Giacomo Facco

Facco was born in Marsango, a small settlement near Padua and Venice. For many years he was a conductor in Italy. In 1705 he was in Palermo, employed as choirmaster, teacher and violin virtuoso by Carlo Antonio Spinola, Marquis of los Balbases (the Viceroy of Sicily). In 1708, Spinola Virrey transferred his residence to Messina, and Facco followed him. In Messina he composed The Fight between the Mercy and the Incredulity. In 1710 he presented, in Messina Cathedral, his work The Augury of Victories, dedicated to King Felipe V.

In a report dated 22 January 1720, the Patriarch of the Indies, Cardinal Carlos de Borja de Centelles and Ponce of Leon, Archbishop of Trebisonda, wrote that Facco had an excellent pay in the Court of the King of Spain (having rejected an offer, of equal pay, by the Portuguese Court), where Spinola was Ambassador of King Felipe V. On 9 February Facco was named Clavichord Master to the Prince of Asturias, the Infant Luis, the future King Luis I. Facco subsequently became Clavichord Master to the infant Prince of Asturias (future king Fernando VI), and, since 1 October 1731, to the infant Don Carlos (future king Carlos III).

In 1720, when Facco was considered one of the best composers of the time, the city council of Madrid commissioned him to compose an opera on a libretto by Jose de Canizares. The opera was titled Love is all Invention, or, Jupiter and Amphitrion, and was released in the Coliseo of the Good Retirement. It was dedicated to Saints Martha and Mary to celebrate the marriage of Facco's student, Prince de Asturias, and Isabel of Orleans (which occurred in January 1721).

Facco fell victim of his scheming colleagues: he slowly lost all of his positions until, in the last years of his life, he was merely a violinist in the Orchestra of the Royal Chapel. He died in Madrid on February 16, 1753.

Facco wrote a cycle of twelve concertos for violin, strings and organ with the title of Pensieri Adriarmonici (Thoughts Adriarmonicous), published in Amsterdam, the first book in 1716 and the second in 1718. He also wrote solo cantatas on his own texts, for he was a skilled poetethese were found at the National Library of Paris, and were presented by soprano Betty Fabila for the first time (conducted by Uberto Zanolli) in 1962 at the Castle of Chapultepec in Mexico City.

Facco must have composed numerous sacred works for the Royal Chapel in Madrid, but this music was probably destroyed, along with many other compositions, in the fire of 1734.

Much of the information about Facco's life and works was discovered by Uberto Zanolli, an Italian-Mexican composer who found Facco's Pensieri Adriarmonici at the Vizcain Library in Mexico City in 1962. Since then, Zanolli has worked on putting together a biography of Facco and a musicological recovery of his work. Among other finds was Facco's birth certificate.


Year / Artwork
Importance Medium
Pensieri Adriarmonici
4.00 stars CD
Facco Pensieri Adriarmonici
Arte Dell'Arco cond. Anibal Cetrangolo