Baldassare Galuppi, “Il Buranello” (1706 -1784) wrote operas, sacred works, chamber music, and keyboard pieces for the harpsichord and for the then newfangled fortepiano.
A contemporary of Mozart and Gluck he was unfairly overshadowed by composers of the German and Austrian bent, so much so that after his death many of his both published and unpublished works disappeared, some never to be found again.
But those compositions of Galuppi that have managed to survive the passing of time on dusty library shelves or in the hands of care-giving curators have in recent times come to the attention of scholarly performers.
One such artist is the indispensable musical sleuth and powerhouse pianist Peter Seivewright, who has just added a fourth volume of Galuppi works for the keyboard, appending a lovely concerto a cinque for string quartet and keyboard as the album’s closing number, with the undying support of divine art records
Aside from the sheer delight that Seivewright’s playing brings to the soul of this listener, we are stunned by the rich variety and charm of Galuppi’s music.
No longer stile gallant nor quite severely Classical nor, Heavens knows, Early Romantic in conception or harmonic structure, Galuppi’s sui generis oeuvre spans a transitional moment in music, taking something from here and something else from there, all along not sounding like Gluck or Mozart or anyone else other than Galuppi and that’s a very good thing.
The eight sonatas included in this invaluable CD are delightfully quirky one, two and three movement conceptions, surprisingly as brief as a couple of minutes, or as fully drawn as ten minutes in length. Galuppi preferred the happiness of major keys and out of the 19 tracks only 2 are in no doom, no gloom minor keys.
Overall Italianate in style, unfussy in harmony, uncomplicated in contrapuntal structure, relying instead on a sunny sound culled from the few days of sunshine and the ongoing openhearted disposition of the denizens of the northern city of Venice, along with quintessentially Italian melodies that make them hold our attention from start to finish, Galuppi’s creations for the keyboard are, along with Peter Seivenwright’s labor of love, as endearing as, we hope, enduring.
The CD is handsome in design, brilliantly annotated by Seivewright, who himself helmed the project as producer. With the help of Andrew Graeme as recording engineer, the album delivers an uncomplicated, faithfully-recorded sound devoid of the claustrophobic over-immediacy of many CD’s these days.
Under fifty minutes in running time, Peter Seivewright’s fourth volume will undergo a severe test in my home study by being subjected to repeated replays, so much do I enjoy it.
Steve Sutton, the visionary friend of so many artists and divine art should be saluted for keeping Seivewright busy with past and future projects.
Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com