Andrea Soldi (1703-71), Portrait of Francesco Geminiani. Image courtesy of the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, The Foundling Museum, London

Francesco Geminiani

Opera Omnia

Critical Edition

Founded by:
Christopher Hogwood

General Editor: Rudolf Rasch

Advisory Committee: Clive Brown (University of Leeds), Enrico Careri (University of Naples), Peter Holman (University of Leeds), Sandra Mangsen (University of Western Ontario), Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca), Rudolf Rasch (University of Utrecht - Chairman), Rupert Ridgewell (British Library), Robin Stowell (University of Cardiff), Michael Talbot (University of Liverpool), Peter Walls (Victoria University of Wellington), Neal Zaslaw (Cornell University)

In collaboration with:

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini-Onlus

Ad Parnassum. A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music

[Music] may be said to have reached its perfection, when the perfections of harmony & melody came to be united. This age of perfection may be said to have commenced with Corelli, & to have been carried on most eminently by Handel & Geminiani.
(James Harris to John Hawkins, 31 December 1753)

Handel, Geminiani & Corelli were the sole Divinities of my Youth
(Charles Burney to Thomas Twining, 14 December 1781)

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.

More info:

[Preface and Critical Commentary in English]

Christopher Hogwood
(Photo: © Marco Borggreve)