldorf Court of Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine. Thereafter Steffani composed very little. He was elected Bishop of Spiga in 1706 and apostolic vicar for Northern Germany three years later. He focused most of his energies on church matters in his later years, though he did manage to write a few works, including the Stabat Mater (1727-1728), his favorite composition. He died in 1728 of apoplexy. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 32 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Steffani: Niobe Regina Di Tebe / Hengelbrock, Davies, Gens, Miles, Galou
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9008 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Amanda Forsyth,  Timothy Mead,  Jacek Laszezkowski,  Delphine Galou  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Hengelbrock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble
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  • 2.
    Steffani: Vocal Chamber Duets / Elena Bertuzzi, Alessio Tosi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94969 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Elena Bertuzzi,  Alessio Tosi,  Francesco Baroni,  Rebeca Ferri  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 3.
    Steffani: Niobe, Regina Di Tebe / O'Dette, Stubbs, Gauvin, Jaroussky, Forsythe
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 634354 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Colin Balzer,  Jesse Blumberg,  Terry Wey,  Karina Gauvin  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul O'Dette,  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
    CD: $35.49
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  • 4.
    Avanti L'opera: An A-z Of Italian Baroque Overtures
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 383 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Attilio Ariosti,  Leonardo Vinci,  Giovanni Bononcini,  Antonio Caldara  ... 
    Performer:  Will Russell,  Simon Desbruslais
    Conductor:  Kah-Ming Ng
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
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  • 5.
    Steffani: Lagrime Dolorose - Secular Cantatas / Ciofini, Accademia Hermans
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94299 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Mauro [Baritone Vocal] Borgioni,  Marta Mathéu
    Conductor:  Fabio Ciofini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Hermans
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  • 6.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
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  • 7.
    Steffani: Danze & Ouvertures / Fasolis, I Barocchisti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894802 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Barocchisti,  Swiss Radio Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Steffani: Stabat Mater / Bartoli, Pregardien, Fasolis
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894702 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Salvatore Vitale,  Cecilia Bartoli,  Daniel Behle,  Franco Fagioli  ... 
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swiss Radio Chorus,  I Barocchisti
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  • 9.
    Music of Old Cities & Royal Courts
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 283312 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gregor Joseph Werner,  Frederick the Great  ... 
    Performer:  Tivadar Bantay,  Christa Richter-Steiner,  Theo Altmeyer,  Lisa Otto  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Paumgartner,  Karl Forster,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Hans von Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica,  Baryton Trio,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Steffani: Cante Da Camera / Quadro Asolano
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802163 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quadro Asolano
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  • 11.
    Mission / Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti [blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001769159 Release Date: 12/18/2012  
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Rosario Conte,  Philippe Jaroussky
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Barocchisti,  Swiss Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 12.
    Mission / Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti [DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001769009 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Rosario Conte,  Philippe Jaroussky
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Barocchisti,  Swiss Radio Chorus
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 13.
    Steffani: Duetti Da Camera / Mazzucato, Watkinson, Esswood, Elwes, Curtis
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001780502 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Alan Curtis,  John Elwes,  Paul Esswood,  Carolyn Watkinson  ... 
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  • 14.
    Mission / Cecilia Bartoli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742002 Release Date: 10/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Rosario Conte,  Philippe Jaroussky
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Barocchisti,  Swiss Radio Chorus
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  • 15.
    Mission / Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti [Deluxe Limited Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742002 Release Date: 10/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Rosario Conte,  Philippe Jaroussky
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Barocchisti,  Swiss Radio Chorus
    CD: $23.99
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  • 16.
    Italian Love Cantatas / Vajente, Epoca Barocca
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777583 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonio Lotti,  Domenico Scarlatti
    Performer:  Silvia Vajente
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Epoca Barocca
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  • 17.
    The Italian Collection / Christophers, The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16099 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Antonio Caldara,  Andrea Gabrieli,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Robin Jeffrey,  Elizabeth Kenny,  Ian Watson,  Ian Partridge  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
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  • 18.
    Steffani: Cantatas, Duets & Sonatas / Yasunori Imamura, Fons Musicae
    Label: Pan Classics   Catalog: 10131 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Yasunori Imamura
    Conductor:  Yasunori Imamura
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fons Musicae
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  • 19.
    Agostino Steffani: Duetti Da Camera / Bertini, Cavina, Arcadia
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 80902 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Rossana Bertini,  Claudio Cavina
    Conductor:  Attilio Cremonesi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcadia
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Steffani: Suites Theatrales / Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
    Label: Divox   Catalog: 79811 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
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  • 21.
    Christmas In The Munich Court /  Rudiger Lotter, Hofkapelle Munchen
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 771 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Agostino Steffani,  Johann Christoph Pez,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Schilli,  Axel Wolf
    Conductor:  Rüdiger Lotter,  Rüdiger Lotter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Court Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Amor Hai Vinto
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 98856 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani,  Antonio Caldara,  Nicolo Porpora,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Marelize Gerber
    Conductor:  Ulli Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertino Amarilli
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Agostino Steffani: Cantatas, Duets And Sonatas
    Label: New Pan   Catalog: 10131 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani,  Antonio Caldara
    Conductor:  Yasunori Imamura
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  • 24.
    Handel: Dixit Dominus; Steffani / Christophers, Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16076 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Agostino Steffani
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
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  • 25.
    Steffani: Orlando Generoso / Bernward Lohr, Musica Alta Ripa
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3091566 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Conductor:  Bernward Lohr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Alta Ripa
    CD: $39.99
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Agostino Steffani


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Aria: Spezza, Amor, l'arco e li strali (Amor, break your bows and arrows)
Recitative: Cosi dicea Fileno (And so he spoke, Philenos)
Aria: Zeffiretti placidetti (Soft Zephyr)
Aria: Ruscelletti garuletti (I make the chattering)
Recitative: O ragion vuol che sia (Perhaps it is good the way it is)
Aria: Fortuna crudele (Cruel Fortuna)
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Cuius animam gementem?. O quam tristis
Quis est homo qui non fleret?. Quis non posset
Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
Eja Mater, fons amoris? Fac, ut ardeat ? Sancta Mater? Tui nati vulnerati
Fac me vere tecum flere?. Juxta Crucem
Virgo virginum praeclara
Fac ut portem Christi mortem
Fac me plagis vulnerary
Inflammatus e accensus?. Fac me cruce custodiri
Quando corpus morietur? Fac ut animae donetur
WORKS
Act I: Sinfonia
Act I Scene 1: Duet: Sollievo del mio seno (Anfione, Niobe)
Act I Scene 2: Aria: Miratemi begl'occhi (Anfione, Niobe, Clearte, Nerea)
Act I Scene 3: Aria: E felice il tuo cor (Niobe, Clearte, Nerea)
Act I Scene 4: Aria: Quasi tutte (Nerea) - Scene 5: Recitative: Rio destin che pretendi (Clearte)
Act I Scene 6: Aria: Alba essulti, e il Lazio goda (Tiberino) - Scene 7: Suon di lontana Caccia (Tiberino, Manto)
Act I Scene 7: Aria: Se la vita a me donasti (Manto, Tiberino) - Scene 8: Tiresia cieco appoggiato ad un servo (Tiberino, Tiresia, Manto)
Act I Scene 8: Aria: Amor t'attese al varco (Tiresia) - Scene 9: Recitative: Svelo fatal la piaga (Tiberino, Manto)
Act I Scene 9: Aria: Tu non sai che sia diletto (Tiberino) - Scene 10: Recitative: Oh d'Amor troppo ignaro (Manto)
Act I Scene 10: Aria: Vuoi ch'io parli, parlero (Manto) - Scene 11: Dormi Creonte, e in tanto (Poliferno, Creonte)
Act I Scene 11: Aria: Dove sciolti a volo i vanni (Creonte, Poliferno)
Act I Scene 11: Aria: Nuovo soglio, e nuova bella (Poliferno) - Scene 12: A voi di Tracia, e Gnido (Creonte)
Act I Scene 13: Accompagnato: Dell'alma stanca (Anfione)
Act I Scene 13: Aria: Sfere amiche (Anfione) - Scene 14: Anfion mio desio (Niobe, Anfione)
Act I Scene 14: Aria: Vorrei sempre vagheggiarti (Niobe) - Scene 15: Eccola (Nerea, Clearte, Niobe, Anfione)
Act I Scene 15: E di sasso chi non t'ama (Anfione) Scene 16: E tu qual gelo, o sasso (Nerea, Clearte, Niobe)
Act I Scene 17: Aria: C'ho da morir tacendo (Clearte) - Scene 18: Forsennato vaneggia (Nerea)
Act I Scene 18: Aria: Che agli assalti degli amanti (Nerea) - Ritornello
Act I Scene 19: Recitative: Ecco Tebe (Poliferno, Creonte) - Scene 20: Oh di Lico infelice (Poliferno) - Scene 21: Popoli o voi, ch'un Tempo (Anfione)
Act I Scene 21: Aria: Come padre, e come dio (Anfione)
Act I Scene 22: Aria: Assistetemi (Nerea) - Scene 23: O d'insano ardimento (Tiresia, Anfione, Nerea, Niobe)
Act I Scene 23: Duet: Mia fiamma, mio ardore (Anfione, Niobe, Nerea) - Scene 24: Numi datemi aita (Tiresia, Manto, Tiberino)
Act I Scene 24: Aria: Di strali, e fulmini (Tiresia) - Scene 25: Discaccia il duolo (Tiberino, Manto)
Act I Scene 25: Aria: Nel mio seno a poco a poco (Manto) - Scene 26: Oh stravaganza (Tiberino)
Act I Scene 26: Aria: Quanto sospirerai (Tiberino)
Act I Scene 26: Ballo dei cacciatori: Rigaudons and Gigue
Act II: Sinfonia - Scene 1: Recitativo: Ritornate a gli abissi - Scene 2: Il gran portento Amici - Scene 3: Vien al fine la bella (Poliferno, Creonte, Niobe, Nerea)
Act II Scene 3: Aria: Qui la dea cieca volante (Niobe) - Scene 4: Giunge il Re (Clearte, Niobe, Polifemo, Creonte, Anfione, Nerea)
Act II Scene 4: Aria: Ascendo alle stelle (Anfione, Niobe, Creonte, Poliferno)
Act II Scene 4: Ballo - Alle prescritte Mete (Creonte, Poliferno)
Act II Scene 4: Aria: Numi tartarei (Poliferno) - Scene 5: Ove son? (Anfione)
Act II Scene 5: Aria: Dal mio petto o pianti uscite (Anfione)
Act II Scene 6: Aria: Confuse potenze (Tiresia, Tiberino) - Scene 7: Fuggiro questo Cielo (Tiberino, Manto)
Act II Scene 7: Aria: Il tuo sguardo o bella mia (Tiberino) - Scene 8: Odi come diverso (Manto) - Scene 9: Chi sei, dove mi guidi? (Niobe, Poliferno)
Act II Scene 10: Aria: Lascio l'armi, e cedo il campo (Creonte, Poliferno, Niobe)
Act II Scene 10: Duet: T'abbraccio mia diva (Creonte, Niobe)
Act II Scene 10: Aria: Gioite, godete (Poliferno) - Scene 11: Tu mi laceri il Core (Anfione, Tiresia) - Scene 12: Et ancor neghittosi (Anfione)
Act II Scene 12: Aria: Tra bellici carmi (Anfione) - Scene 13: De Tebani Pastori - Scene 14: Ratto sen va - Scene 15: Mi commove a pietade (Nerea, Tiberino)
Act II Scene 16: Aria: Questi giovani moderni (Nerea)
Act III Scene 1: Recitative: Delle celesti soglie (Creonte, Niobe)
Act III Scene 1: Aria: Amami, e vederai (Niobe) - Scene 2: Fuggi Creonte (Poliferno, Creonte)
Act III Scene 2: Aria: Luci belle (Creonte) - Scene 3: Qui, dove muto, e solo (Anfione, Niobe)
Act III Scene 3: Aria: Contro il Ciel (Niobe) - Scene 4: Nell'Egeo tempestoso (Anfione) - Scene 5: Con eterni Legami (Tiresia, Tiberino, Manto)
Act III Scene 5: Aria: Hor ch'e mio quel vago labro (Tiberino) - Scene 6: Foste al fine pietosi - Scene 7: Senza indugio Clearte - Scene 8: Vinti sono i Celesti (Niobe)
Act III Scene 9: Aria: Che alla fe di donne amanti (Nerea)
Act III Scene 10: Aria: Tutta gioia, e tutta riso (Clearte) - Scene 11: Fin dove m'inseguite (Anfione)
Act III Scene 12: Aria: Spira gia nel proprio sangue (Anfione, Niobe)
Act III Scene 12: Aria: Funeste imagini (Niobe) - Scene 13: Recitative: Doma e gia Tebe (Creonte, Poliferno, Tiberino, Manto, Tiresia)
Act III Scene 14: Aria: Di palme, e d'allori (Creonte)
Aria: Spezza, Amor, l'arco e li strali (Amor, break your bows and arrows)
Recitative: Cosi dicea Fileno (And so he spoke, Philenos)
Aria: Zeffiretti placidetti (Soft Zephyr)
Aria: Ruscelletti garuletti (I make the chattering)
Recitative: O ragion vuol che sia (Perhaps it is good the way it is)
Aria: Fortuna crudele (Cruel Fortuna)
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Cuius animam gementem?. O quam tristis
Quis est homo qui non fleret?. Quis non posset
Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
Eja Mater, fons amoris? Fac, ut ardeat ? Sancta Mater? Tui nati vulnerati
Fac me vere tecum flere?. Juxta Crucem
Virgo virginum praeclara
Fac ut portem Christi mortem
Fac me plagis vulnerary
Inflammatus e accensus?. Fac me cruce custodiri
Quando corpus morietur? Fac ut animae donetur