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At-A-Glance

Length: c. 5 minutes

Orchestration: piano

About this Piece

Though honored today more in history books than performances, in the mid-18th century Baldassare Galuppi was probably the most renowned opera composer in Europe, which he toured extensively, from Spain to Russia. And like many other opera composers of the day, he wrote keyboard music for amateur use, including some 130 known sonatas. The first movement of the Sonata No. 5 (the numbering is not the composer’s and references the 12 sonatas published in London), popularized by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, is in the main a lyrical instrumental song, emphasizing clarity, charm, and grace, but with the motivic elaboration and structure of the infant “sonata form” that would dominate Classical and Romantic era works. –John Henken