Giovanni Battista Sammartini

Biography

Born: c. 1700   Died: January 15, 1775   Country: Italy   Period: Classical
Giovanni Sammartini, not to be confused with his brother Giuseppe Sammartini, also a composer, is widely regarded as "the father of the symphony." While he may not have invented the form, he was the first composer to master it and helped establish it as a separate entity from its direct ancestor, the opera overture. The spirit of Classicism is present in the earliest datable works of Sammartini, which represented a distinct break from Baroque Read more traditions. Sammartini's influence on composers such as Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Christian Bach, and Luigi Boccherini has long been acknowledged, and even though Franz Josef Haydn disdained the shadow cast by Sammartini in reference to his own work, its presence is unmistakable. Giovanni Sammartini lived his entire life in Milan and was that city's most famous composer in the eighteenth century. By the time he was named maestro di cappella of the Congregazione SS Entierro in 1728, he was already "famous" as a composer of sacred music, most of which, unfortunately, is lost. He held the post at SS Entierro until ill health likely forced him to retire in 1773.
Sammartini's earliest-known symphonies date from around 1732 and the last from 1772; authentic Sammartini symphonies are 67 in number and are generally divided into three phases; early (18 symphonies, 1732-1739), middle (37 symphonies, 1740-1758), and late (12 symphonies, 1759-1772). An additional 75 symphonies attributed to Sammartini are either spurious or lost. One can trace the development of Classical style through this important cycle of works: the early symphonies reveal traces of Baroque influences, whereas the middle-period works dispense with these elements and add two horns to the ensemble. The late symphonies are longer, and yet more wind instruments are added to the texture, and the continuo is retired for good through his separation of the cello and bass parts. In addition to the symphonies, 31 concerti of Sammartini have been authenticated, and Sammartini deserves to be credited with helping foster the form of the classical symphony concertante. His orchestral music has a driving rhythmic profile and certain minor key works look forward to the Sturm und Drang style of the later classical era. Although it is said in some sources that he produced a four-movement symphony in the 1730s, it is clear that he favored three- and even two-movement symphonies throughout his life.
Sammartini also composed a wealth of chamber music, actually comprising the major part of his surviving output -- he only composed three operas, and preferred to contribute an aria here and there to already existing works over composing whole operas. Sammartini's chamber music is of the highest quality and merits revival. Read less
Sammartini: Late Symphonies Vol 2 / Lurig, Accademia D'arcadia
Release Date: 05/04/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94019   Number of Discs: 1
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Sammartini: Late Symphonies / Lurig, Accademia D'arcadia
Release Date: 05/29/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94356   Number of Discs: 2
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There are 35 Giovanni Battista Sammartini recordings available.

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Works

Giovanni Battista Sammartini


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Allegro assai
II. Allegrino
III. Allegrissimo
I. Presto
II. Andante e pianissimo
IIIa. Presto assai
IIIb. Allegro (alternative finale)
I. Allegro
II. Affettuoso
III. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Grave
III. Presto
I. Presto
II. Andante
III. Allegro assai
WORKS
Introduction: Sinfonia
Recitative I: Oh portenti, oh stupor! (Oh wonders, oh amazement!) (Soprano)
Aria: S'alma illustre si nasconde (If a divine soul conceals himself) (Soprano)
Recitative II: Tutto questo m'e noto (All of this I know well) (Alto)
Aria: So che nel cor volgea (I know that in its heart) (Alto)
Recitative III: Di cosi ingrati cori (If you want further proof) (Tenor)
Aria: D'iniqua mente (He who has an evil mind) (Tenor)
Recitative IV: Chi mai pensar potea (Who could imagine) (Soprano)
Finale: Chorus: Chi si colma il sen d'amore / He whose heart is full of love (Trio)
Introduction: Sinfonia
Recitative I: E Chi di voi mi reca Del mio Gesu novella? (Mary Salome)
Aria: Lupo crudel rapace (Mary Cleophas)
Recitative II: Oh popolo spergiuro! (Mary Salome)
Aria: Di Davidde il Figlio viva (Mary Salome)
Recitative III: Io stessa il vidi, in mezzo all'empio stuolo (Mary Magdalene)
Aria: Quel Serto, quel Manto (Mary Magdalene)
Recitative IV: Pur cio non valse ad ammolir que duri, Perfidi cori (Mary Cleophas)
Finale: Forsennata Sionne infedele (Angel Chorus)
Introduzione (Sinfonia)
Terzetto: Amare lagrime
Recitativo: Gia pel comun misfatto
Terzetto: Amare lagrime
Recitativo: Io de l'alte Promesse a primi Padri
Aria dell' Angelo di Allianza: Oscurata impallidita (Mezzo-Soprano)
Recitativo: Io di clemenza, e pace
Aria dell' Angelo del Testamento: Rasserenate il ciglio (Soprano)
Recitativo: Itene pur Compagni
Aria dell' Angelo di Grazia: Dal profondo de' squallidi Abissi (Tenor)
Recitativo: Sotto l' Albero a morte
Terzetto: Amare lagrime
Introduzione (Sinfonia)
Recitativo: Potessi almen col sangue
Aria di Giacomo: N'empie d'orrore (Contralto)
Recitativo: O voi felici nel dolore!
Aria di Pietro: Porto il rimorso al fianco (Tenor)
Recitativo: Infelice! Che ascolto?
Aria di Giovanni: Da tenebroso velo (Soprano)
Recitativo: Dunque giova sperar?
Coro finale: Perche buon Dio t'involi? (Terzetto)
Introduction: Sinfonia
Recitative I: Quanta pieta per le sventure altrui (However much compassion for others' misfortunes) (Tenor)
Aria: Non basto l'immenso affanno (More than the immense pain) (Tenor)
Recitative II: Oh qual da lunghi stenti amaro frutto (Oh, after the long years of toil) (Soprano)
Aria: Ben lo predisse (How true was the prediction) (Soprano)
Recitative III: E pur di qual Alma forte (And yet, whose spirit would have been so strong) (Alto)
Aria: Non cosi d'Alpe in cima (Not even an ancient oak on an Alpine peak) (Alto)
Recitative IV: Tronchiam gl'indugi (Let us now delay no more) (Trio)
Finale: Madre purissima, Fonte d'Amore (Purest of Mothers, Fount of Love) (Trio)
Introduzione (Sinfonia)
Recitativo: Figlio, ah Figlio ove sei?
Aria di Cleofe: Almen potesse chiudere (Contralto)
Recitativo: Forse Cleofe credi
Aria di Giovanni: Rupe in mar, se irato frema (Tenor)
Recitativo: Cleofe, Giovanni, ah voi...
Aria della Beata Vergine: Il caro suo pegno (Soprano)
Recitativo: L'Uomo, te stessa, e 'l Ciel Madre rimira
Coro finale: Col magnanimo Consiglio (Terzetto)
Overture (Sinfonia) in G minor (J-C 57): I Allegro
Overture (Sinfonia) in G minor (J-C 57): II Andante
Overture (Sinfonia) in G minor (J-C 57): III Allegro
I. Allegro assai
II. Allegrino
III. Allegrissimo
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante
III. Presto
I. Presto
II. Andante e pianissimo
IIIa. Presto assai
IIIb. Allegro (alternative finale)
I. Allegrissimo
II. Andante e affettuoso
III. Allegrissimo
I. Allegro
II. Affettuoso
III. Allegro
I. Alla breve
II. Andante sempre piano
III. Presto
I. Spiritoso assai
II. Andante pianissimo
III. Presto
I. Allegro
II. Grave
III. Presto
I. Presto
II. Allegro
I. Allegro assai
II. Andante allegrino
III. Allegrissimo
I. Presto
II. Andante
III. Allegro assai
I. Presto
II. Allegrino
III. Presto
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Presto


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