Not the conductor Daniele Gatti (though he has been known to compose), or indeed the great Gatti-Casazza, moonlighting from his wheeling and dealing around La Scala: but Luigi Gatti, 1740–1817: a long-lived, prolific, almost completely unknown Classical figure whose name is largely remembered, if at all, for its tangential appearance in Mozart’s life and letters. Leopold and Wolfgang first bumped into Gatti in Mantua, in 1770, by which time he was already a respected Abbé, ordained and in charge of music and musicians. But it was when Gatti snared the post of Kapellmeister at Salzbug Cathedral that he crossed the family; for Leopold had coveted the job for himself, and indeed had no mean claim to it, but the city’s Prince Archbishop would not hear of it, and indeed demonstrated his distaste for the Mozart family in perpetuity by relieving Wolfgang of his responsibilities as a court and church composer – and the much-needed salary that went with them – with (according to the family correspondence) ‘a kick up the arse’.
So, Gatti: Here are three delightful Classical concertos, in period-instrument performances, made live in Mantua and Milan. The scores have been dusted off and freshly edited, and reveal a musical voice not circumscribed by time or place: he adjusted to the new, more complex, post-Classical style led by Hummel in the decades after Mozart’s death, as the Piano Concerto shows.
- First recordings.
- Detailed notes.
- The first in a series devoted to Gatti’s music.