Giuseppe Sammartini (1695-1750)
Six Solos for German Flute, Violin or Hautboy Op. XIII
The Six Solos op. 13 are an example of Sammartini’s posthumous fame in that they were printed ten years after his death. “Solo” is the name given to sonatas for a solo instrument or an instrument accompanied by basso continuo. This term soon fell into disuse, as did the interchangeability of instruments foreseen in the early eighteenth century. The possibility to choose the instrument nonetheless still existed in the musical anthologies of many authors who, like Sammartini, legitimize the practice already in the titles, which they gave to their collections. The instruments employed in the Six Solos share more or less the same range: the oboe (the favored instrument of the composer), the German (or transverse) flute, and the dominating violin. The oboe, flute and violin each perform two compositions. The solo instruments are sustained in the basso continuo not only by the harpsichord but also by the bassoon in one case and by the cello in the other.