Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sebastián Albero - Sonatas para Clavicordio - Joseph Payne







Sebastián Ramón de Albero (b Roncal, Navarra, 10 June 1722; d Madrid, 30 March 1756). Spanish composer and organist. He was a member of the choir of Pamplona Cathedral from 1734 to 1739. In 1748 he was made first organist of the Spanish royal chapel, an appointment that placed him in the orbit of Domenico Scarlatti for a period of at least eight years. It is possible that he was in Madrid before then.

Domenico Scarlatti Albero’s extant music survives in two undated manuscripts: Sonatas para clavicordio (I-Vnm It. IV 197b/9768) and Obras, para clavicordio, o piano forte (E-Mc 4/1727(2)). The first of these was probably taken to Italy by the castrato Farinelli when he left Spain in 1759. The Madrid source is possibly the earliest Spanish manuscript to indicate the pianoforte in its title. It is apparent that Scarlatti and his sonatas influenced Albero’s style, and that José Elías, principal organist at the convent of the Descalzas Reales and Albero’s teacher by 1749, also had a profound influence on the younger composer’s contrapuntal music. The Venice manuscript contains 30 sonatas, mostly in galant style. The Madrid source, copied between 1746 and 1756 and dedicated to King Fernando VI, has 18 pieces arranged in six groups, each consisting of a recercata, a fugue and a sonata. The recercatas are in a free, improvisatory style without bar-lines, recalling the préludes non mésurés of 17th-century French clavecinistes. The fugues are quite fetching, but suffer from the Spanish trait of excessive sequences. Many of the sonatas smack of Scarlatti, with folk influences, hand-crossing and acciaccaturas.--Grove


flac, scans

1 comment:

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