6 Sonaten Op.3 (FluteOboe-Bc) - Francesco Barsanti

edited by Yvonne Morgan
6 Sonaten Op.3 (Flute[Oboe]-Bc)
cont. by Wolfgang Kostujak
Amadeus Verlag
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Francesco Barsanti 1690-1772
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6 Sonaten Op.3 (FluteOboe-Bc) - Francesco Barsanti

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Barsanti's works, and more specifically his twenty or so flute sonatas, reveal a supreme mastery of counterpoint and unusual, often daring harmonic constructions, enriched with chromaticism and 'seductive' melodies. This is brilliantly evident in the present Sonatas op. 3, first published (without date) by Walsh in London, probably after 1730. The 31-page score, in oblong format, is titled: S O LO S / for a / GERMAN FLUTE / a HOBOY or VIOLIN / with a / Thorough Bass for the / HARPSICHORD / or / BASS VIOLIN / Compos'd by / Francesco Barsanti / Opera Terza / N.B. The rest of the Works of this Author may be had where these are sold. / Also great variety of new Musick for the German Flute / London. Printed for and sold by I: Walsh servant to his Majesty at the Harp and Hoboy, in Catherine street in the Strand. / No 355 The almost flawless print was easy to set in modern type. Additions are bracketed. Phrasing, though often non-uniform, has been left untouched, to provide more varied possibilities of interpretation. The realization of the figured bass afforded an opportunity of incorporating various modulations. We know hardly anything about Barsanti's life and career. He was born in Lucca around 1690. After breaking off his law studies in Padua, he soon devoted himself exclusively to music. In 1714 he accompanied Geminiani to London, and found employment as flutist and oboist at the opera (presumably Covent Garden). After some eight years in Edinburgh, presumably as a teacher, around 1750 he settled definitely in London with his Scottish wife. Here he worked as a viola player at the opera and in Vauxhall Gardens. He is thought to have died in London in 1772. Apart from the sonata cycles for flute and bass mentioned above, Barsanti's compositional output includes two sets of 6 Trio Sonatas, Quadri for 2 violins, viola and Bc., 10 Concerti grossi for wind instruments, strings and Bc., giving ample scope to the viola (which also appeared as op. 3 in Edinburgh in 1743), vocal music and many transcriptions of works by his contemporaries.

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