Baldassare Galuppi (1706 – 1785) was an Italian
composer, born on the island of Burano in the Venetian
Republic. He achieved international success, spending
periods of his career in London and Saint Petersburg,
but his main base remained Venice, where he held a
succession of leading appointments.
In his early career Galuppi made a modest success in
opera seria, but from the 1740s, together with the
playwright and librettist Carlo Goldoni, he became
famous throughout Europe for his comic operas in the
new dramma giocoso style. To the succeeding generation
of composers he was known as "the father of comic
opera". Some of his mature opere serie, for which his
librettists included the poet and dramatist Metastasio,
were also widely popular.
Throughout his career Galuppi held official positions
with charitable and religious institutions in Venice,
the most prestigious of which was head of music at the
Doge's chapel, St Mark's Basilica. In these various
capacities he composed a large amount of religious
music. He was also highly regarded as a virtuoso
performer on and composer for keyboard instruments.
After Galuppi's death his music was largely forgotten.
His name was brought back to public notice by the
English poet Robert Browning's 1855 poem "A Toccata of
Galuppi's", but this did not restore the composer's
work to the general repertoire. Some of Galuppi's
pieces were occasionally performed in the 200 years
after his death, but it was not until the last years of
the 20th century that his works were extensively
revived in live performance and on record.
Among the instrumental compositions by Galuppi, he
wrote sinfonias, overtures, trios and string quartets,
and concerti for solo instruments and strings.
Although this piece was originally written for Strings
(Violins) & continuo, I created this arrangement for
Woodwind Quartet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet and