GIOVANNI BATTISTA SAMMARTINI (1700 - 1775)
The son of a French oboist who had settled in Italy, Sammartini was born in Milan, where he won an early reputation, serving as maestro di cappella to the Congregation of the Ss Entierro from 1728 for many years. He occupies an important place in the genesis of the symphony and won a considerable reputation abroad, with works published in London and Paris. In Milan he was highly respected and led an active career to the very end as a composer and conductor.
Of Sammartini's orchestral music 68 symphonies survive, with six violin concertos, one double violin concerto, two flute concertos, in addition to sets of concerti grossi and overtures. These vary in style from an early mixture of Baroque and classical to an intermediate style and a final style that is in general classical.
Chamber music by Sammartini consists of quintets, quartets and trio sonatas, of the last some two hundred. There are thirty or so keyboard sonatas, for harpsichord or organ, with eleven violin sonatas and six sonatas for harpsichord with violin.
Vocal and Choral Music
Sammartini wrote sacred choral music, cantatas and liturgical settings, as well as secular arias and cantatas. Much of this body of work has been lost.