Sir John John Ernest Galliard (1687–1747) was a German composer, oboist, flautist and keyboard player active in England in the first half of the 18th century. He learned flute and oboe with Pierre Mareìchal, a French player in the Celle court orchestra, which he himself joined in 1698. Shortly afterwards he studied composition in nearby Hannover with Agostino Steffani and Jean-Baptiste Farinelli.
In 1706 the Celle orchestra was disbanded and Galliard went to London, where he became a court musician for Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, subsequently serving as capellmeister at Somerset House. He enjoyed a considerable reputation as an oboist, and as such he joined the orchestra of the Queen’s Theatre, playing in various productions of operas by Handel, who wrote oboe parts specifically for him.
As a composer, Galliard’s output is not insubstantial, with principal works including numerous pantomimes, 6 English cantatas, 6 Solos for the Violoncello, 6 Sonatas for the Bassoon or Violoncello with a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord, and the Six Sonatas for a Flute and a Thorough Bass recorded here – his Opus 1.
The first edition featured on this recording was published in London in 1711 and is proof of just how vibrant and varied Galliard’s writing was in the field of instrumental music. What strikes one most about this collection is its elegant and easy fusion of styles: from the ordered counterpoint of his youth in Hannover to the virtuosity and brilliance of the Italian Baroque, from the characteristics of the English tradition that shine through here and there to the nuances of the French style fully on show in many of the movements. Also of great interest is the way in which Galliard treats the bass line: at times it acts as mere accompaniment, accentuating the melodic line (here entrusted to the recorder), while at other times it becomes an integral part of the melodic line, producing some affecting duet-like passages.
The sonatas also reveal Galliard to be a veritable master in the way he “plays” with emotional moods within the context of instrumental music: alongside highly energetic and almost boisterous moments (for example the first Allegro of Sonata No.3) we find passages of extreme delicacy, inviting performers and listeners alike into much more intimate realms (for example the Sarabanda of Sonata No.4).
John Ernst Galliard was a German composer, oboist, flutist and keyboardist active in England in the first half of the 18th century. The son of Jean Galliard, a French wigmaker, he learned to play the flute and oboe from Pierre Maréchal, a French member of Celle's court orchestra. He himself joined the orchestra in 1698 and, shortly afterwards, studied composition in nearby Hanover with Agostino Steffani and Jean Baptiste Farinelli. In 1706 Galliard went to London (like his compatriot Georg Friedrich Händel), where he became court musician to Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne of Great Britain, and later also chapel master at Somerset House. Galliard enjoyed an excellent reputation as an oboist, and so joined the orchestra of the Queen's Theatre, playing in various performances of works by Handel, who wrote oboe parts especially for him.
The Six Sonatas for Recorder and Harpsichord were published in London in 1711. In this collection there is an elegant and smooth fusion of styles: from the orderly counterpoint of the youth in Hannover to the virtuosity and brio of the Italian baroque, from the flavor of the English tradition that only occasionally transpires to the nuances of French taste that are evident in several movements.
Played by Fabiano Martignago, who learned his art with specialists like Dan Laurin, Kees Boeke, Han Tol, Stefano Bagliano, Lorenzo Cavasanti, Manuel Staropoli and Alfredo Bernardini. Angelica Selmo studied with Luca Guglielmo and followed master classes with Pierre Hantaï, Roberto Loreggian, Skip Sempé and Bart van Oort.
Recorded in August of 2020 in Locara di San Bonifacio (Verona), Italy
Booklet contains notes on the composer and his music, in English and Italian, and biographies of the artists.