Instrumental music traditionally attributed to Pergolesi makes up an imposing corpus: six small concertos for strings, six concertos and three sinfonie for various instruments, sixteen trio-sonatas, one sinfonia (sonata) for cello and bass, one sonata for violin and bass and over twenty sonatas for harps-ichord and organ. Different studies have made it possible to identify the real composers of some of these works. The writer has therefore been able to demonstrate that the twelve trio-sonatas published in London by the publisher Bremner around 1770 under the name of Pergolesi, are in actual fact by an obscure Italian musician of the next generation, Domenico Gallo; the six concertos have been attributed to various composers: Ricciotti, Handel, Vivaldi, Birkenstock, Chelleri. Even though none of these suggestions is entirely convincing, enough elements have been acquired to definitively exclude Pergolesi. Without going into questions that are too complex to deal with here, it can be stated that stylistic, archival and bibliographical details have led to a relatively sure definition of which works were really written by the musician: these are a group of stylistically homogeneous compositions, which include a violin concerto, a sinfonia (sonata) for violin and bass and two organ sonatas. In addition to these compositions of certain attribution and the others mentioned above, the apocryphal nature of which is just as certain, there are other pieces that cannot be reliably classified as yet.
This post is made to honor this years 300th birthday of Pergolesi.