Ferrandini [Ferandini], Giovanni Battista [Johann Baptist, Zaneto]
(b Venice, c1710; d Munich, 25 Sept 1791). Italian composer. He was a pupil of Antonio Biffi at the Conservatorio dei Mendicanti in Venice and went to Munich as a boy. On 15 May 1722 he found a position as oboist with Duke Ferdinand in Bavaria. He was appointed, probably in 1723, to the elector's court musicians, although he remained in the duke's service until 1726. Stefano Ferrandini, possibly his brother, worked with him from 1 January 1723 until 1745, also as a court oboist. From 1 April 1732 Ferrandini was chamber composer to Elector Karl Albrecht; on 1 July 1737 (having two years previously dropped his baptismal name Zaneto in favour of Giovanni Battista) he was made ‘kurfürstlicher Rat’ and director of chamber music. In the same year Le Cène published his VI sonate a flauto traversière a basso op.1 in Amsterdam, which were later followed by VI sonate a flauto traverso o oboe, o violino, basso continuo op.2, published in Paris by Boivin and Le Clerc.
The new Residenztheater in Munich, built by Cuvilliés, was opened in 1753 with a production of Ferrandini's opera seria, Catone in Utica. At the end of the same year Ferrandini travelled to Italy to engage new singers for the court. In 1755 he was granted the title of Truchsess (Lord High Steward to the elector), along with a pension, and was allowed to move to Padua for reasons of health; however, he continued to compose operas for the court. Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart visited him in Padua in March 1771, with the young Mozart performing before him on the harpsichord. His pension was reduced in 1778, and around 1790 he returned, briefly, to Munich.
Ferrandini was highly regarded as an opera composer in Munich, and his works were also favourably received in performances elsewhere. His operas, originating in the Venetian tradition, do not show the lightness of the Neapolitan, and reflect the return from French to Italian musical taste at the Munich court. He also wrote instrumental works, a Fastenmeditation, Prima ad caelum via per innocentiam, for the Congregatio Latina Major in Munich (1738) and numerous arias, many to texts by Metastasio. Among his pupils were the Elector Maximilian III Joseph, his sister Maria Antonia Walpurgis and the tenor Anton Raaff. His daughter Maria Anne Elisabeth was a singer who, among other roles, represented Tamiris in Bernasconi’s Semiramide at Munich in 1765.
performed in Munich unless otherwise stated
Gordio (dramma per musica, A. Perozzo da Perozzi), 22 Oct 1727
Il sacrificio invalido (dramma per musica, Perozzo da Perozzi), Nymphenburg, 10 July 1729
Colloquio pastorale (serenata, Perozzo da Perozzi), Nymphenburg, 6 Aug 1729, D-Dl
Berenice (dramma per musica, L. de Villati), 5 Feb 1730, I-MOe
Scipio nelle Spagna (os, A. Zeno), carn. 1732, A-Wgm
Ipermestra (os, A. Salvi), 22 Oct 1736
Adriano in Siria (os, P. Metastasio), carn. 1737, D-Dl
Demofoonte (os, Metastasio), 22 Oct 1737
Artaserse (os, Metastasio), 22 Oct 1739, Dl, collab. G. Porta
Componimento dramatico per l'incoronatione di Carlo VII, Frankfurt, 12 Feb 1742
Catone in Utica (os, Metastasio), 12 Oct 1753, Dl, Hs, LEmi
Le grazie vendicate (serenata, Metastasio), 1753
Diana placata (serenata), 17 Aug 1755, rev. 1758
Demetrio (os, Metastasio), carn. 1758
Talestri (opera drammatica, Maria Antonia Walpurgis), ?1760, A-Wgm, D-Dl, Mbs