The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Astorga, Emmanuele d'

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ASTORGA, Emmanuele d', a Sicilian musical composer, born at Palermo, Dec. 11, 1681, died in Bohemia, Aug. 21, 1736. His father, a Sicilian of rank, in command of a band of mercenary troops, resisted the union of Sicily with Spain; but his soldiers betrayed him, and he was executed in the presence of his wife and son. The former immediately died of grief, and Emmanuele was for a time almost idiotic and helpless. Recovering, he entered a convent at Astorga, from which town he took his surname. Here he speedily developed a remarkable musical talent, and in 1704 became a court musician and composer at Parma. Soon afterward he attached himself to the suite of the emperor Leopold, and after his death in 1705 travelled extensively, but at last entered a convent in Bohemia, where he spent the remainder of his life. His principal work is his Stabat Mater, of which the original MS. is preserved in the library of Oxford.