Barsanti Francesco (1690-1772)
Concerti grossi Op. III
Francesco Barsanti was one of the many extraordinary Italian instrumentalists – virtuosi and composers – who throughout the 18th century, travelling across the whole of Europe, contributed in a decisive way with their activity to the definitive success of instrumental music – in particular the sonata, the concerto and the symphony – and to the formation of an international language. Lucca, the town where he was born in 1690, seems to have been particularly rich in this kind of musician, going back even to earlier centuries: it is enough to remember, apart from Barsanti, Gioseffo and Francesco Guami (obviously for different types of instrumental music), Gio. Lorenzo Gregori (his name is linked to the first steps of the history of the concerto, but he worked only in Italy), Francesco Xaviero Geminiani (the greatest diffuser of Corelli’s works and style), Filippo Manfredi (another excellent violinist who besides performing in France and Spain, had a school in Italy, particularly in Genoa: it was probably due to one of his pupils that Niccolò Paganini gave his first concert at Lucca, where he then composed many of his masterpieces) and finally Luigi Boccherini, the worthy climax to such a long tradition.