- Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) was a very successful and popular opera composer in his time. Mozart had great respect for him and took Paisiello’s Opera buffa as a model for his own operas (notably Le Nozze di Figaro).
- Although Paisiello’s works are mostly forgotten now his piano concertos still enjoy popularity: they are delightful, charming and brilliant works, perfect examples of the Neapolitan style, much in vogue in 18-th century Europe.
- Excellent performances by Italian forces, fully enjoying the music’s sparkle and wit.
A composer of over 90 operas, hugely successful and influencial in his time, Giovanni Paisiello even to this day is much more than a footnote in musical history. Admired by Mozart,his opera ‘The Barber of Seville’ of 1782
spurred Mozart to compose ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, and Paisiello’s ‘Barber’ was only deposed from its place in the operatic repertory by Rossini’s opera many years later.
His instrumental and orchestral output understandably is slim in comparison to his stage work. In his brief autobiography, he claims 12 symphonies, 12 string quartets, a set of sonatas, and 8 keyboard concertos.
Paisiello spent the years 1776-84 in Russia, where he became teacher to many aristocratic ladies at the court of Empress Catherine. Some of the concertos were composed for these students, others for the Infante Princess of Parma.
The music is fluent, elegant and refined. If they lack the depth of Mozart’s concertos, Paisiello’s concertos are expertly crafted works, with moments of great charm and beauty, notably in the slow movements.
- Soloist Pietro Spada edited these concertos for performance.
- Booklet notes
- ‘Moreover, as Spada's lyrical cantilena in the slow movements of the D major, B flat major and A major Concertos testify, Paisiello touched a vein of genuine pathos in the slow movements. Most impressive, though, is the C major Concerto (No. 8), whose bold opening Allegro, serene Andantino and graceful finale intriguingly foreshadow Mozart's piano concertos’. (Gramophone, January 1997)