Agostino Steffani

Chamber Sonatas

Quartetto Erasmus, Isidoro Taccagni (cembalo)

2 CD  STEREO DDD – Total time: 98:14
Booklet 20 pages, Italian/English


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CD 1
Sonata I
• Track 1-17
Sonata II
• Track 18-40
Sonata III
• Track 41-52


CD 2
Sonata IV
• Track 1-13
Sonata V
• Track 14-23
Sonata VI
• Track 24-40

Agostino Steffani’s Chamber Sonatas are published by Dutch publisher Estienne Roger in the early eighteenth century.
The music of Steffani’s Sonatas is conventionally classified as “instrumental music.” In fact, there are overt elements that differentiate this music from that currently defined as “instrumental.” The six suites are in fact taken from the overtures, refrains and dances of six of Steffani’s melodramas. Each of the six Sonatas carries an opening quotation referring to six titles of the composer’s operas: Ouverture de l’Opera d’Orlando (1691), Ouverture de l’Opera Henricus Leo (1689), Ouverture de l’Opera d’Alexander (1690), Ouverture de l’Opera Gli Rivali Concordi (1692), Ouverture de l’Opera d’Alcibiades (1693) and Ouverture de l’Opera Gli Triomphi del Fato (1695). The majority of the pieces in the Sonatas have been identified within each of the works mentioned, others have not, probably because they are based on the music of the dances in Steffani’s six melodramas, ballets that are often not included in the opera scores.
Agostino Steffani (1654 – 1728) is the composer who was more influential than any other on the European spread – and in German-speaking countries in particular – of Venetian musical taste, melodrama and chamber music, exerting an influential influence on Georg Friedrich Händel himself, who is enormously indebted to him, both from a strictly musical point of view and in terms of his career.