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Agostino Steffani was an Italian ecclesiastic, diplomat and composer. Steffani stands somewhat apart from contemporary Italian composers (e.g., Alessandro Scarlatti) in his mastery of instrumental forms. His opera overtures, etc., show a remarkable combination of Italian suavity with a logical conciseness of construction which is due to French influence. In vocal music he is considered inferior to Scarlatti, and none of his famous duets, despite their charm, can compare for seriousness of intention with the Sicilian master's chamber-cantatas with the exception of Avanti il levar de la tenda (See external references below) which is superior in melodic construction and is a precursor to Mozart's work for voice. His instrumental music, however, is historically important as a factor in the artistic development of Handel.

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Agostino Steffani was an Italian ecclesiastic, diplomat and composer. Steffani stands somewhat apart from contemporary Italian composers (e.g., Alessandro Scarlatti) in his mastery of instrumental forms. His opera overtures, etc., show a remarkable combination of Italian suavity with a logical conciseness of construction which is due to French influence. In vocal music he is considered inferior to Scarlatti, and none of his famous duets, despite their charm, can compare for seriousness of intention with the Sicilian master's chamber-cantatas with the exception of Avanti il levar de la tenda (See external references below) which is superior in melodic construction and is a precursor to Mozart's work for voice. His instrumental music, however, is historically important as a factor in the artistic development of Handel. More

 
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