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Geminiani, Francesco
6 Sonatas Op. 5 for Violoncello and Basso Continuo (H. 103-108) - 6 Sonatas Op. 5 for Violin and Basso Continuo (H. 109-114)
[Opera Omnia - Vol. 5]
Critical Edition

Editor: Christopher Hogwood

Price: € 159.00

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Product Details

Author: Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762)
Editor: Christopher Hogwood
Publication Date: 4-1-2010
Series: Francesco Geminiani Opera Omnia
Pages: pp. 152
Size: 235x315 mm
Binding: Hardback (Cloth Hard Cover)
ISMN: 979-0-2153-1839-7
Code: GCE 1


The six sonatas of Opus 5 are Geminiani’s only solo works for cello, and were rapidly followed by his own adaptation of all six for violin. Both versions appeared in 1746, first in Paris, later in the Hague and (after some apparent commercial chicanery) in London. From the small number of surviving copies (RISM lists only five copies of the cello version, and eleven of the violin), they do not appear to have achieved the high sales of his earlier sonatas and concertos, maybe because of their technical difficulty and “fantastical” style. However since the 20th century their status has risen perhaps more than any other opus of Geminiani, evidenced by more than one printed edition and several facsimile reissues of original prints.

Series Details

Francesco Geminiani Opera Omnia
Critical Edition founded by Christopher Hogwood
General Editor: Rudolf Rasch
Advisory Committee: Clive Brown, Enrico Careri, Peter Holman, Sandra Mangsen, Fulvia Morabito, Rudolf Rasch (Chairman), Rupert Ridgewell, 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

Reviews (09-2010)
... The six sonatas of Op. 5 were composed in 1746 for cello and continuo, then immediately transcribed for violin. Their composition was part of the larger process, described by Christopher Hogwood in some detail in his excellent preface, by which the cello gradually supplanted the bass viol as the lower stringed instrument of choice ... having both versions printed together in a single volume, as here, proves a great advantage to scholars and performers equally ... Hogwood reproduces Geminiani’s (or his publisher’s) original notation, and particularly his ornamentation, with admirable fidelity ... Not the least of the present volume’s attractions is the reproduction (and helpful translation) of the various copyright “privileges” Geminiani received from the governments of France, Holland, and England ... It is ironic that a composer who took such pains over the publication, dissemination, and protection of his music should have had to wait until now for a complete, modern critical edition. Appearing in good time for the 250th anniversary of Geminiani’s death in 2012, this Ut Orpheus project represents a major effort toward correcting alongstanding injustice. (David Hurwitz)

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