Giovanni Sgambati

Biography

Born: May 28, 1841; Rome, Italy   Died: December 14, 1914; Rome, Italy  
A child prodigy, Giovanni Sgambati was playing piano in public at age 6, and composing shortly thereafter. His family lived in Trevi in the 1850s; there he pursued musical studies before moving back to Rome, his birthplace, in 1860 for advanced study at the Santa Cecilia Academy (which awarded him a diploma in 1866). Sgambati met Franz Liszt in 1862 and fell under the older master's spell, becoming a pupil and close friend. Liszt, for his part, Read more saw in Sgambati an opportunity to groom a talented Italian musician for a career in instrumental music rather than opera, which obsessed most other Italians. For his part, Sgambati promoted Liszt's music and that of other contemporary foreigners, not only as a pianist but also as a conductor; he directed the first Italian performances of Liszt's Dante Symphony and a portion of his Christus.

All the while, Sgambati was making a name for himself on the international piano circuit, taking opportunities while on the road to hear new works by the period's most innovative composers, including Richard Wagner. Sgambati finally met Wagner in 1876, and Wagner was so impressed that he helped Sgambati find a publisher for his piano quintets.

Sgambati had known Anton Rubinstein since 1869, and in 1881 he was offered a teaching position at the Moscow Conservatory; this he refused, preferring to do similar work in Rome. In 1869, he had established in his home a free music school for poor students; in 1877 it became an official institution, ultimately known as the Santa Cecilia Conservatory (related to but not the same as the Academy, where Sgambati had studied). Sgambati taught there for the rest of his life.

Sgambati's compositions are rather difficult to characterize, mingling Italianate, cantabile melodies with devices borrowed from Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Schumann. Many of his piano compositions are charming but are a bit too similar to salon pieces for the comfort of the most demanding pianists and listeners, and he seems to get lost in the larger structures of his chamber and orchestral music. Nevertheless, his Requiem has long been used at Italian funerals, his C minor String Quartet was once reasonably popular, and every generation or so a leading pianist is inspired to resurrect Sgambati's Piano Concerto. As an Italian instrumental composer, Sgambati was perhaps more important than individual. Read less
Sgambati - The Complete Piano Works Vol 5
Release Date: 01/08/2008   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 841905   Number of Discs: 1
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Sgambati: The Complete Piano Works Vol 6 / Caramiello, Libetta
Release Date: 11/11/2008   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 841906   Number of Discs: 1
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Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 2 / 	Francesco Caramiello
Release Date: 02/08/2011   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 841902   Number of Discs: 1
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Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 3 / Francesco Caramiello
Release Date: 09/13/2011   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 841903   Number of Discs: 1
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Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 1 / Francesco Caramiello
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 841901   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 37 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Works for Oboe & Piano from the 19th & 20th Centuries / Franca, Pantieri
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 850002 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leone Sinigaglia,  Giovanni Bolzoni,  Giuseppe Gariboldi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Franca,  Filippo Pantieri
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  • 2.
    Inside Tracks: The Mix Tape
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 425 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Siloti,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  James Rhodes
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  • 3.
    Sgambati: Piano Quintets; String Quartets
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94813 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Roberto Plano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto Noferini
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  • 4.
    Musique Romantique D'italie
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1365 Release Date: 05/05/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Antonio Bazzini,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  Benedicte Peran,  Jean-Claude Bouveresse
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  • 5.
    Rachmaninov: Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88843073922 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler,  Natalie Rachmaninov,  Nadezhda Plevitskaya
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Love In London - James Rhodes Live In Concert
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 12 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Giovanni Sgambati  ... 
    Performer:  James Rhodes
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  • 7.
    5 / James Rhodes
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 371 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Giovanni Sgambati  ... 
    Performer:  James Rhodes
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  • 8.
    Sgambati: Piano Concerto, Orchestral Works / Caramiello, Ventura, Nurnmerger Philharmoniker
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841908 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello
    Conductor:  Fabrizio Ventura
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  • 9.
    Giovanni Sgambati: The Complete Piano Works, Vol. 7
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841907 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello,  Francesco Libetta
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 10.
    Label: Viktor Bijelovic   Catalog: 5638144392 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Giovanni Sgambati,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Viktor Bijelovic
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  • 11.
    A Grand Romance / Jeffrey Biegel
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30017 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Moritz Moszkowski,  Eduard Schütt,  Adolf Henselt,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Jeffrey Biegel
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  • 12.
    Sgambati: Symphony No 1 / La Vecchia, Rome SO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573007 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 3 / Francesco Caramiello
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841903 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello
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  • 14.
    Casals Encores / Alban Gerhardt, Cecile Licad
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67831 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Popper,  Claude Debussy,  Benjamin Godard,  Giovanni Sgambati  ... 
    Performer:  Alban Gerhardt,  Cecile Licad
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  • 15.
    Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 2 / 	Francesco Caramiello
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841902 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello,  Filippo Siano
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  • 16.
    The Heifetz Collection Vol 31 - Benjamin, Stravinsky, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61762 Release Date: 02/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Benjamin,  Igor Stravinsky,  Reinhold Gliere,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Eger,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Gregor Piatigorsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Izler Solomon,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Sgambati: Complete Piano Works Vol 1 / Francesco Caramiello
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841901 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello
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  • 18.
    The Welte Mignon Mystery Vol. XVI / Josef Lhevinne
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 180 Release Date: 04/15/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul de Schlözer,  Frédéric Chopin,  Benjamin Godard,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Lhévinne
    CD: $21.49
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  • 19.
    Michael Zadora: The Complete Recordings, 1922-1938
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6008 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Giovanni Sgambati,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Von Zadora
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  • 20.
    Music Of The Romantic Pianist/Composer / Dubal, Waldoff
    Label: Arkiv   Catalog: 688 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Raphael Joseffy,  Alexander Scriabin,  Isidore Philipp,  Mischa Levitzki  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Waldoff,  David Dubal
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  • 21.
    Transfigured Beethoven - Transcriptions By Heller, Friedman, Etc / Petronel Malan
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98286 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Heller,  Giovanni Sgambati,  Frederic Kalkbrenner,  Isidor Seiss  ... 
    Performer:  Petronel Malan
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  • 22.
    A Night At The Opera / Anthony Goldstone
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25067 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Grünfeld,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Liszt,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone
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  • 23.
    Sgambati: The Complete Piano Works Vol 6 / Caramiello, Libetta
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841906 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello,  Francesco Libetta
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  • 24.
    Sgambati - The Complete Piano Works Vol 5
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 841905 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Sgambati
    Performer:  Francesco Caramiello
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  • 25.
    Piano Transcriptions / Jura Margulis
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 545 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner,  André Caplet  ... 
    Performer:  Jura Margulis
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