German composer Johann Hasse was baptised in Bergedorf on 25 March 1699 and began his career as a singer, joining Hamburg Opera as a tenor, and subsequently working at the court of Brunswick. Whilst in his early twenties he left Germany for Naples, where his serenata Antonio e Cleopatra became successful, and where he befriended Alessandro Scarlatti.
Hasse married soprano Faustina Bordoni in 1730 and, after spending time in Vienna, took up his position as Kapellmeister in Dresden, and became good friends with Johann Sebastian Bach.
An important relationship for Hasse was his friendship with the librettist Pietro Metastasio, whose texts he often set.
Hasse spent his last years in Vienna and Venice, dying in Venice on 16 December 1783, aged eighty-four.
Spotlight. Uncanny Precision - Gerald Fenech recommends Frieder Bernius' recording of 'L'Olimpiade' by Hasse. 'Frieder Bernius has a convincing way with Hasse.'
Ensemble. Not To Be Missed - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from a performance of Vivaldi's pastiche 'Tamerlano'
Ensemble. Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride - Mike Wheeler experiences 'Viva la Diva' at Buxton
CD Spotlight. Borrowing Music by Other Composers - Gerald Fenech unreservedly recommends the compilation opera 'Caio Fabbricio'. '... brilliant performances from both singers and players ...'
CD Spotlight. A Young Saxon's Occasional Opera - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'Enea in Caonia' by Hasse. 'Stefano Montanari conducts ... skilfully, mostly in support of the voices.'
CD Spotlight. A Good Anthology - The story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as seen by eight Baroque composers, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
CD Spotlight. Judged to Perfection - Baroque oboe sonatas played by Xenia Löffler, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... played very pleasingly with great style and panache by all instruments concerned.'
CD Spotlight. Vintage Handel - The pastiche 'Catone', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Carlo Ipata and his masterful band of singers and instrumentalists give a most persuasive and fascinating performance capturing all the nuances of the score with impressive conviction and verbal dexterity.'
CD Spotlight. Historically Significant - 'Didone Abbandonata' by Johann Hasse, heard by Howard Smith. 'Michael Hofstetter directs a consistently dramatic, high tensile performance.'
CD Spotlight. Praise and Attention - Romabarocca Ensemble plays Carlo Rainaldi, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... they will go far in the rediscovery of Baroque music.'
CD Spotlight. Vocal Artistry - Vivica Genaux sings Handel and Hasse, enjoyed by Maria Nockin. '... a wonderful trip back in time ...'
CD Spotlight. Arias for Farinelli - The voice of mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, appreciated by Maria Nockin. '... played, sung and recorded with exquisite artistry.'
Record box - Brilliantly handled. Roderic Dunnett listens to 'La Contadina' by Hasse