Francesco Antonio Uttini (1723-1795, Italian, Sweden)

I came accross the Italian Francesco Antonio Uttini (1723-1795), a student of Padre Martini and Giacomo Antonio Perti in Bologna, through Musica Sveciae MSCD 407, Gustavian composers: Francesco Antonio Uttini, Johann Gottlieb Naumann, Joseph Martin Kraus, Georg Joseph “Abbé” Vogler, a program conducted by Claude Génetay in 1988 and devoted to composers who served at the Court of King Gustav III of Sweden, in the last decades of the 18th Century. Uttini was the one name that was entirely unfamiliar to me, and his entry on French Wikipedia is more informative than in English. He served the Swedish Court from 1752 to 1778 – he went there in fact decades before Gustav became king (1771), on the invitation of Gustav’s mother, Lovisa (Louise) Ulrique of Prussia (the sister of King Frederick II of Prussia, much-hated in Sweden, but the woman who had the Drottningholm theatre built – can’t please everybody). He is an important historical figure in Swedish music, for composing in 1773, on Gustav’s commission, the first opera in Swedish language, Thetis och (“and”) Pelée. When competition from the new generation of composers, Naumann and Kraus, became too heated, he retired from music.

There is genuine Sturm und Drang turbulence in his music for the ballet of Thetis and Peleus (as befits this description of the avenging furies), but then these few excerpts are just a very small dip into the music of the composer.

Comments are welcome