Luigi Cherubini was born in Florence, Italy, in September, 1760. He received his first musical instruction at the age of six from his father, Bartolomeo, who was maestro al cembalo at the Teatro della Pergola. At age nine, he began studying counterpoint with the Felici family. Following the elder Felici’s death in 1776, Cherubini took lessons from two other musicians in Florence.
In 1773, Cherubini composed his first work, a Mass and Credo in D minor. By the age of 18, he had composed 36 works, including the cantata La pubblica felicità, which was performed in honor of the Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany (later Emperor Leopold II). Following this performance, the Duke awarded Cherubini a grant to study with Sarti, a leading opera composer. All of the operas which Cherubini wrote before 1784 are either lost entirely or partially, thereby making assessment of his early career impossible.
Internationally renowned conductor Riccardo Muti has recorded seven of these works and clearly believes in their importance to the history of music. The collection is supplemented by 8 overtures conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.