The marriage with Celeste Erard
On August 3rd, 1811, Spontini, at the age of thirty-seven, married Maria Caterina Celeste Erard. Born in Paris on July 10th, 1790, she was Giovanni Battista’s daughter and Sebastiano Erard’s niece, the two famous harps and pianos’ constructors. The marriage was particularly welcomed by Empress Joséphine, so that the notarial act that regulates the economic relations among the married couple was signed by “Joséphine”. Even if she lived in his shade, Celeste had an important role in the musician’s artistic life, so much that he dedicated her his greatest work, Agnes von Hohenstaufen.
Spontini couple had no children, and this did not damage their relationship of love and harmony but on the contrary had as consequence the institution of a lot of charitable actions in favour of Jesi and Maiolati. After Spontini’s death, Celeste kept on the administration of these charitable organizations, revealing her sensibility and love for her beloved consort and for the small village that received his grave. Celeste, used to the sumptuous and refined life of the European courts, always deeply desired to live in Maiolati, in this small village among humble, but sincere, people. The following sentence testifies this feeling: “The huge city of London is… marvellous… Now, if I could, I would choice more gladly my little house of Majolati, than a building in this first capital of the world”.