SCARLATTI, ALESSANDRO 7 25) , Italian musical composer, was born in Sicily in 1659. He is generally said to have been a pupil of Carissimi in Rome, and he probably had some connection with northern Italy, since his early works show the influence of Stradella and Legrenzi. The production at Rome of his opera Gli Equivoci nell' amore (1679) gained him the pro tection of Queen Christina of Sweden, and he became her maestro di capella. In February 1684 he became maestro di capella to the viceroy of Naples, and here he produced a long series of operas, remarkable chiefly for their fluency. In 1702 he left Naples and did not return until the Spanish domination had been super seded by that of the Austrians. In the interval he enjoyed the patronage of Ferdinand III. of Tuscany, for whose private theatre near Florence he composed operas, and of Cardinal Ottoboni, who made him his maestro di capella, and procured him a similar post at the church of S. Maria Maggiore in Rome (1703). After visiting Venice and Urbino in 1707, he took up his duties at Naples again in 1708, and remained there until 1717. It was at the Teatro Capranica in Rome that he produced some of his finest operas (Telemaco, I 7 I 8 ; Marco Attilio Regolo, 1719; Griselda, 1721 ) , as well as some noble specimens of church music, including a mass for chorus and orchestra, composed in honour of St. Cecilia for Cardinal Acquaviva in 1721. His last work on a large scale appears to have been the unfinished serenata for the marriage of the prince of Stigliano (1723) ; he died at Naples on the 24th of October 1725.
Scarlatti's music forms the most important link between the tentative "new music" of the I 7th century and the classical school of the i8th, which culminated in Mozart. His early operas (Gli Equivoci nel sembiante  ; L' Honesty negli amori  ; Pompeo , containing the well-known airs "0 cessate di pia garmi" and "Toglietemi la vita ancor," and others down to about 1685) retain the older cadences in their recitatives. By 1686 he had definitely established the "Italian overture" form (second edition of Dal male it bene), and had abandoned the ground bass and the binary air in two stanzas in favour of the ternary or da capo type of air. His best operas of this period are La Rosaura (1690, printed by the Gesellschaft fur Musikforschung), and Pirro e Demetrio in which occur the songs "Rugiadose, odorose," "Ben ti sta, traditor." Mitridate Eupatore, composed for Venice in 1707, contains music far in advance of anything that Scarlatti had written for Naples, both in technique and in intellec tual power. The later Neapolitan operas are L'Amor volubile e tiranno (1709); La Principessa fedele ( Tigrane, 1715.
Scarlatti's claim to remembrance rests on the fact that he practically created the language of classical music. He extended the old forms, and filled them with melody unrivalled for purity and serenity, based on a far-reaching foundation of modern har mony and tonality, combined with great power of thematic development.