SAMMARTINI, AN OBSCURE COMPOSER?
Giovanni Battista Sammartini (Milan, 1700/01 – 1775) is cited nowadays in music history textbooks as “the father of symphony”, nonetheless he is almost totally forgotten, while in reality he was a first rate composer.
So what was the reason that the name of Sammartini has been forgotten and his music is still laying neglected today? There are some objective obstacles: the problem with Sammarini is the same as with other coeval composers, that is the difficulty in gathering the sources for his music: because of the political fragmentation of Italy in the 1700s, Sammartini’s manuscripts were scattered in an extremely irregular manner throughout the territory of Europe.
About Sammartini, his style, importance and fortune, we suggest reading the excellent article http://www.notturnomusica.org/Sammartini.html G. B. Sammartini 1701 – 1775, Le ragioni della grandezza ed i motivi di un silenzio* by Luca Arnaldo Maria Colombo, who comes to these conclusions:
[“] An authentic rediscovery of Giovanni Battista Sammartini will be possible only if we are able to combine an artistic research of his music by the performers with historical research by musicologists in order to make the largest number of his compositions available. [“]
- (G. B. Sammartini 1701 -1775, The reasons for his greatness and the motive for silence)
With the Sammartini Project, Fondazione Arcadia has taken on this complex and challenging aim.
Sammartini in Milan
The year 2001, in which the Fondazione Arcadia became operational, was marked by the third centenary of the birth of the composer. The City of Milan decided to dedicate to this author the initiative G. B. Sammartini e la Milano del suo tempo.* Since then, Sammartini has been present in Fondazione Arcadia’s concert programming every year.
*(G.B. Sammartini and the Milan of his times)
The Sammartini Project
As time went by, the Sammartini Project has developed into an articulated initiative that includes thematic cataloging, publication, recordings and concert programming, actively moving both on the front of research and publication and on that of performance.
Project Contents (2008-2012)
Publication of Critical Editions:
- Otto Cantate per la Quaresima edited by Marina Vaccarini Gallarani
- Concerti per violino J-C 69, J-C 78.1; Appendix: J-C 72.1 edited by Ada Beate Gehann
- The late symphonies edited by Alessandra Rossi Lürig and Marina Vaccarini Gallarani
LIM Editore, Lucca, Fondazione Arcadia Collection – Italian Music from the Eighteenth Century, in collaboration with Società Italiana di Musicologia
- “The Late Symphonies” vol. I: Sinfonie J-C 63, 22, 31, 60, Quintetto N. 5 in Mi magg. – Accademia d’Arcadia, Alessandra Rossi Lürig – 1 SACD Brilliant Classics BC 93610 – 5028421936109
- “The Late Symphonies” vol. II: Sinfonie J-C 11, 26, 17, 40, 28 – Accademia d’Arcadia, Alessandra Rossi Lürig – 1 CD Brilliant Classics BC 94019 – 5028421940199
Completion of the Catalog of Music Works:
Catalogue of Complete Works by Sammartini (to integrate the already existing catalogs: N. Jenkins, B. Churgin: Thematic Catalogue of the Works of Giovanni Battista Sammartini: Orchestral and Vocal Music, Cambridge, MA, 1976 and Sammartini e il suo tempo, Fonti manoscritte e stampate della Musica a Milano nel Settecento, edited by M. Brusa and A. Rossi, Fonti Musicali Italiane, 1/1996 supplement, Comitato Nazionale Italiano Musica CIM/Unisco and Società italiana di Musicologia) and online publication on a dedicated site; recovery of copies and microfilm of sources and manuscripts.
Project Commitee - Board Members
Bathia Churgin (Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel), President
Guido Salvetti (Società Italiana di Musicologia), Honorary President
Marina Vaccarini (Milan, Italy), Director
Alessandra Rossi (Fondazione Arcadia, Milan, Italy), Executive Director
Board members at large (in alphabetical order):
Mariateresa Dellaborra, Ada Beate Gehann, Filippo Emanuele Ravizza.