Though Baldassare Galuppi may not be a household name, he was in fact one of the most successful composers of his day. Arguably more popular than his fellow Venetian, Antonio Vivaldi, he wrote music that appealed to contemporary taste and which touched on a range of genres – including comic opera, which he was instrumental in developing.
There are approximately 130 surviving keyboard works by Galuppi, and the 25 detailed in this excellent recording come from a range of anthologies of the period. Covering the various formal plans that characterise the composer’s sonatas as a whole, they borrow from structures such as the operatic sinfonia – whose rhapsodic opening movement, leading to a faster central one, is no better explored than in the dramatic Andante of the Sonata No.15 in F minor – and also feature single-movement compositions that are analogous to the toccata, as demonstrated in the remarkable Sonata No.18 in D minor.
It is clear from the compilation that Galuppi regarded the keyboard as a medium suitable for experimentation. With inventive surface detail and expressive harmonic colouring that points to the impending emergence of the Classical style, there’s everything to delight the listener in this diverse collection of works which present a fantastic opportunity to become better acquainted with one of the most highly regarded composers of keyboard music of the late-Baroque era.
Includes new recordings: CD4 is previously unissued.
Ilario Gregoletto is a Venetian-trained keyboard player who trained with the renowned Bach scholar and keyboard player Kenneth Gilbert.
New booklet notes by the Italian-music scholar Andrew Woolley.