Passions & Places


Le Marche, land of great musicians

In a precious period for all the arts (between the 18th and the 19th centuries) the Marche region was the birth land of great musicians, such as Giovan Battista Pergolesi, born in Jesi in 1710. 

He had a very short life, died at the age of 26, and spent most of his life in Naples. He composed wonderful arias characterized by a particular and sensitive attention to small expressive details. 

His most famous compositions include La serva padrona, Messa in fa maggiore (Mass in F major), and above all the Stabat Mater (inspired by a text written by Jacopone of Todi) which made Pergolesi’s name immortal among musicians of all times.

A few decades after Pergolesi’s death, Gaspare Spontini was born in Maiolati , near Jesi. He, too was an important musician, his compositions were first performed at the Pallacorda Theatre, in Florence in 1796. 

Spontini obtained great success with many compositions, including Milton, La Vestale (the Vestal), Olimpia and Agnese di Hoenstaufen. He became well known and appreciated at the courts of Napoleon and Louis 18th

The artist spent many years in France, but he also worked in Germany and visited many European cities. Yet, he always got back to his home village, Maiolati, where he decided to spend the last years of a life marked by creativity and fame.

Gioacchino Rossini was born in Pesaro in 1792, from a family whose natural vocation was music. He very much appreciated Mozart’s phrasings and proved his unusual ability in composing when he was very young. Over the 76 years of his life, he wrote unforgettable compositions, such as Tancredi, La Gazza ladra and Guglielmo Tell. 

He became famous worldwide as one of the best Italian composers with Il barbiere di Siviglia (which the audience at first received with coldness). After becoming a citizen of the world, Gioacchino Rossini died in Paris, though choosing the municipality of Pesaro as his heir. The municipality was honoured of such a choice and named its important theatre and a music school after him. 

Operas, however, need to be sung well. The famous opera singer Beniamino Gigli was born in Recanati in 1890, and soon showed his talent for singing. His incomparable tenor voice was sought after by the most important theatres in the world. 

He was triumphally directed by Arturo Toscanini and when he was only 30 he made his début at the Metropolitan Theatre of New York. He starred in many films and his recordings are still very much in demand nowadays. He sang in over 40 states during his career, and having been born in a poor family, he generously distributed a substantial share of his gains to charities. The town of Recanati remembers Gigli by keeping a collection of souvenirs and memorabilia in its Civic Museum.






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