Giuseppe Valentini was born at Florence in 1681 but early in his life moved to Rome, where he completed his training as a violinist and subsequently was active as a musician and composer. He also made a name for himself as a poet and painter. In his Florentine years his teacher may have been Antonio Veracini, while at Rome he continued his studies with Giovanni Bononcini. Beginning in 1708, Valentini’s name is found regularly in the musicians’ rosters for performances in Roman churches and noblemen’s residences (Prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli, cardinals Pietro Ottoboni and Benedetto Pamphili). Before his death in 1753 he held a number of illustrious positions. The high esteem his contemporaries had for Valentini is also shown in the fact that he was accepted as a member of the “Accademia degli Arcadi”, the most renowned association of writers, artists and patrons at Rome in the late Baroque period.
According to Albert Dunning the six manuscripts kept at the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden containing concertos and a sinfonia by Valentini probably were part of the prospective “Concerti grossi con Trombe, Obue, e diversi altri Stromenti”. Like the concerto in D major the majority of these sources are transmitted in copies prepared by J. G. Pisendel, who from 1712 until his death in 1755 was first violinist and concertmaster of the Dresden Hofkapelle. After his death, ownership of these treasures was transferred to the court and henceforth they were kept in the so-called “cabinet No. II” of the Catholic Hofkirche.
The concerto in D major for oboe, violin, strings, and basso continuo may serve as a telling example for the wide range of meanings the term concertato had in Italy at the time. The treatment of the solo parts in Valentini’s piece rather follows the model of the solo concerto established at the time mainly through the works of A. Vivaldi: the instruments are presented individually, the oboe taking a prominent position not least because of its function as a colouring element in tutti sections. The solo violin appears only in the second movement with virtuosic passage work.
(Annegret Rosenmüller, translation by Stephanie Wollny)