Sammartini, Giuseppe Baldassare (1695 – 1750)
Giuseppe Baldassare Sammartini was an Italian composer and oboist during the late Baroque and early Classical era. Although he was from Milan, most of his professional life was spent in London and with Frederick, the Prince of Wales.
Giuseppe Sammartini was born in Milan, Italy. He had a younger brother, Giovanni Battista Sammartini, who also became a particularly renowned composer and oboist. Both brothers took oboe lessons from their French father Alexis Saint-Martin. Although born in Milan, Giuseppe found his success in other parts of Europe. His first trip was to Brussels, and from there he made his way to London where he would go on to spend the rest of his life.
Sammartini was an exceptionally skilled oboist, and a very proficient flute and recorder player, as was customary at the time. In London he was known as “the greatest [oboist] the world had ever known.”
He was a very skilled composer. One of Giuseppe’s first published collections was a set of 12 trio sonatas. It was published in London by Walsh & Hare. Sammartini’s career as a composer advanced when he was hired as the music master for the Prince of Wales, Frederick, and his wife Augusta. He worked for them and their children from 1736 until his death in 1750. While working for the family, Sammartini dedicated many works to the different members of the family. His 12 sonatas op. 1 were dedicated to Frederick, and his 12 trios op. 3 to Augusta. Sammartini was clearly very attached to this family, writing everything from these wonderful collections to simple birthday tunes for the children.
Most of Sammartini’s chamber music was played and re-published regularly during his life. However, many of the concertos and overtures that Sammartini wrote were not published until after his death, but then gained wide acceptance, even more than other Italian composers such as Corelli.
Sammartini’s most famous piece is without question his Recorder Concerto in F