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)
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.
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…
In his book Capitalism and Freedom, neo-liberal/conservative economist Milton Friedman wrote that all the great accomplishments in history "were the product of individual genius." He continued to say that " the specially talented are always few." Presumably, Friedman included himself among those few, but he of all people might have had the modesty to acknowledge his co-workers, particularly since most of his books are co-authored. But Friedman suffered from "Ayn Rand Syndrome," one of the leading causes of incurable egomania in the modern world. Friedman was dead wrong, and in this case Tolstoy was right. The 'great men' of history have not be so much self-made as made despite themselves…
Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi’s reputation rests principally on his pioneering series of comic operas. But, trained by Antonio Lotti, Galuppi was also a keyboard player of distinction who served at the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg. Twelve keyboard sonatas were published during his lifetime, but Hedda Illy’s catalogue lists over 100 and reveals that Galuppi not only inherited the brilliance and panache of Domenico Scarlatti but anticipated the expressive writing of Mozart. The first volume in Matteo Napoli’s series (8.572263) was commended as “a good choice for connoisseurs of 18th century keyboard music.”
Between 1990 and 2000 Ilario Gregoletto recorded four CDs of harpsichord sonatas by Baldassare Galuppi (1706-85) for the small Italian label Rivoalto. Newton Classics now reissues the discs together as a budget-priced set. The booklet notes are not completely clear in regard to the sonatas’ numbering, apart from mention of cataloging systems by Hedda Illy and Fausto Torrefranca. In any event, all but one of these 25 sonatas follow a three-movement scheme, and each is marvelously varied in mood and texture.
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!’
The delightful, metaphorical “island in the Antipodes” is governed by a “council of women” who, in the manner of latter-day Amazons, have reversed the natural order of things by which power is assumed unequivocally by the males of the species.