Maria Margherita Grimani
Little is known of Maria Margherita Grimani’s life other than the dates three of her major works were performed in Vienna. Grimani may have been born into the wealthy Grimani family of Venice, which would have made her the daughter of Pietro Grimani, the negotiator of an alliance between Venice and the Turks that took place in 1713. In that same year, Grimani’s opus dramaticum (dramatic work), Pallade e Marte, for soprano, alto, oboe, therabo, solo cello, strings and continuo, was written in Bologna, according to its inscription. The coinciding of Pietro’s negotiation and the beginning of Grimani’s publications appearing in Vienna may indicate their relationship. Pallade e Marte was written for the Emperor’s name day in November and was performed at the Vienna court theater.
Grimani also composed two oratorios, La visitazione de Elisabetta (The Visitation of Elizabeth) and La decollazione di S. Giovanni Battista (The Beheading of St. John the Baptist), perhaps as a canoness while living in Vienna like composers Rossi, Grazianini and Raschenau. Her oratorios were stylistically similar to Scarlatti’s with accompanied da capo arias of simple but clear expression, orchestral ritornelli, and an Italian overture for string orchestra.