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Fedeli [Saggion, Saggione, Saioni, Savion]

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Fedeli [Saggion, Saggione, Saioni, Savion].

Italian family of composers and performers.

(1) Carlo Fedeli

(2) Ruggiero Fedeli

(3) Giuseppe Fedeli [Saggione, Joseph]

(4) Alessandro Fedeli

(5) Antonio Fedeli


F. Caffi: Storia della musica teatrale in Venezia (MS, I-Vnm Cod.It.IV-747 [=10462])

M. Brenet: ‘La librairie musicale en France de 1653 à 1790, d'après les Registres de privilèges’, SIMG, viii (1906–7), 401–66 [G. Fedeli only]

E.J. Luin: ‘La famiglia Fedeli’, RMI, xxxviii (1931), 424–8

E. Selfridge-Field: ‘Annotated Membership Lists of the Venetian Instrumentalists’ Guild, 1672–1727’, RMARC, no.9 (1971), 1–52

E. Selfridge-Field: Venetian Instrumental Music from Gabrieli to Vivaldi (Oxford, 1975, 3/1994)

G. Ellero, J.Scarpa and M.C. Paolucci, eds.: Arte e musica all'Ospedaletto: schede d'archivio sull'attività musicale degli ospedali Derelitti e dei Mendicanti di Venezia (sec. XVI–XVII) (Venice, 1978)

E. Selfridge-Field: Pallade Veneta: Writings on Music in Venetian Society, 1650–1750 (Venice, 1985)



(1) Carlo Fedeli

(b Venice, c1622; d Venice, 19 Dec 1685). Instrumentalist and composer. He was one of the most important instrumentalists in Venice in the 17th century; his activities as a composer, which came later in life, were secondary. He maintained three careers simultaneously. At S Marco he played bass string instruments from July 1643, and from January 1661 until his death he was leader of the orchestra (maestro de' concerti) there. Four of his sons – Alessandro (b c1653), Antonio (fl 1686–93), (2) Ruggiero and (3) Giuseppe – played under his direction. He was also the leader of a piffaro group and in December 1654 he was hired as one of the doge's piffari. His third career was at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti, where he succeeded Francesco Bonfante as maestro di strumenti in February 1662 and served for a decade.

His chief surviving music is contained in his set of 12 sonatas op.1. They show him to have been somewhat conservative in style, but they also suggest a link between the sonate concertate of Dario Castello and the chamber concertos of Vivaldi, whose father served briefly under Fedeli at S Marco (between 1689 and 1693 G.B. Vivaldi held the same post at the Mendicanti as Fedeli). Though the sonatas lack true virtuoso writing, they frequently include a concertante part for cello. They are otherwise characterized by lively fugal movements and echo effects. Most have five movements. Among the most unusual are no.5, an echo sonata for four violins, and no.9, which includes a cello solo over an ostinato bass. Fedeli may have enjoyed the patronage of the Venetian nobleman Marco Morosini, who owned the small Teatro di Cannaregio where Fedeli's two operas were produced (Morosini wrote the librettos for both works). Don Chisciotte was elaborately produced with a prologue, an intermedio (Il trionfo di Venere) and a ballo.


Ermelinda (op, M. Morosini), Venice, shortly before 25 Nov 1679, I-Tn (82 arias, S/A/T, bc)

Don Chisciotte della Mancia (op, Morosini), Venice, shortly before 3 Feb 1680, lost

Suonate, 2–4 insts, op.1 (Venice, 1685)

1 trio sonata, A-Wn E.M.83

1 cant, 1v, bc, D-Kl fol.34

1 piece, 1v, bc, in Canzonette per camera, ed. M. Silvani (Bologna, 16703)


(2) Ruggiero Fedeli

(b Venice, ?c1655; d Kassel, Jan 1722). Composer, singer and instrumentalist, active chiefly in Germany, son of (1) Carlo Fedeli. Ruggiero Fedeli played the viola in Venetian theatre orchestras in the mid-1660s and at S Marco, Venice, from January 1669 to January 1674, when he joined the basilica choir as a bass. In April 1677 he was dismissed because of repeated absences; he is known to have worked in Bergamo in 1675.

For the next 30 years he held a long succession of appointments at German courts and theatres, from several of which he was dismissed for disobedience. He sang in operas at Bayreuth (1681) and Dresden (1688) and was hired as a composer at the Berlin court chapel in 1691. By 1695 he had gone to Hanover. In 1700 he was appointed Kapellmeister at Kassel. He worked in Berlin in 1702, Brunswick in 1703, Wolfenbüttel in 1704 and again in Berlin in 1705. In 1708 he was appointed court composer and conductor in Berlin, but in the following year he returned to Kassel as Kapellmeister, remaining there until his death.

His cantatas and arias, which show certain similarities to Legrenzi's vocal style, are characterized by sequential melodies and use ostinato figures. Some of his vocal writing assumes virtuoso proportions. It has been claimed that he approached vocal writing in the Neapolitan manner and that he exerted a discernible influence on Handel and the Hamburg opera style through his opera Almira. Like the psalm settings of Benedetto Marcello, Ruggiero's sacred vocal works seem to have been used in both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. His works survive not only in the northern German cities where he worked but also farther afield, for example in Westminster Abbey, and a few seem to have remained in active use until the end of the 18th century. 24 surviving parts for his Mass in D indicate that it was performed by chorus and soloists accompanied by strings, flutes, oboes, harpsichord and organ.



Almira, op, Brunswick, 1703, D-LÜh

Voi che sparse, pastoral drama, SWl

8 Italian cants., 1v, bc: Avviatemi al mio duole, Che bel soffrir, D'un desprezzato amante, Il mio core, In questi ombrosi valli, Lieta era l'onda, Sovra candido lino, Tutti della sua luce

E l'idol mio, aria, 1v, str, bc, 1709, formerly in Bs, now lost

Col geloso mio pensiero, 2vv, formerly in Bs, now lost


Santa Catterina d'Alessandria, orat, Venice, 1675

Funeral music for Queen Sophia Charlotte, 1705, lost

Mass in D, 4vv, orch, Bsb

Kyrie and Gloria from Missa Iste confessor, chorus, 3 other mass sections, Bsb

4 Magnificat settings, 1 rev. by Ruggiero from an original by a relative, Francesco Fedeli, Bsb, Bs, Dl, F-Sm (now lost)

12 ps settings: Confitebor tibi, Domine, 4vv; Confitebor tibi, Domine, 5vv, 4 vn, 2 va, bc; Confitebor tibi, Domine, 1/5vv, 2 ob, 4 vn, 2 va, bc; Dixit Dominus, 4vv, 2 vn, va, vc, bc; Laetatus sum, 2vv, 2 vn, 2 va, bn, tpt, bc; Laetatus sum, 3vv, 2 vn, bc; Lauda, Jerusalem, 3vv, 2 vn, bc; Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes, 1v, 4 vn, va, bn, bc; Laudate, pueri, Dominum, 1v, vn, bc; Laudate, pueri, Dominum, 1v, 2 vn, bc; Nisi Dominus, 5vv, 3 vn, 2 va, bn, bc; Omnes gentes, 1v, 2 vn, 2 va, bc; D-Bsb

4 motets: Ad hortos coelestes, 2vv, bc; O quam vana est gloria mundi, 7vv, 2 vn, va, bc; Tandem aliquando, 4/4vv, 4 vn, va, bn, bc; Unser Herzens Freude, 4vv, 2 vn, va, bc; Bsb, F-Sm


(3) Giuseppe Fedeli [Saggione, Joseph]

(fl 1680–1733). Composer and instrumentalist, active principally in France, son of (1) Carlo Fedeli. He was hired as a trombonist at S Marco, Venice, in January 1680 and was a member of the instrumentalists' guild in Venice about 1694. His opera The Temple of Love was produced at the Haymarket Theatre, London, in March 1706. In 1715 he dedicated his op.1 to the Saxon Prince Friedrich August, although by this time he had settled in Paris, where he acquired some following as a composer of chamber music. He and Montéclair are credited by Corrette with having introduced the contrabass at the Paris Opéra (c1701). His airs are drinking-songs and love-songs, many with comical or nonsense texts; the solo airs have harpsichord accompaniment. Giuseppe was an able imitator of the French ballade of the later 17th century. He was able to set the Arcadian texts which were popular in the French court in the early 18th century with the structural clarity of Italian arias, and to enliven accompaniments with the vigorous walking basses that had been widely used for half a century in his homeland. Because of its simplicity, his music was well received and widely disseminated. Works by him continued to appear in French collections until c1755. He was not the monk, Giuseppe, who wrote Principj di canto fermo (Cremona, 1722).


The Temple of Love (op in one act, Motteux), London, 1706; songs from it (London, 1706)

Sonate, op.1, vn, b (Paris, 1715); sonata in E in L'école du violon au XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1905)

Iier recueil d'airs français dans le goût italien, 1–3vv, hpd (Paris, 1728)

IId recueil d'airs français dans le goût italien, 1–3vv, hpd (Paris, 1728)

Troisième recueil d'airs français dans le goût italien (Paris, n.d.)

6 sonates, 2 vc/va/bn (Paris, 1733)

Other vocal works in MSS at GB-Cfm and F-Pn

Works in anthologies: Meslanges de musique, 3 vols. (Paris, 1727, 1728, 1729); Nouveau recueil de chansons choisies, iv (The Hague, 1729); Concerts parodiques divisez en six suites, iv (Paris, 1732); Le dessert des petits soupers (Paris, c1755); Recueil de pièces … fls, vns, vle (Paris, c1755)

According to French copyright records there were further volumes of his music, now lost (Paris, 1715)


(4) Alessandro Fedeli

(fl 1663–1714). Trombonist and son of (1) Carlo. From 1663 he was a member of the Doge's piffari. In 1664 he was elected to the orchestra at S. Marco where he assumed his father's responsibilities in 1685 and played the trumpet from 1691. He was still playing in both ensembles in 1714.


(5) Antonio Fedeli

(fl 1686–93). Violinist and son of (1) Carlo. Prior to his father's death he was an unpaid substitute in the S. Marco orchestra. He was fully appointed in 1686.

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