Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Italian family of composers.

(1) Vincenzo Orgitano

(2) Paolo Orgitano

(3) Raffaele Orgitano

Two other Orgitanos, probably relatives, served the royal chapel in this period, both as supernumerary organists. Ignazio Orgitano was appointed on 18 February 1788 and Francesco Orgitano on 8 November 1796. Several works by Francesco survive, including two cantatas, Perseo in Libia (in A-Wn), composed by 1790, and Oreste agitato dalle furie (autograph in I-Nc), dated 1804, a Credo and an aria (both in Nc). With some manuscripts carrying only the family surname, attribution is often difficult.







O. Tiby: Il Real Teatro Carolino e l’Ottocento musicale palermitano (Florence, 1957), 115, 381

H.-B. Dietz: ‘A Chronology of Maestri and Organisti at the Cappella Reale in Naples, 1745–1800’, JAMS, xxv (1972), 379–406, esp. 398, 400–01

H.-B. Dietz: ‘Instrumental Music at the Court of Ferdinand IV of Naples and Sicily and the Works of Vincenzo Orgitano’, International Journal of Musicology, i (1992), 99–126

S. Redfield: Four Selected Works by Vincenzo Orgitano (fl. 1759–1805): Resurrecting Eighteenth-Century Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas as Ensemble Pieces for Intermediate Violinists (DMA, U. of Texas, Austin, 1999)



(1) Vincenzo Orgitano

(d Naples, after 1814; fl 1759–1805). Composer. He started his career as a composer of comic operas, writing Il finto pastorello on a libretto by Antonio Palomba for Naples (1759) and La pazzie per amore for Rome (1761). He then became active as a harpsichordist and teacher in circles of the nobility. The Orgitano whom Burney heard perform on the harpsichord in Naples in 1770, and called ‘one of the best players and writers for that instrument here’, must have been Vincenzo (and not his brother (2) Paolo Orgitano as has been assumed). According to Burney, he went to London in 1771 and worked at the King's Theatre. About 1779 he became music master to Maria Teresa and Maria Louisa, daughters of King Ferdinand of Naples. On 9 August 1782 he was appointed maestro di cappella soprannumerario of the royal chapel in Naples, succeeding Cafaro as primo maestro on 29 October 1787. He also continued to serve Princess Maria Teresa until her marriage to Franz II of Austria in 1790, as appears from numerous dated chamber works dedicated to her, particularly accompanied piano sonatas. In 1805 he retired from his post as chapel master with a royal pension: on 19 July 1815, after the end of the French rule of Naples (1806–15) and with King Ferdinand's return to power, he petitioned in vain for reinstatement.

With over 120 extant instrumental works, most with opus numbers and dedicated to Princess Maria Teresa, Vincenzo Orgitano must be regarded as the most prolific Neapolitan composer of instrumental music of the last quarter of the 18th century. Typically he favours works in two movements, with the first in various types of sonata form, the second almost invariably in rondo form. In the accompanied sonatas the treatment of the violin ranges from mere duplication of keyboard lines to almost equal partnership. Stylistically his piano music for Maria Teresa represents the ‘classical’ phase of the galant style in Italy.



Il finto pastorello (ob, A. Palomba), Naples, Nuovo, spr. 1759; lib, I-Bc, Nc

Le pazzie per amore (farsa), Rome, Argentina, carn. 1761; 1 duet US-AUS; lib, I-Bc, MAC

Sacred: TeD, 4vv, 1787, Fc, Mc; Litania pastorale, 4vv, 1791, Mc*; Requiem, A-Wn; Stabat mater, 2–4vv, I-Nc; 2 Tantum ergo, S, vns, b, 1803, Mc*; Qui tollis, 5vv, Mc; 4 sacred It. arias, Mc


MSS in A-Wn unless otherwise stated

Sinfonias: 3 with 2 lire organizzate, 1786; 6, ?1786–7

Trios (pf, vn, vc): 6 as op.19, 14 April 1783; 3 as op.24, Feb 1784; 3 as op.25, May 1784

String trios (with bc): 6 for vn, va, vc, 1783; 6 for 2 vn, vc, op.27, 28 Aug 1784

Sonatas (pf, vn obbl): 6, I-Nc; 6, F-Pc (attrib. ‘Orgitano’); 6 Duets, op.17 (London, n.d.); 6 as op.18, ?1782–3; 3 as op.26, May 1784, 3 as op.29, ?1784–5; 6 as op.35, 1785; 3 as op.39, 1786; 3 as op.48, 1788; 3 as op.51, 1789; 3 as op.53, 1789; 3 as op.54, 1789; Sonata pastorale, op.55, ?1789–90; 3 as op.14, 19 Aug 1794, I-Mc; 6, Mc; Pastorale, ?1803

Pf solo: 6 divertimentos, op.28, 7 Sept 1784; 3 sonatas, 2 pf, op.52, 1789; 6 divertimentos, op.57, ?1790

Other kbd (all I-Nc, attrib. ‘Orgitano’): 10 sonata movts; Toccata, G; Sonata, C


(2) Paolo Orgitano

(b Naples, c1740; d Naples, May 1796). Keyboard player and composer, brother of (1) Vincenzo Orgitano. On 9 November 1776 he was appointed to the royal chapel in Naples as substitute for the second organist Niccolò Piccinni. He also became maestro di cappella straordinario at the Cappella del Tesoro in Naples Cathedral in 1777. On 2 December 1779 he became first organist of the royal chapel, a post he held until his death. In older literature certain aspects of his brother (1) Vincenzo's life have been attributed to Paolo. A few compositions by Paolo are extant, including a sinfonia (in I-Mc), two arias and a cantata performed at S Carlo for the king’s birthday, 12 January 1773 (all in I-Nc). He also composed sacred cantatas for the celebrations of the translation of the blood of St Januarius in Naples on 1 May 1779 (in I-Vgc) and 7 May 1785, and Il trionfo della fede, 7 May 1791 (in I-Nn).


(3) Raffaele Orgitano

(b Naples, c1770; d ?Paris, 1812). Composer, son of (1) Vincenzo Orgitano. He studied under Sala at the Conservatorio di S Maria della Pietà dei Turchini in Naples. In 1790 he joined the Cappella del Tesoro as maestro di cappella straordinario and on 20 July 1791 was appointed organista soprannumerario of the royal chapel. In 1800 he was in Palermo, where the royal family had taken refuge from the 1799 Revolution in Naples. Between 1800 and 1802 he composed several highly successful comic operas for Venice, Rome and Naples which were also performed in other cities. He then moved to Paris, but was unable to establish himself as a composer there. Two of his operas, Non credere alle apparenze (Venice, 1801) and Amore ed interesse (Naples, 1802), remained popular for over a decade and were staged by various theatres throughout Italy.



Non credere alle apparenze, ossia L’amore intraprendente (farsa, G. Foppa), Venice, S Moisè, 10 Oct 1801, GB-Lam, I-Fc, Mr, Vnm

Adelaide e Tebaldo (ob, G. Rossi), Venice, S Benedetto, 27 Dec 1801

Gli amanti al cimento (dg, M. Prunetti), Rome, Valle, carn. 1802, lib Bc

Amore ed interesse, ossia L’infermo ad arte (farsa, G. Palomba), Naples, Fiorentini, aut. 1802, A-Wn [Act 1], I-Fc, Nc, PAc

Arsinoe (op teatrale), Naples, Nc

Miscellaneous opera excerpts: A-Wn, I-Bc, Fc, Mc, Nc, Vnm


La Passione di Gesù Cristo (cant), 3vv, Naples, 1797, Nc*

Il voto di Jefte (dramma sacro, F. Gonella), Florence, Pergola, Lent 1802, Fc

A renderci beati, hymn, solo vv, 8vv, insts, A-Wn, F-Pc
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