18 keyboard sonatas from a little-known yet individual voice in the rapidly developing era between Bach and Mozart: music on the cusp of revolution.
Having recorded for Brilliant Classics the complete organ music of J.S. Bach (15CD, BC95105) and Kuhnau (BC95089, 3CD), the Italian organist and keyboard performer has turned his attention to the less-familiar output of Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697-1763). As his dates might imply, Platti’s career and music bridged the evolution from Baroque to Classical idioms, much in the same manner as Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel did, and with a comparable brilliance of invention. The influence of Italian Baroque masters such as Corelli, Vivaldi and Marcello is plain to hear in the the sprightly cast of his quick melodies and their working out over a solid ground bass. However, Platti was also acclaimed as a singing teacher, as well as being a renowned singer in his own right. Many passages in his sonatas are endowed with a native Italian lyricism of opera, though in fact Platti left Venice for Germany in 1722 and established himself at a royal court in Würzburg.
Platti’s long career in Germany left its mark on his music in terms of harmonic and formal innovation: many movements in these sonatas take unpredictable detours into remote keys, and the slow movements such as the Larghetto aria of the Second are cast in a plaintive, melancholy mood that bears passing resemblance to the slow dances in the English Suites of Bach.
This reconciliation of Venetian Baroque with nascent bel canto and German rationalism makes Platti’s sonatas an object example of the stile galante which is gaining ever more attention on record thanks to the rediscovery of many hitherto unheard works in the modern age. Stefano Molardi performs them on this album with three different instruments according to the character of each work: a German-model fretted clavichord, a harpsichord built on a 17th-century Italian model, and a 1713 organ by Giuseppe Bonatti, to be found in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Valverde in the province of Brescia.
Giovanni Benedetto Platti successfully bridged the worlds of the Baroque and Classicism. A remarkably versatile musician, performing as a keyboard player, cellist, oboist, violinist and singer, he wrote in a wide range of different genres and styles, in Venetian bel canto tradition, fusing baroque elements with the elegance and simplicity of the emerging Stile Galante.
This new recording presents the complete recording of the 18 Sonatas for the keyboard. The type of instrument is not always indicated, they could be played on the harpsichord, spinet, clavichord or organ. Essential in the performing practice is the use of free improvisation and use of ornamentation, the use of the “affetti” and general expression of the human emotions.
Played by Stefano Molardi on a 1713 historic Bonatti organ, and an Italian harpsichord made by Facchini, based on a 17th century model. Molardi is one of the foremost organist of Italy, specializing in Early Music. He already issued highly acclaimed CD’s for Brilliant Classics, the complete organ works by J.S. Bach, Kuhnau and Bach sons, receiving 5-star reviews and nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.