Antonio Maria Bononcini

Born: Modena, 1677
Died: Rome, 1726

Antonio Bononcini

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Antonio Maria Bononcini (June 18, 1677 – July 8, 1726) was an Italian cellist and composer, the younger brother of the better-known Giovanni Bononcini (but was thought by some to be the more talented). He studied under Colonna in Bologna and then followed his brother to most of his appointments, finally retiring to Modena.

Bononcini was born and died at Modena in Italy. Like his brother, he studied with Giovanni Paolo Colonna. Between 1690 and 1693, he played in the orchestra of Cardinal Pamphili; in 1698 he composed an allegory, La fama eroica, for performance in Rome. He worked for some years with his brother, and joined him in the court orchestra at Vienna, where in 1705 he became Kappellmeister to the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. By 1713 he had returned to Italy, where he worked in Milan, Naples and Modena and in 1721 he became maestro di cappella in Modena, where he remained for the rest of his life. In addition to his stage works, he composed over 40 cantatas (most of them for solo voice and harpsichord), as well as sacred music including a Mass in G minor, a Stabat Mater in C Minor, and a Salve Regina.

His appointment as maestro di cappella at the Modenese court presumably terminated his need to compose operas in order to earn a living. He wrote his extant mass and Stabat Mater during his final years, and the contrapuntal complexities in the latter were largely (and perhaps wholly) responsible for Padre Martini’s judgment of his style: ‘so elevated, lively, artful and delightful, that he is distinguished above most early 18th-century composers’.

Cantatas (for soprano and continuo unless otherwise stated)

Amo Dorinda e tanto, I-Mc; Amo peno gioisco, Mc; Amore ingannatore, A, 2 fl, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Augelletti ruscelli, I-Nc; Cagnoletto vezzosetto, Nc; Che faremo o cor mio, S, fl, bc, F-Pc; Clori dal colle al prato, S/A, bc, A-Wn (attrib. G. Bononcini), GB-Cfm, Er (attrib. G. Bononcini), Lbl, I-Nc; Clori perché d’amore, A, bc, Nc; Con non inteso affanno, F-Pc; Direi che sei il mio bene, S, 2 vn, bc, D-Bsb, LEm, WD; Ecco Amor che mi segue, S, 2 vn, va, bc, A-Wn; E pure o Lidia e pure, A, bc, GB-Lam; E sarà vero o Filli, Lcm, I-Nc; Finché la bella Irene, A, bc, Nc; Già che al partir t’astringe, F-Pn; Già sul margo del rio, A, bc, GB-Lbl; Idol mio bel tesoro, S, fl, bc, I-Nc; In quelle luci care, S, B, bc, GB-Lbl; Mentre al novo apparir (Lontananza), A, 2 vn, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Mentre canta l’augelletto, I-Nc; Mentre in placido sonno, S, 2 fl, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Mira o Fille nel prato, I-Nc (3 copies); Nell’augusta cittade, S, 2 vn, bc, D-Hs; Non anche avea natura, S, B, 2 vn, va, bc, I-Bc; Non è solo il tormento, B, bc, D-Mbs, I-Bc; Occhi del mio tesor, D-SHs; Occhi voi che mirate, S, 2 fl, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Quando lieta saria, D-SHs; Quando vedo a mille rose, A, 2 fl, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Sans cesse des tourmens, A, bc, I-Nc; Se avessi in mezzo al petto, A, 2 fl, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Selve placide selve, S/A, bc, I-Nc (2 copies); Sopra l’orme d’Irene, A, 2 vn, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Sul margine adorato, S, 2 vn, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Tanto avezzo ho il core a piangere, A, 2 vn, bc, 1708, Wn; Tortorella innamorata, I-Nc; Troppo rigore Clori, S, 2 vn, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Tutta fiamme e tutta ardore, S, 2 fl, bc, 1708, Wn; Voi vi partite ed io resto fra mille angoscie, GB-Lbl; Vorrei dirti addio, A, bc, F-Pc, GB-Lbl; Vorrei pupille belle, S, 2 vn, bc, 1708, A-Wn; Zingaretta che predici, S/A, bc, GB-Lbl, I-Nc