Francesco Mancini

Francesco Mancini was among the notable composers in Naples, of which Alessandro Scarlatti is perhaps the best known. Mancini made an unsuccessful bid to succeed Scarlatti as music director at the Neapolitan court, when the latter was absent overlong in Florence. These were turbulent times for Naples, and as Austria looked to succeed in wresting Naples from the Spanish, Mancini made an enterprising bid to secure a court appointment by saluting the new regime with musical entertainment, and a specially composed Te Deum. In this he was successful, but his tenure as musical director was short-lived as the new Viceroy insisted on Scarlatti’s return; Mancini was demoted to assistant, but kept his stipend, and the prospect of succeeding Scarlatti. (He had to wait 17 years for this however, until the latter’s death in 1725!) This period was particularly fruitful for Mancini in composing and directing his operas: as director of the Conservatorio di S. Maria di Loreto he held much influence over succeeding generations of Neapolitan composers.

Quanto dolce è quell'ardore