Publication's Style: Soft Cover Coil Bound - with parts
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
General Description: Guitar and Flute
Catalog Number: 74620
Domenico Cimarosa was by far the best-known Italian composer of the late eighteen century. He was first and foremost a composer of operas. His works were performed all over the Europe, both in Italian and in translation, and some of them, including the most famous work, Il matrimonio segreto (1792), remain in the repertory to this day. Cimarosa also composed in other genres but his non-operatic output is understandably small. Between 1772 and 1801 he composed over sixty operas. The time required to do this and to prepare the works for production left little time for anything else, particularly as new productions of his earlier works also required additional material from time to time. The existence then of a substantial body of keyboard music attributed to Cimarosa comes as a surprise. Certainly he was no stranger to keyboard instruments – he played the organ professionally and directed his operas from the harpsichord or fortepiano – but he did not derive his principal income from them either as a performer or teacher.
While the style and structure of the works suggest that many of them were probably written early in Cimarosa’s career, they are accomplished compositions. The larger musical structures of the sonatas are not overly complex but their musical organization is generally very good and the music itself highly coherent.
Gregg Nestor has selected four contrasting Sonatas and arranged them for flute or oboe and guitar. Cimarosa invests the works with great variety and musical interest. The most important musical characteristic of these sonatas is their clarity. There is a well-defined polarity between melody and accompaniment and the crystalline brilliance of the fast outer movements is very appealing.