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The London-born Elizabeth Gambarini presents, viewed retrospectively, a brief but none the less interesting foretaste of an 18th-century British phenomenon: the educated lady of good family achieving a significant reputation in a field not at this time usually associated with one of her sex.
Despite a relatively short life, she pursued an active and successful musical career, and gains historical importance as the first woman to publish keyboard music in Britain. Of the many lesser figures working in Londons 18th-century music life, Gambarini stands out as someone forging new ways.
As a member of an immigrant family she established herself as a Londoner, as a woman in a mans world she acquired the status of a professional musician rather than that of a mere singer, and as a composer of keyboard music she espoused and mastered the galant style that presages the popular musical idioms of the ensuing decades.
The two volumes from which all but one of the pieces are taken were published in quick succession: the first has a dedication dated 21 January 1748; the second can in all probability be ascribed to the same year, based on the date of Hones engraving which appears as the frontispiece.
Thus Gambarini was only eighteen, or just nineteen, by the time the second volume was produced. The music shows a remarkable consistency of style for one so young, especially since the idiom is so far removed from that of Handel, which was still the most popular and influential in London at this time.
|1||02:58||Six Sets of Lessons for the Harpsichord: Sonata I [in G Major] – 1. Allegretto|
|2||02:42||2. Siciliana: Andantino|
|3||01:36||3. Giga: Allegro|
|4||01:25||Sonata II [in D Major] – 1. Grazioso|
|6||03:33||Sonata III [in F Major] – 1. Allegro moderato|
|9||00:42||4. Variation 1|
|10||00:41||5. Variation 2|
|11||00:47||6. Variation 3|
|12||00:53||7. Minuet Da capo|
|13||01:45||Sonata IV [in G Major] – 1. Tempo di Gavotta|
|14||01:12||2. March: Tempo giusto|
|15||01:15||3. Non troppo presto|
|16||02:40||Sonata V [in C Major] – 1. Vivace|
|17||03:02||2. Siciliana: Andante|
|18||01:50||3. Spiritoso assai|
|19||02:56||Sonata VI [in D Minor] – 1. Allegro|
|21||01:27||3. Allegro grazioso|
|22||01:49||Miss Gambarini’s Minuet|
|23||03:06||Lessons for the Harpsichord – Allegro moderato|
|25||01:05||Minuet and Variations – 1. Minuet|
|26||01:02||2. Variation 1|
|27||01:02||3. Variation 2|
|28||01:04||4. Variation 3|
|29||01:12||5. Minuet Da Capo|
|33||01:34||Song: ‘Lover go and calm thy Sighs’|
|34||01:15||Variations on the foregoing Song – 1. Gavotta|
|35||01:14||2. Variation 1|
|36||01:14||3. Variation 2|