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Giuseppe Matteo Alberti

September 20, 1685 - February 18, 1751
born in Bologna, Italy, composed during the Baroque period
Bolognese composer and violinist Giuseppe Matteo Alberti was a forerunner in introducing Vivaldi's concerto style to Bologna, a city whose orchestral music was still largely under the sway of the Corellian manner. Though Alberti spent his life working for various patrons and musical institutions of his native city, his orchestral music was popular both at home and abroad, especially in England.

Alberti studied the violin with Carlo Manzolini and counterpoint with Floriano Arresti and Pietro Maria Minelli. He entered the eminent Bolognese music academy Accademia Filarmonica in 1705, becoming its president on six occasions starting with the year 1721. Alberti joined the celebrated orchestra at the Basilica of San Petronio as a violinist in 1709, and according to some sources he became the orchestra's concertmaster. His first published orchestral works appeared in Bologna in 1713, a set of ten concerti per chiesa e per camera, while further instrumental pieces would be published in Amsterdam, London, and Bologna in the following two decades. In 1726, Alberti became maestro di capella of San Giovanni in Monte, a position he maintained for the rest of his life, and served as Perti's deputy maestro di capella at San Domenico. For these religious institutions he wrote cantatas, motets, and at least one oratorio, though very few sacred works by him have been documented and fewer still are extant.

While Alberti's compositions were criticized as being no more than a diluted version of Vivaldi's by music writers in the eighteenth century, his works tempered the influence of the Venetian composer with elements of Bolognese academicism. The popularity of his published music was a reflection of the expressive clarity, concise melodic construction, and technical accessibility of his works. ~ Berna Can, Rovi
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