Well, it’s certainly been a while since the last volume of Peter Seivewright’s Galuppi survey. Volume three of the series came out way back in 2004. Oddly, the solo sonatas were recorded in 2012, 2013, and 2014, while the concerto was recorded in 2007!
Seivewright’s made a bit of a speciality of Galuppi’s music, having studied (and published) the surviving manuscripts in Venice. Style-wise, Galuppi’s not too dissimilar to Domenico Scarlatti, though Seivewright argues that this music was designed specifically for the relatively new pianoforte rather than harpsichord. Think pleasantly galant-ish.
Seivewright’s performance of these appealing pieces is, unfortunately, a bit of a mixed bag. It’s clear he’s got a lot of affection for this music, but there sure are a lot of mistakes. In the Spiritoso from the Piano Sonata in D, for instance, there are several spots where the left and right hands don’t quite line up. Not in a pleasantly Chopin-esque way, either, but in a rhythmically inaccurate way. The same goes for some of the other works. There are sections in the Concerto in G that really could have benefitted from another take, and I heard several orchestral phrase endings that didn’t dovetail into the next at all. Honestly? I cringed more than once. It might have been a long wait, but I’m not certain that Galuppi fans couldn’t do better elsewhere. Matteo Napoli’s survey on Naxos is played with far more precision, and has better recorded sound to boot.
Composition: Piano Sonatas
Performer: Peter Seivewright p
Catalogue Number: Divine Art DDA25103