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Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonatas Vol 1 / Victor Sangiorgio


Release Date: 03/31/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570718   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Primarily known as one of his generation's top opera composers, Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) may or may not have penned the 87 brief keyboard movements that were only discovered in 1927. Nevertheless, various editors then grouped the pieces into two- or three-movement sonatas. The music's keyboard deployment and basic style evokes Cimarosa's countryman Domenico Scarlatti (lots of echoed phrases and not-so-easy repeated notes) minus the older master's witty textural inventiveness and felicitous harmonic twists. Most of the movements amount to charming expositions in need of development, and often seem to end just when you expect more to happen. Still, this disc ought to attract classical radio hosts looking for short, bubbly, and easily Read more digestible fare to close up programming gaps.

And if you want background music guaranteed not to overwhelm your dinner guests, Victor Sangiorgio's clean, even-handed, excellently engineered performances are ideal. Granted, Marcella Crudeli's sharper accents and brighter, more scintillating articulation enliven these works to a more convincing degree, but her cycle is out of print (I have not heard Evgeny Soifertis' single-disc Cimarosa collection on Meridian). Once Volume 2 appears, Sangiorgio most likely will have the complete Cimarosa sonata cycle field all to himself.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

--

I’ve only heard a small amount of Cimarosa’s music—a smattering of mediocre concerto movements, a few scattered vocal works, and of course the fine opera, Il matrimonio segreto, his only work with a significant recorded history. This constitutes a considerable demotion for the most renowned Italian composer of the late 18th century during his lifetime. As for his keyboard works, the 87 movements attributed to Cimarosa are shrouded in mystery. They weren’t discovered until 1927 (and not in the composer’s hand), contemporaneous accounts of their existence are absent, and there is no hard evidence for the purpose of their composition. Even the grouping of the pieces into two or three movement “sonatas” is largely arbitrary, accomplished apparently by the editors of published editions, although the otherwise excellent notes are ambiguous on the subject.

The first composer who springs to mind after these written descriptions and initial hearings is Domenico Scarlatti, whose similarly brief keyboard sonatas have long been standard fare. There is no issue of provenance in his case, and keyboard works were his bread and butter, not an afterthought, as appears to be the case with Cimarosa. However, the possible sonata linkage of movements in identical keys is a well-litigated point for both. Given Cimarosa’s era, we should be examining these pieces alongside the piano works of Haydn and Mozart. Yet, there are so few similarities in style and scale that such a comparison appears fruitless. Again, the more apt relationship is to his countryman Scarlatti, even though the Baroque composer was born nearly 70 years earlier. Remarkably, the sonatas of the much older composer sound more advanced. Scholars are uncertain if Cimarosa heard Scarlatti’s sonatas, but the connections seem undeniable. Listen to the first movement of the Sonata in G Minor (Rossi 10), with its conversation between hands and melodically arpeggiated figures at cadences that are repeated at the end of long phrases, a Scarlatti trademark if ever there was one. Similar commonalities in texture, mood, and melodic construction present themselves throughout this disc.

When I’m asked by a classical-music novice whom to recommend as an introduction to the art, Scarlatti is often the first name that comes to mind, since his music reveals its merits on only one or two hearings, and its brevity fits seamlessly into our pop-song culture (neither of these observations should be construed as criticisms). I could add Cimarosa’s morsels to this short list, except, to put it bluntly, there is a significant gap in quality between the two composers.

Interested listeners should also take note of a single disc of 32 Cimarosa sonatas by Evgeny Soifertis on Meridian, a two-disc set of the complete sonatas by Marcella Crudeli on Arcobaleno, and another by Andrea Coen on Stradivarius. These works were clearly written for the harpsichord, although all three of these recordings use the piano. The recorded sound is satisfactory, and Victor Sangiorgio plays with stylish intimacy.

-- FANFARE, Michael Cameron
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Keyboard in B flat major, R. 1 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
2.
Sonata for Keyboard in A major, R. 2 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
3.
Sonata for Keyboard in D major, R. 3 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
4.
Sonata for Keyboard in C major, R. 4 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
5.
Sonata for Keyboard in D major, R. 5 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
6.
Sonata for Keyboard in G major, R. 6 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
7.
Sonata for Keyboard in F major, R. 7 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
8.
Sonata for Keyboard in A major, R. 8 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
9.
Sonata for Keyboard in G minor, R. 9 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
10.
Sonata for Keyboard in G minor, R. 10 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
11.
Sonata for Keyboard in B flat major, R. 11 "Perfidia" by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
12.
Sonata for Keyboard in C minor, R. 12 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
13.
Sonata for Keyboard no 13 in D major by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
14.
Sonata for Keyboard in G major, R. 14 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
15.
Sonata for Keyboard in A major, R. 15 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
16.
Sonata for Keyboard in F major, R. 16 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
17.
Sonata for Keyboard in E flat major, R. 17 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 
18.
Sonata for Keyboard in A major, R. 18 by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Victor Sangiorgio (Piano)
Period: Classical 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Delightful works, beautifully performed March 7, 2013 By Peter K. (Fort Collins, CO) See All My Reviews "These miniatures sparkle in a wonderful, graceful piano version. I am so glad I got both this volume and its successor (vol. 2)." Report Abuse
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