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Eighteenth-Century Madrid

Domenico Scarlatti arrived in Madrid in 1733, following his pupil Maria Barbara there after she married the Spanish prince Ferdinand. The Spanish kingdom had experienced major blows to its position on the European stage in the defeat of their Armada by the English, and king Charles II dying with no heir. Luckily, all of the ruling families of Europe were related either by birth or marriage, and it just happened that French prince Philip, was also the grandson of Charles II’s sister, making him the nearest relation to claim the Spanish throne. Philip also holds the distinction of being the only ruler to have two separate reigns. At one point he abdicated in favor of his son, only to have his son die within a year of becoming king. Philip became king again until his second son, Ferdinand, was old enough. It was this Ferdinand that Scarlatti’s Portuguese pupil married in 1729.

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