Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sammartini and the Early Symphony

Giovanni Battista Sammartini was one of the early classical composers who worked on writing symphonies. As mentioned on Monday, I often find it easy to mistake an early symphony score for a string quartet.

Scored for four-part strings with a possible harpsichord, Sammartini’s Symphony No. 32 in F major has the standard three-movement structure of that time period (see Monday’s post). Unlike standard symphonies of today, this work takes less than ten minutes to perform with a much smaller orchestra than what we’re used to seeing on stages today.

Here is a recording of Sammartini’s symphony:



What are you initial impressions based on your modern-day experience with symphonies?


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