Baldassare Galuppi

Biography

Born: October 18, 1706; Burano Island, Italy   Died: January 3, 1785; Venice, Italy  
Baldassare Galuppi, a key figure in the history of Italian comic opera, was for some time known only through his mention in Robert Browning's poem "A Toccata of Galuppi's." Galuppi's father was a barber and violinist who gave his son elementary music lessons. By the age of 16 he had composed an opera, La fede nell'incostanza ossia Gli amici rivali. It was a spectacular failure; the curtain had to be brought down before the audience rioted. The Read more puzzled young man went to the composer Benedetto Marcello to try to find out why. The mentor took him to task for daring to write an opera before he was ready, and made him promise not to compose anything for three years, but to undertake study with Antonio Lotti, who called Galuppi his best pupil.

Galuppi went to Florence to work as a harpsichord player in the orchestra of Teatro della Pergola in 1726. He returned to Venice and formed a partnership with a writer friend of his from school, G.B. Peschetti. His second attempt at opera, Dorinda (1729), was a major success. For the rest of his life he averaged about two operas per year, and they were played of Italy's major theaters. In 1740 the Ospedale dei Mendicanti (which included a conservatory) hired him as music director; he established a superb orchestra and church music for the institution. Meanwhile, Galuppi accepted an offer in 1741 from the Earl of Middlesex to write opera seria for his theater in the Haymarket, London. His first effort was moderately well received, and each successive opera was more popular than the last.

On returning to Italy in 1743 he took note of the cutting-edge Neapolitan innovation, opera buffa, and tried his hand at it. After some initial failures these comic operas, too, started to catch on. In 1748 he was appointed maestro of the cappella ducale at St. Mark's cathedral (and in 1762 was promoted to the head position, maestro di cappella, considered the top musical job in Venice). In 1751 the pressure of these positions led him to give up the position at the Mendicanti. His first comic success was L'Arcadia in Brenta, to a libretto by Carlo Goldoni, with whom Galuppi forged a partnership. Galuppi's best operas were played widely in Europe, and he was hired to go to Russia as music director of Catherine the Great's chapel. There he inaugurated an Italian dominance of Russian operatic life that lasted until Glinka's time; in addition, he introduced Western counterpoint into the music of the Russian Orthodox Church. Galuppi returned to Venice in 1768, resumed his duties at St. Mark's, and became chorus master at the Ospedale degli Incurabili. He phased out theatrical work, writing more keyboard music, sacred works, and oratorios.

Small in stature, he was described by the touring musical scholar Burney as an "agile little cricket" of a man. Burney also considered Galuppi one of the best operatic composers of the age, and the twentieth century's revival of interest in that era tended to confirm that opinion. His comic operas in particular are built of short, varied vocal phrases, with a strong melodic line and lively rhythms. He was adept at musical characterization and situational thinking. His orchestration was notable; winds mark important moments, and in finales he allowed the flow of string writing to carry the main melodic material while the voices exchange dialogue realistically. Galuppi's keyboard music, including over 130 sonatas, shows a bright, idiomatic, and lively style of writing, and establishes him as a major Italian composer for harpsichord and piano after Domenico Scarlatti. Read less

There are 75 Baldassare Galuppi recordings available.

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Works

Baldassare Galuppi


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Grave e adagio
II. Spiritoso
III. Allegro
I. Andante
II. Allegro, Illy No. 73
III. Largo, Illy No. 74
IV. Allegro e spiritoso
I. Siciliana
II. Allegro, Illy No. 68
I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegretto
WORKS
I. Grave e adagio
II. Spiritoso
III. Allegro
Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo (Soprano, Alto, Chorus)
Gloria: Et in terra pax (Bass 1, Bass 2)
Gloria: Laudamus te (Soprano, Alto, Chorus)
Gloria: Gratias agimus tibi (Alto)
Gloria: Domine Deus, Rex coelestis (Soprano, Chorus)
Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi (Soprano)
Gloria: Suscipe deprecationem nostram (Soprano)
Gloria: Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (Alto, Chorus)
Gloria: Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Tenor)
Gloria: Cum Sancto Spirito (Chorus)
Act I: Sinfonia
Act I Scene 1: Presto, presto, alla catena (Quickly, quickly, back to your chains) (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: Recitative: Ite all'opre servili (Haste to your humble tasks) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 1: Presto, presto, alla catena (Quickly, quickly, back to your chains) (Chorus)
Act I Scene 2: Recitative: Poiche del viril sesso (Now that we have subdued) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 3: Recitative: Aurora, ah non vorrei (Aurora, I would not like) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 3: Aria: Fiero leon, che audace (A fierce lion that once boldly) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 4: Recitative: Che piacer, che dilerro (What pleasure, what delight) (Aurora)
Act I Scene 4: Aria: Quegl'occhietti si furbetti (Those little eyes, so mischievous) (Aurora)
Act I Scene 5: Recitative: Oh che gusto, oh che gusto! (Oh joy, oh joy!) (Graziosino)
Act I Scene 5: Aria: Quando gli augelli cantano (When the birds are singing) (Graziosino)
Act I Scene 6: Arietta: Madre Natura (Mother Nature) (Giacinto)
Act I Scene 6: Recitative: Questa parucca, in vero (This wig, in very truth) (Giacinto)
Act I Scene 6: Aria: In quel volto siede un nume (In that face resides a spirit) (Giacinto)
Act I Scene 7: Recitative: Oh, quanto mi fan ridere (Oh, how they make me laugh) (Cintia)
Act I Scene 7: Aria: Se gli uomini sospirano (If the men are miserable) (Cintia)
Act I Scene 8: Recitative: Ma io, per dir li vero (But, to tell the truth) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 8: Aria: Cari lacci, amate pene (Dear bonds, beloved travail) (Tulia)
Act I Scene 9: Recitative: Dov'e, dov'e chi dice (Where, where is he who says) (Rinaldino)
Act I Scene 9: Aria: Gioje care, un cor dubioso (Dear joys, come flood) (Rinaldino)
Act I Scene 10: Recitative: O Diana mia gentile! (O my amiable Diana!) (Giacinto)
Act I Scene 10: Recitative: Con Aurora Giacinto? (Giacinto with Aurora?) (Cintia)
Act I Scene 10: Finale I: Venite, o ch'io vi faccio (Come along, or you shall have) (Cintia)
Act III Scene 2: Aria: Fino ch'io vivo adorero (As long as I live I shall adore you) (Tulia)
Act III Scene 3: Recitative: Io rido come un pazzo (It makes me laugh like mad) (Ferramonte)
Act III Scene 3: Aria: Le donne col cervello (Women use their wits) (Ferramonte)
Act III Scene 5: Recitative: Non ne vuo piu sapere (I want no more to do with you) (Graziosino)
Act III Scene 5: Aria: Che bel regnar contenta (How sweet to rule contented) (Aurora)
Act III Scene 6: Recitative: Colui di Ferramonte (That chap Ferramonte) (Graziosino)
Act III Scene 6: Aria: Giuro ... Signora si (I swear ... Indeed, madam) (Graziosino)
Act III Scene 7: Recitative: Ah, ch'e un piacere soave (Ah, it is a delicious feeling) (Cintia)
Act III Scene 7: Duet: Eccomi al vostro piede (Behold me kneeling at your feet) (Cintia)
Act III Scene 8: Finale III: Pieta, pieta di noi (Mercy, have mercy upon us!) (Chorus of Women)
Act III: Epilogue
I. Andante
II. Allegro
III. Allegro
I. Larghetto cantabile
II. Allegro vivace
I. Andante
II. Allegro, Illy No. 73
III. Largo, Illy No. 74
IV. Allegro e spiritoso
I. Siciliana
II. Allegro, Illy No. 68
I. Andantino
II. Allegro assai
III. Giga
I. Andantino
II. Allegro moderato
III. Andante spiritoso
I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegretto
I. Andante
II. Allegro
III. Grazioso
I. Allegro moderato
II. Larghetto con 6 Variazioni
I. Andantino
II. Allegro
III. Giga
I. Andantino, e con espressione
II. Allegro assai
III. Allegro
I. Andante spiritoso
II. Allegretto
III. Presto
I. Largo
II. Presto
III. Allegretto
Laetatus sum
Fiat pax
Propter fratres meos
Gloria Patri et Figlio / Sicut erat
Lauda Jerusalem
Quoniam confortavit
Qui posuit fines
Qui emittit
Emittit verbum
Qui annuntiat
Gloria Patri et Figlio / Sicut era
Nisi Dominus
Vanum est nobis
Cum dederit
Sicut sagitte
Beatus vir
Gloria Patri et Figlio
Sicut erat
Sonata No. 5 in C major: First movement: Andante
Sonata No. 5 in C major: Second movement: Allegro
Sonata No. 5 in C major: Third movement: Allegro assai


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