Six Concertos in Seven Parts ("Concerti Grossi")|
1. No 1 in f minor
Five Sinfonie di concerto grosso, 1715|
7. No 7 in g minor for flute, strings & continuo
We're quite happy devoting a whole programme to Alessandro Scarlatti because we like his music so much. He's one of our favourite baroque composers. The music has just the right mixture of contrapuntal depth and invention, with melodies which are always light and tuneful. Entertaining, relaxing, often thought-inspiring, this selection is not to be missed!
The Six Concertos in seven parts for two Violins and Violoncello Obligato with two Violins, more a Tenor and Thorough Bass, Compos'd by Sigr Alexander Scarlatti, as they were first called, were published in London under the above title by Benjamin Cooke in 1740, the date of composition being unknown as no autograph is available. The fact that they were published some fifteen years after the composer's death was quite unusual for that time; perhaps the publisher was "cashing in" on the popularity of the Scarlatti name. Alessandro's son Domenico's Essercizzi per gravicembalo had appeared in London a couple of years before, Domenico's work being highly popular in London. In 1743 by Charles Avison published his concerto grosso arrangements of twelve of Domenico's harpsichord sonatas. Perhaps we can thank son Domenico that these delightful Concerti by his father Alessandro are available to us today.
The 12 Sinfonie di concerto grosso are early works, begun on June 1, 1715. Although no other date is given, it is unlikely that their composition took longer than one year. The instrumentation varies with each sinfonia, adding tonal variety to melodic invention.