The Brilliant Classics catalogue of Baldassare Galuppi is extended by this new release of organ sonatas, to join previous issues of the harpsichord sonatas (BC95253), string concertos (BC94648) and harpsichord concertos (BC94161). All these recordings have been made according to the principles of historically informed performance on instruments (or copies thereof) of the period by Italian musicians versed in the late-Baroque Venetian style of which Galuppi is a commonly overlooked but highly accomplished example.
Now they are joined by Luca Scandali, whose recordings have included Brilliant Classics releases of organ music by Bernardo Pasquini (BC94347) and CPE Bach (BC94812). For Galuppi he plays two period instruments built by Gaetano Callido, in the churches of of San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Morrovalle (CD1) and San Paolo, Civitanova Marche (CD2), both in the Macerata province of Italy.
Galuppi’s sonatas vary in form. Some are three-movement works, and not all in the conventional fast-slow-fast structure; there are introductory Largos and even a G major Sonata arranged Andante-Allegro-Andante. Then there are single-movement works in both ritornello and aria form, as well as the Scarlatti-like structures of two contrasting slow-introduction and quick movements.
The variety of Galuppi’s approach may reflect pragmatic concerns motivated by his bread-and-butter occupation throughout his career as an organist and maestro di capella in sundry churches around Venice, from his 1722 appointment at S. Maria Formosa through to that of chorus master at the Mendicanti (1740-51), deputy chapel master, then chapel master at S. Marco (1748-1785), and lastly chorus master at the Incurabili Church (1762-76).
Regardless of their historical origins, these sonatas are easy to enjoy for their melodic invention and consistently exuberant temperament: for organ buffs, lovers of the Baroque and many others, this album promises two hours of unalloyed pleasure.
Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785) was born in Venice, where he spent much of his life, although he travelled Europe extensively, holding important musical posts at the courts of London and St. Petersburg. He was a famous keyboard player as well as an astoundingly prolific composer (he wrote more than 100 operas!).
Galuppi’s keyboard sonatas (both for harpsichord and organ) enjoyed great popularity and were published in many countries: “Galuppi’s music is to be found everywhere there are cultivated people” (Francesco Caffi, 1854). The sonatas, small in proportion and consisting of 1, 2 or three movements, are written in the gallant style, charming and eloquent melodies soaring above the skilful accompaniment.
Luca Scandali, one of the most eminent and respected of Italian organists, plays two historic organs built by Caetano Callido in resp. 1792 and 1804, and carefully restored in 2011.
Liner notes written by a scholar, all information on the specifications of the organs are included in the booklet.