Domenico CIMAROSA(1749-1801) Keyboard Sonatas 2
Sonata in C, R.19 [3:52]
Sonata in G, R.20 [5:22]
Sonata in C, R.21 [5:30]
Sonata in A, R.22 [4:49]
Sonata in B flat, R.23 [6:23]
Sonata in D, R.24 [4:52]
Sonata in C minor, R.25 [4:03]
Sonata in B flat, R.26 [4:51]
Sonata in D minor, R.27 [7:06]
Sonata in D, R.28 [7:45]
Sonata in B flat, R.29 [7:49]
Sonata in C, R.30 [4:10]
Sonata in G, R.31 [1:03]
Sonata in F, R.32 [2:36]
Sonata in C, R.33 [2:10]
Sonata in B flat, R.34 [2:20]
Sonata in A, R.35 [2:00]
Victor Sangiorgio (piano)
rec. Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, Wales, 15-16 November 2009.
NAXOS 8.572689 [76:44]
This is Naxos's second volume of Domenico Cimarosa's keyboard
sonatas performed on a modern piano by Italian-born, UK-based
soloist Victor Sangiorgio. Following Sonatas R.1-18, Sangiorgio
here presents Sonatas R.19-35 (R standing for Nick Rossi, whose
edition is published by Artaria), thereby completing his cycle
of the complete known sonata movements of Cimarosa.
In some ways, Cimarosa is a younger version of compatriot Baldassare
Galuppi, another composer whose large and well-known opera output
has overshadowed his instrumental music. Naxos published two
volumes of Galuppi's own keyboard sonatas in 2011, also on a
modern piano (review,
but have been rather slower to release the second Cimarosa,
after the first came out in 2009 (review).
On the other hand, as the notes reiterate, there is not too
much concrete evidence beyond a dusty volume title that Cimarosa
actually wrote these Sonatas - more perhaps an absence of evidence
that he did not! It is also fair to say that the works, all
of which came to light in the 20th century as single movements,
are grouped into more standard-looking sonatas as much by key-
and mood-based modern guesswork than according to any definite
instructions by Cimarosa.
In musical terms, aside from the generous extra ten minutes,
this disc is practically the spitting image of the first. Cimarosa
very likely wrote these works for the fortepiano rather than
the harpsichord, but they do sound very much like harpsichord
music, most obviously in the lack of variation in dynamics and
articulation - adhered to in performance by Sangiorgio - indications
for which Cimarosa all but omitted.
The majority of the single movements are one or two minutes
in length, with just a single item running to four. It would
be pointless, therefore, to expect much depth, but Cimarosa
was certainly not frivolous in his keyboard writing: these are
well-crafted, elegant, melodious, generally optimistic pieces,
with the occasional recourse to minor key reflection of a more
expressive nature. It would be wrong to measure Cimarosa's Sonatas
against the countless masterpieces of the genre of Domenico
Scarlatti, or for that matter against those quite different
later works of Haydn and Mozart: for one thing, Cimarosa was
writing in another era with different expectations, and for
another, of course, he may not even be the author!
Victor Sangiorgio gives a faithful, cogent and infectious account
of the music. Nonetheless, if Cimarosa's artistry is not to
be relegated undeservedly to background music, it will probably
be better served sampled in smaller doses. This recording was
made two years after the first disc, and in a different location.
Nevertheless, sound quality is pretty much ideal. The booklet
notes, co-written by Allan Badley and Nick Rossi himself, are
brief but informative. The cover photo should enthuse fans of
Ligurian balconies everywhere.
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