Ignazio Albertini, c.1644-1685


Sonatinae title page

Selected Recordings

Sonata No. 1

Sonata No. 5

Sonata No. 10

Selected Sheet Music

Sonata No. 3

Source: IMSLP.org

Notes and Commentary

Ignazio Albertini (Albertino) was an Italian Baroque violinist and composer. He is known by a single collection of music, the twelve Sonatinae (sonatas for violin and basso continuo) posthumously published in Vienna and in Frankfurt in 1692. The collection was prepared for publication by Albertini himself, but he did not live to see it printed.

His sonatas are multi-sectional pieces, very varied in content and structure, and all of the highest quality. Some idea of the rich variety of forms found in the Sonatinae may be gleaned from the following examples: Sonata IX is a passacaglia in which the main theme is presented as a canon at the fifth in the first and the last sections; and statements of the ostinato sometimes overlap with formal sections of the sonata. Sonata XII, the last in the cycle, consists entirely of imitative movements, unlike other sonatas, in which imitative movements are either absent or are surrounded by free sections, such as slow lyrical arias, toccata-like movements with rapid passagework over sustained bass notes, etc.

Albertini’s sonatas are very demanding technically, with frequent instances of difficult fast passages, leaps, sudden changes of register and, particularly in the last sonata, double stopping. He lived from c. 1644 to September 22, 1685.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Like Schmelzer (and Biber, Westhoff, Strungk, and Walther among others) Albertini frequently downplays the dance in favor of more colorful and technically challenging free-form invention. In particular, the First, Fourth, Eighth, and 11th sonatas designated here (Albertini did not arrange them in any fixed order) include passages where the composer’s imaginative use of phrasing, dynamics, and ascending and descending scales is on par with his mentors.—Excerpted from Classics Today

Very little is known about his life, but he knew Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, one of the most important musicians at the Viennese court at the time, because Schmelzer in 1671 wrote a letter on Albertini’s behalf in praise of his musucianship. The letter was intended to help address some misconduct that Albertini was apparently accused of. Possibly as a result of some additional misconduct, Albertini died 14 years alter, in Vienna, the apparent victim of a stabbing. Read the On Baroque appreciation on the 328th anniversary of Albertini’s stabbing death.

Books and Music

Selected Music

Albertini Sonates pour violon & bass continue (2002), 1 CD

Complete Works

Twelve Sonatinae
Sonata hyllaris ex C à 10 (lost)
suite of 7 pieces à 4 (lost)

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