Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1701-75) was born in Milan, and unlike his contemporaries, spent all his life working in his home city. He bacame the major figure in musical life in the city, and devoted himself to instrumental, chamber and sacred music, composing only three stage works making him one of those rare Italian composers who shunned the world of opera – Giovanni Sgambati in the 19th century is another such example. Sammartini vies with Haydn for the title ‘father of the symphony’. He was a great innovator, and his symphonic works resulted from his experimentation with the concerto grosso and trio sonata forms of the baroque age. His works were widely published in all the major cities of Europe, and he was on friendly terms with Gluck who he taught from 1737-41, and Mozart who he met during the young Austrian’s visit to Milan. His influence upon composers such as Gossec, J.C Bach and Johann Stamitz was considerable.
- World premiere recordings (on period instruments) of highly influential works in the history of the symphony.
- A great followup to Sammartini Symphonies Vol 1 (BC93610).
- Extensive booklet notes included.