The Strad Issue: January 2012
Description: Sympathetic performances of chamber music by a neglected Baroque composer
Musicians: Accademia Dei Solinghi: Claudio Andriani Rauler, Abramo Raule (violin) Alessandro Peiretti (cello) Rita Peiretti (harpsichord)
Composer: Galuppi

The verdict of history is inevitably selective, and this may explain the obscurity of Baldassare Galuppi (1706–85), a former pupil of Lotti now best remembered for his comic operas. This, his only known set of trio sonatas (of which a manuscript survives at the University of Uppsala) displays consummate skill, arguably providing justification for Burney’s admiration of the composer. The first and last of the six trios are perhaps the most impressive, although there are moments of interest elsewhere, such as the chromatic middle movement of the Fourth Sonata, and the syncopated first movement of the Fifth.

Accademia dei Solinghi gives enthusiastic performances helped by a convincing evocation of period style, with clean sonorities and lively articulation, best heard in the opening movement of the first sonata. Under the direction of Rita Peiretti, a former pupil of Robert Veyron-Lacroix and Gustav Leonhardt, there is a good unity of style among the string players, all of whom are alumni of the Verdi Conservatoire in Turin. The close pairing of the violins can at times give rise to intonation difficulties and other blemishes – both violins rush somewhat in the outer movements of the First Sonata, and are most obviously ill-tuned in the first movement of the Second and last movement of the Fourth. Nonetheless, Dynamic provides a clear-cut disc of music that deserves greater recognition.

David Milsom