This is the 3rd in my summer dreams series...
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was famous in his day as an opera composer, but he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music. Born in Venice to Antonio Albinoni, a wealthy paper merchant, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life, especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. Unlike most composers of his time, he appears never to have sought a post at either a church or noble court, but then he was a man of independent means and had the option to compose music independently. A record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Albinoni died in Venice in 1751, of diabetes mellitus. In his lifetime his works were favorably compared with those of Corelli and Vivaldi, and his instrumental music greatly attracted the attention of Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni's themes and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils.
The famous "Adagio in G minor" for violin, strings and organ, is by some thought to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto in 1949. However, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazotto's last assistant before his death, brought up new findings. Among Giazotto's papers she discovered a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion and six fragmentary bars of the first violin, "bearing in the top right-hand corner a stamp stating unequivocally the Dresden provenance of the original from which it was taken". This provides support for Giazotto's account that he did base his composition on a source.
So, is the piece, one of the MOST popular, a fake? Well, I shall leave that for you to decide...
The very fine arrangement was done by Sebastian Drummond Wolff (1916-2004), a very distinguished English organist, who made a good deal of his career in Canada.
The MIDI is attached.