Essercizi di Clavicembalo Domenico Scarlatti
e il Partimento napoletano
Arpeggio e Allegro in Re
da “Regole per ben sonare il cembalo” D-Hs Ms. MA 251, c. 226v
Sonata K. 23 in Re
Sonata K. 27 in si
Sonata K. 29 in Re
Rocco Greco/G. Paganelli
Partimento in Sib
da “Intavolature per cembalo e partimenti” di Rocco Greco 25r–82r
Sonata K. 6 in Fa
Sonata K. 19 in fa
Sonata K. 17 in Fa
A. Scarlatti/G. Paganelli
Partimento in Fa nr. 123
da “Regole per ben sonare il cembalo” D-Hs Ms. MA 251, c. 54r.
A. Scarlatti/G. Paganelli
Partimento in sol
da “Regole per ben sonare il cembalo” D-Hs Ms. MA 251, c. 86v.
Sonata K. 8 in sol
Sonata K. 12 in sol
Sonata K. 30 (fuga) in sol
“Dear listener, whether you be an early music enthusiast, a colleague or a Professor, don’t expect from this concert a scholar and intellectual execution of theoretical principles, but instead an ingenious and jesting performance. My aim is to get you accustomed to hear a frank, open, expressive and confident harpsichord playing. Neither considerations of interest, nor visions of ambition, but only obedience moved me to put this performance together. Perhaps my playing will be agreeable to you; then I’ll be happy to play for you again in other occasions, in an easier and more varied style. Please, show yourself more human than critical: and thereby increase your own delight. Live happily!” Giovanni Paganelli Freely adapted from Domenico Scarlatti’s preface to “Essercizi per Gravicembalo”
“Where, to whom, and to what” does Domenico Scarlatti belong? Perhaps no other composition in the baroque and classical era is presented as so outrageously individual, detached from its cultural background as Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas are. It has been proved to be extremely difficult even finding categories or genres the “Sonatas” would fit in.
Yet, Domenico Scarlatti spent several years of his education with the greatest composers of the Neapolitan school, before moving for three decades to Spain and Portugal. His alleged teachers, Alessandro Scarlatti, his father, Rocco and Gaetano Greco, Bernardo Pasquini, Francesco Pasquini, are all widely considered representative of this culturally well-defined “school”, and at the same time are among the most prolific composers of Partimenti we know at the moment.
Thanks to the now en-vogue musicological research about Partimenti, we are now beginning to understand that the pedagogical foundation of what we call “Neapolitan school” consists of a peculiar way of improvising at the keyboard. The basis for this improvisation is a sort of basso-continuo line for the left hand (a bass line with numbers), upon which the player must improvise according to the rules of harmony and counterpoint. The difference from what we are accustomed to is that this particular way of Continuo playing is not meant for an accompaniment: it is meant to create free-standing compositions, based on improvisation. It is reasonable to assume that this pedagogical practice happened on a daily basis, and its purpose was to deeply affect the entire composing mindset of those young artists. The goal for all the partimentisti was, as Giorgio Sanguinetti points out, to have a “quasi instinctive” response to compositional stimuli which allowed them to compose almost instantly and “through their hands”. The Partimenti are therefore extremely revolutionary and powerful interpretative tools for modern performers who are interpreting written-out music. It is among the purposes of Giovanni Paganelli’s research to further investigate how the Partimenti can be used in modern times to recreate in the modern performer’s mind the compositional environment in which the pieces were written, starting from Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas.
This concert consists of three suites of sonatas from Domenico Scarlatti’s “Essercizi per Gravicembalo”, commented by realisations of Partimenti from two sources by Alessandro Scarlatti and Rocco Greco.
Giovanni Paganelli – historical keyboards and conductor
Giovanni Paganelli graduated with honors in harpsichord and historical keyboard at the “Conservatorio Arrigo Boito” in Parma, where he got a master’s degree in Organ as well. Then he specialized at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau, with Robert Hill. Here he obtained with full marks the Master Musik in Cembalo, and then the Master Musik in Fortepiano. He is now working on a research project about Domenico Scarlatti and the art of Neapolitan Partimento, with the intention of starting a PhD program on it. During his academic training, he has always been involved in an intense concert activity as instrumentalist and conductor. He started conducting at the age of 16 as assistant conductor to the four Scholae Cantorum of the Musical Chapel of the cathedral in Modena. This path brought him to found the Euphonia choir and orchestra in Modena, with which he conducted Quattro Stagioni, Gloria, Stabat Mater and Nisi Dominus by A. Vivaldi, these last two with the alto Sara Mingardo; the piano Concerto K 488 by W.A. Mozart at the Teatro Storchi in Modena and Teatro Verdi in Sassari; the Symphonies 30, 38, 45, 101 by J. Haydn; the piano Concerto op. 73 “Emperor” by L.v. Beethoven with Jan Hugo at the piano; the Johannespassion by J.S. Bach and other sacred works by G.B. Pergolesi, T. Traetta, M.A. Charpentier, J.D. Zelenka, O. Lasso. In 2013 he conducted the opera “Don Giovanni Trionfante”, a coproduction by FestivalFilosofia, ERT – Emilia Romagna Teatro and Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti di Modena, with a selection from W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Gluck’s Don Juan. Between 2013 and 2016 he conducted the ensemble Adm Soundscape, with a focus on contemporary music. He conducted and performed music by W. Lutoslawski, F. Donatoni, G.F. Haas, V. Ullmann and other newly composed pieces, in cooperation with conservatorio A. Steffani in Castelfranco Veneto and the “Società Filarmonica” in Rovereto. From 2015 he has started his cooperation with the festival Grandezze e Meraviglie, part of the REMA (European Early Music Network). He conducts primary research on the repertoire from Modena, and he is the conductor of the ensemble in residence “Francesco d’Este” which regularly appears in the festival. In 2018 he published as a soloist at the harpsichord the Divertimenti da Camera tradotti pel Cembalo di Giovanni Bononcini with the dutch label “Brilliant Classics”. In 2020 he is starting a cooperation as conductor with the Auditorio de Tenerife and Opera di Tenerife, with the production of Handel’s Rinaldo in April 2020.
As harpsichordist and keyboardist he works as freelance with groups in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. He played as soloist and continuo with Philarmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Freiburger Barockorchester, Atalanta Fugiens, Concerto Bremen, Dolce Concento Ensemble, Ensemble L’éphemère. He is passionate about dissemination and teaching. He periodically carries out public listening guides, he is director of the Euphonia School of Music, he worked as a substitute professor of harpsichord at the Scuola Civica di Musica “Claudio Abbado” in Milan.