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VIV 1807


Six Sonatas for Harpsichord or Piano
By Elisabetta de Gambarini • Edited by Barbara Harbach

Working at the court of Frederick the Great, Anna Bon (1739-?) wrote these six sonatas when she was a teenager. The sonatas reflect the transition from late Baroque to the early Classical style. These three-movement sonatas feature charming melodies, elegant ornamentation, and unexpected melodic twists. Of medium difficulty, these pieces are a wonderful addition to early Mozart and Haydn sonatasElisabetta de Gambarini (1731-1765) was an English composer, soprano, and orchestra conductor who published three volumes of harpsichord works. These six sonatas are imaginative compositions—mostly with three movements. They often feature a final movement based on one of the exuberant dance rhythms typical of the Baroque period. The middle movements are often chromatic, and filled with pathos and ornamented melodies. The subscription list from the original 1747 publication, attests to the popularity of Gambarini’s music—it names over 200 subscribers, including G. F. Handel. For a compact disc recording see Sonatas by Elizabeth, Hester Park CD 7702.
VIV 1807, 36 pages, $18.95


“The closing Giga from the same work (Sonata No. 1 in G) shows off Gambarini's flair for the lighter manner.”

“The Allegro Moderato (Sonata No. 3 in F) that opens this piece is one of Gambarini's best moments . . . full of character and intelligence.”


Click here to view a page of the score.


A Brief Bio of the Editor

Barbara Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, opera, string orchestra, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, organ, harpsichord, piano, choral anthems, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music and Vivace Press. Harbach is also the editor of the journal, Women of Note Quarterly.

“Harbach’s music astonished me for its heavy reliance on the lyric and the beautifully (and cogently) framed melodic line. I could listen to her music for hours.” American Record Guide ~ March / April 2008. “ Harbach has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent American composers of any generation.” All Music Guide ~ December 2007.

Harbach has toured extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist and her lively performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers, and the body of work written for and dedicated to Harbach is substantial. Musical America has called her “nothing short of brilliant,” and Gramophone has cited her as an “acknowledged interpreter – and, indeed, muse – of modern harpsichord music.” She was host of the weekly television music series Palouse Performance seen throughout the Inland Northwest.

Currently professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she holds academic degrees from Pennsylvania State University (B.A.), Yale University (M.M.A.), Musikhochschule (Konzertdiplom) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). In 2002, Harbach received an honorary doctorate in music, honoris causa, from Wilmington College, Ohio for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher.

Barbara Harbach initiated Women in the Arts-St. Louis, a celebration of the achievements of women creators. The over 800 events by various cultural organizations in the St. Louis region provided audiences with new and historical examples of the work of women writers, composers and artists. In 2006 for her work Women in the Arts-St. Louis she was the recipient of the Arts Education Award from the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Citizen for the Arts Award; the Yellow rose Award from the Zonta International Club of St. Louis; the UM-St. Louis College of Fine Arts and Communication, Faculty Excellence Award; and in 2007 she was awarded the Hellenic Spirit Foundation Award.


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