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George Ross

Father and Son

Geminiani Cello Sonatas

Alastair Ross (harpsichord)
Father and Son

Francesco Geminiani was perhaps best known in his day as a virtuoso violinist. His treatise on The Art of Playing on the Violin (1751) remained hugely influential throughout the 18th century. On his arrival in London in 1714, Geminiani achieved immediate success. He performed for the king, accompanied by Handel, during which he introduced himself as a student of Corelli. With his op.4 violin sonatas, followed by these cello sonatas (op.5), it’s clear that Geminiani had broken out into an entirely new and unique language, bursting with vivacity and emotion.

We are pairing these sonatas with solo harpsichord works by two composers associated with Geminiani, Alessandro Scarlatti and Jacques Duphly.

Alessandro Scarlatti was the father of the famous one, Domenico. As a young man Geminiani studied with him in Rome. From Scarlatti he learned the rules of strict counterpoint, as well as something of Scarlatti’s dramatic flair, very much in evidence in this fine set of variations on Folia, a dance originating in Spain and Portugal.

Duphly began his musical career as an organist in Rouen. He moved to Paris in 1742 to earn his living playing and teaching the harpsichord, abandoning the organ in order, as Marpurg wrote in 1754, ‘not to spoil his hand with the organ’, referring to the heaviness of the touch. Duphly and Geminiani took part in musical gatherings in the house of Mme and Mlle Duhallay. Although Duphly was twenty six years younger, there is every reason to believe that he would have accompanied Geminiani on these occasions.

The duo recently set about recording this programme for the Deux-Elles label. The album will be out this coming spring!

  • 🎉The Workshop Series, Lewes
  • 📅Sat, 13 January 2024
  • 📍Cliffe Hall, Lewes
  • 🕑7:30pm
  • 🎫Adult: £16, Under 18s: £8

Cliffe Hall, Lewes
Cliffe High Street, Lewes, BN7 2AH, United Kingdom