Libretto by Padre Vito Lepori (I)
Pietro Andrea Ziani, a Venetian organist and opera composer born sometime before 1616, rose to the position of vice-Maestro di Cappella at the Imperial Court in Vienna, where he composed many oratorios, including Assalonne punito. Two years later he succeded Cavalli as first organist of San Marco. Later he ventured to Naples, teaching at the Porta Capuana conservatory, becoming Maestro di Cappella in 1680, and dying there in 1684. His dramatic oratorio has survived in a single manuscript with only the vocal parts. Alessandro Ciccolini has composed very convincing reconstructions of the instrumental sinfonie typical for this genre, and also supplied the inner three parts of the five-part choruses, restoring the work to its original splendor.