Domenico Cimarosa, a few years older than Mozart, was known for his operas; the keyboard sonatas contained here turned up in a copy in the early twentieth century, attributed to Cimarosa but not definitely his. They originally surfaced as tiny single-movement works, but several scholars, including annotator Nick Rossi, have grouped them by key and mood into three-movement sonatas. The move seems reasonable given the extreme brevity of the individual pieces; they don't even have the scope of Scarlatti's sonatas (which themselves may have been grouped together). The notes suggest that these may have been teaching pieces, which would fit with their simplicity; each "movement" is a binary construction, with no development, in most cases about a minute long, and generally focused on a particular figure or technical problem. But they're more than exercises; the outer movements, especially, have a certain flash, and listeners who enjoy Soler and the like may be intrigued by these (even if 18 of them in a row is a lot). Italo-Australian pianist Victor Sangiorgio offers fine, dry readings on a modern piano. The chronology of these pieces is unclear. They seem to have been composed for fortepiano (there are a few dynamic indications) but to have kept the harpsichord market in mind (there are just a few). Sangiorgio uses very little pedal and catches the precise location of the music at the tipping point between the piano and harpsichord eras. Classical-era keyboard specialists and enthusiasts will find music of interest here.
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