Italian Baroque Favourites
Giovanni Battista Sammartini(1700/01 -1775)
Sinfonia in A major
Francesco Geminiani (1687 -1762)
Concerto grosso in E minor, Op.
Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764)
Concerto grosso in D major, Op.
Giuseppe Torelli (1658 -1709)
Concerto grosso in G Minor, Op.
Arcangelo Corelli (1653 -1713)
Concerto grosso in B flat major, Op. 6 No.11
Concerto grosso in D minor, Op. 2, No.5
Francesco Onofrio Manfredini(1684 -1762)
Sinfonia No.10 in C major
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671-1751)
Sonata a cinque in G minor, Op.
Pietro Antonio Locatelli
Concerto grosso in D major, Op.
The present collection of Italian Baroquefavourites contains orchestral works that span some three quarters of acentury, from the heyday of Corelli in Rome and Torelli in Bologna in the lateseventeenth century, to the later activities of Sammartini in Milan. Giovanni BattistaSammartini was born at the beginning of the new century, probably in Milan, and it was therethat he made his career. His importance lies in the fact that he belonged tothe first generation of composers writing in the newly developing form of thesymphony, a form that was to dominate European music as the century went on. 68of his symphonies survive, often in collections outside Italy, confirming hisinternational rather than local popularity in this respect. In style herepresents a period of transition between the Baroque and the classical,exhibited in symphonies that in general are in the usual Italian three-movementform.
The earlier generation is heard in the Concertogrosso in B flat major, Op. 6, No.11 by the violinist and composer ArcangeloCorelli. Trained, it seems, in Bologna, Corelli made his career, one ofconsiderable distinction, in Rome, at one time in the service of QueenChristina of Sweden, who had installed herself as one of Rome's leading patronsof the arts, and then serving in the musical establishment of Cardinal Pamphiliand then of Cardinal Ottoboni, the young nephew of Pope Alexander VDI. Hissonatas and concerti grossi served as a model for later generations. The set oftwelve concerti grossi, published posthumously, but seemingly heard in Rome inthe 16808, include compositions for church use or in 'church' form, Concertida chiesa and chamber works, da camera, the latter lacking theformal contrapuntal content of the former, and generally consisting of a seriesof dance movements. The present concerto grosso, after a Preludio goeson to include the basic movements of a dance suite, Allemanda, Sarabanda andfinal Giga. The form of the concerto grosso, derived from the populartrio sonata, involved the contrast of a small group of players, the concertino,here two violins, cello and harpsichord, with the whole body of the stringorchestra, the ripieno.
Five years younger than Corelli, Giuseppe Torelliwas born in Verona in 1658 and in 1684moved to Bologna, where he soon wasable to join the musical establishment of the Basilica of San Petronio as astring player. After 1696, when the cappella of San Petronio was disbanded, heworked in Germany and in Vienna. By 1701 he wasagain in Bologna, serving in therevived San Petronio cappella. Torelli's concerti grossi, like those ofCorelli, were published posthumously, in his case in 1709, but representearlier work.
The next generation of composers here includedmay start with Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni, the son of a well-to-do paper merchantin Venice, where he was bornin 1671. The comfortable circumstances into which he was born made it possiblefor him to avoid engaging in any immediate profession, although he cameeventually to devote himself exclusively to music, avoiding participation inthe family business after his father's death. His compositions include morethan fifty operas, church music, secular cantatas and orchestral compositions.
Ambiguity in titles, with the word sonata used in a more general sensethan today, allows the inclusion of the Sonata a cinque among the SeiSinfonie e sei concerti a cinque that form his Opus 2, published inVenice in 1700, at a time when Vivaldi, seven years his junior, was at thebeginning of his career.
FrancescoOnofrio Manfredini, born in Pistoia in 1684, was a violin pupil of Torelli in Bologna and a compositionpupil of Perti, whose work Torelli did so much to promulgate. He was in Ferrara for some years, butreturned in 1704 to rejoin the San Petronio musical establishment, where he hadserved until 1696. His employment in his native town of Pistoia is recorded in 1727,when he served as maestro di cappella at the Cathedral. His Sinfonie, infact church sonatas in which there are sections for concertina soloists,were published in Bologna in 1709 and reflect the influence of his teacher Torelli.
A number of Italian musicians chose to make theircareers in other countries. Pietro Antonio Locatelli, who later enjoyed areputation to equal that of the demon violinist Paganini, was born in Bergamo in 1695, but studiedin Rome, perhaps withCorelli but more probably with Valentini. He travelled as a virtuoso performerbut in 1729 settled in Amsterdam, remaining there more or less continuously untilhis death in 1764. Here he associated with the publisher Le Cene and occupiedhimself largely with the work of gentlemen amateurs. Something of hisvirtuosity is evident in the 24 Caprices that form part of his Opus 3.
He published his XII concerti grossi, Opus 1, in Amsterdam in 1721, but revisedthe set when he had moved there in 1729. His concerti grossi, although relyingon the standard model of Corelli, differ by the inclusion of one or two violasin the concertino.
Born in Lucca in 1687, Francesco Geminiani was a pupil ofCorelli in Rome and won a reputationas virtuoso violinist. It was in this capacity that he moved, in 1714, to London, where he enjoyedthe patronage ofa number of the nobility, performing at court with Handel. Muchof his later career centr