The notation of the piece - as in the case of Galuppi in general - is extremely rich in performing instructions: thanks to the legato, staccato, pizzicato and other dynamic instructions it comprises, in fact, bowing. This meticulous care is exceptional in Galuppi's autograph manuscripts (which are otherwise difficult to read). On the other hand, Caffi's biography of Galuppi makes us acquainted with the tribute Buranello paid to the Venetian instrumentalists "these beasts who are unaware of their magnificence". (from booklet)
Gustavo primo, re di Svezia (Gustavus the First, King of Sweden) is a three act opera seria by Baldassare Galuppi, with a libretto by Carlo Goldoni, fictionalising events in the life of Gustav I of Sweden. Composed in honour of the Genoese nobleman marchese Giovanni Giacomo Grimaldi, it premiered on 25 May 1740 at Venice's Teatro San Samuele. It was first recorded in 2003 by Karoly, Gonzalez, Cecchetti and the Capella Savaria Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Pirona.
Galuppi's score is tuneful and amusing, if not profound – and the libretto by Goldini is really just a farce. It is given a spendid performance by relatively unknown forces, who are all amazingly good – enough to make me look up whatever else they may have recorded. This is a studio (actually a church) recording, rather than a live performance, and is in a much clearer rendition than is common to this sort of music. All together, an excellent set, which promises to give great pleasure over long periods of time.
In his lifetime, Baldassare Galuppi was a well-known and popular composer across Europe. He wrote a hundred and ten operas for performance in the London theatre and at the court of Catherine II in Saint Petersburg, as well as in Florence and Venice in his native Italy. He was also a noted harpsichordist and kapellmeister. These two CDs are the first complete recording of his harpsichord concertos.
Galuppi was a very accomplished composer and harpsichord player by the age of twenty with a reputation in both Venice and Florence. He was a pupil of Marcello and played for Vivaldi. He composed many serious and comic operas as well as much sacred and keyboard music. During his 79 years he travelled to St Petersburg and was well-known to the Tsar‘s family. He collaborated with the famous Italian playwright Goldoni in many projects. Goldoni‘s epigram on Galuppi: “What music! What style! What masterworks!”
Baldassare Galuppi was born in Burano (one of the islands of Venice's estuary) on October the 18th 1706, the same year when — in Venice's theatres — the works of Antonio Lotti, Francesco Gasparini, Antonio Caldara and Giovanni Bononcini had great success. During that period the programmes of the biggest theatres (San Giovanni Grisostomo, Sant'Angelo, San Cassiano) were full of promises for the audience that were not only keen on entertainment but also sensitive to the art as well as suggesting new targets and providing a considerable income to the musicians…
This production was recorded at the Teatro Malibran of La Fenice in Venice in occasion of the celebrations for the 3rd centenary of Galuppi’s birth. This is the first performance in modern times, and a World Premiere recording on DVD. The Orchestra Barocca di Venezia, conducted by baroque expert Andrea Marcon plays on original instruments from the 18th century. Olimpiade, was written for the opening of the carnival season of Milan’s Teatro Ducale on December 26, 1747. The only available score was kept in Milan, but it was not complete; maybe this explains why the opera was not staged again, even though it collected a huge success. Conductor Andrea Marcon, together with musicologist Claire Genewein had to look for the score’s incomplete parts. Finally the symphony of the opening was found in Regensburg’s library, whereas the final part was found in London.