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Geminiani, Francesco
6 Concertos Op. 7 (H. 115-120)
[Opera Omnia - Vol. 6]
Critical Edition


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Product Details

Author: Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762)
Editor: Richard Maunder
Publication Date: 2011
Series: Francesco Geminiani Opera Omnia
Pages: pp. 224
Size: 235x315 mm
Binding: Hardback (Cloth Hard Cover)
ISMN: 979-0-2153-1946-2
Code: GCE 3
           Contents

  Preface

  Sample Pages

Description

Geminiani’s third and last set of original concertos was published on 4 February 1748. The parts were handsomely produced, with an engraved frontispiece and a quotation from Horace. The concertos are dedicated to the Academy of Ancient Music. This was one of the leading London musical societies, founded on 1 March 1726 as the Academy of Vocal Music by a group of professional musicians – including Geminiani – and aristocratic amateurs: the society mounted regular concerts at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand. Geminiani’s statement that “in the composing of [the Opus 7 concertos] great Study and Application hath been used, to make them acceptable to the Public, and in particular to your Academy” is reminiscent of Gottlieb Muffat’s preface to his Componimenti Musicali per il Cembalo (Augsburg, c1738-1739), which says that the composition was “laborious” and cost “much effort”. Mozart’s dedication of his “Haydn” quartets, likewise, speaks of them as “the fruit of long and laborious effort”.
Opus 7 had something of a mixed reception. The most virulent criticism of Opus 7 came from Francesco Maria Veracini (1690-1768), who devoted over twenty pages of his unpublished treatise Il Trionfo della pratica Musicale, probably written in about 1760, to a very detailed analysis of what he calls a “Fuga Mostruosa” by one Sgranfione Miniacci, a not-quite-exact anagram of Francesco Geminiani. The fugue in question is the second movement of No. I, which the composer – perhaps unwisely – entitled “L’Arte della Fuga”.
In more recent times critical opinion has on the whole remained hostile. One of the few modern writers to praise Opus 7 unstintingly is Arthur Hutchings, who considered the set Geminiani’s “finest achievement”, and lamented that “one frequently hears some of the Op. 3 concertos, especially a rather dull one in D minor [No. IV], but none of the very good ones in Op. 7”. Whether Opus 7 is superior to the composer’s other works may be open to debate, but there can be no doubting the high level of originality and invention throughout all six concertos. The music is certainly quirky – even eccentric – at times, but it is unfailingly interesting, and there are many movements of outstanding refinement and beauty.
It is to be hoped that the present volume will allow Geminiani’s Opus 7 concertos to be judged afresh, free from the prejudices engendered by the rather ill-considered opinions of Hawkins and Burney.

Series Details

Francesco Geminiani Opera Omnia
Critical Edition founded by Christopher Hogwood
General Editor: Rudolf Rasch - Editorial Assistant: Ana Lombardía González
Advisory Committee: Clive Brown, Enrico Careri, Peter Holman, Sandra Mangsen, Richard Maunder, Fulvia Morabito, Rudolf Rasch (Chairman), Robin Stowell, Michael Talbot, Peter Walls, Neal Zaslaw

Of all the leading composers of the 18th century, only Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762) is lacking a complete critical edition of his music and writings. Although held to be the equal of Corelli in his own day - and indeed thought by some to be superior to his contemporary Handel in instrumental composition - a surprisingly large proportion of his compositions have never been reissued since his lifetime, and with the exception of a few solo sonatas and his treatises on “good taste“ and violin playing, Geminiani is largely ignored by the baroque taste of the present day.
The lack of availability of his music in scrupulous modern editions designed for practical performance has concealed the enormous originality he showed both in writing and re-writing his own music, and that of his teacher, Corelli. His adaptations and re-workings have never to date been presented fully and in a form that allows for pertinent comparison, and the majority of his music has not been revisited by musicologists for the last half century.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death in 2012, Francesco Geminiani Opera Omnia will present all his works, instrumental, vocal and didactic, in full critical editions, with the composer’s first versions, revisions and re-workings presented consecutively by opus number, including a full critical commentary and facsimiles, together with practical editions and complete performance material for the orchestral and chamber works. The didactic treatises issued in English will be accompanied by Italian, French or German translations of the period, where these exist, together with full commentaries from modern authorities.
The Geminiani Opera Omnia is supplemented by Geminiani Studies, a volume of sixteen essays by international scholars on Geminiani's compositions and theoretical works, his art dealing and experiences with Freemasonry and the law, and his reception throughout history and in performance today.

Preface and Critical Commentary in English

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