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from the Ceccarelli Manuscript, Northwestern Univ.     push button

Giovanni Paisiello (1740–1816) arrived at one of the conservatories in Naples at age 14, where he became one of the last students of Francesco Durante. Paisiello developed great technique and a fertile imagination for opera (he wrote the original "Barber of Seville"). His partimenti and solfeggi, written during the early 1780s when he was employed as the leading musician at the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, provide us with excellent examples of the "brilliant," modern style of wide-ranging scalar runs and complex passagework, all carried out over simple, relatively static basses. The great popularity of this style, best known today through Mozart's piano concertos, led to Paisiello being hired by the most powerful monarchs in Europe, including the above-mentioned Catherine the Great, Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, and Napolean.