Sheet music

Musical contribution - June 2016

Gavotta (Giovanni Battista Martini) (1706-1784)

Martini, who lived and worked in Italy, was known in his time mostly as “Padre” Martini. He was a composer and theorist. He received a very thorough education, something which he later passed on to his own students. Padre Martini was one of the most important figures in 18th century musical life. This is amply proven by the more than 6,000 letters from throughout Europe that have been preserved. His knowledge and his willingness to share it with others meant that many musicians of the time travelled to Italy to meet him, including Mozart, who was 14 years old at the time of his visit. Martini possessed a library of 17,000 books devoted entirely to music. He was also very active as a composer, producing more than 2,500 works.

The Gavotte (Gavotta) is the 5th part of the 12th organ sonata and was first published in Amsterdam in 1742. Alexandre Guilmant later also published this gavotte in his series: “Repertoire des Concerts du Trocadéro”. We will follow this edition as far as possible. Incidentally, the gavotte has been arranged in many different ways, not least for inclusion in the Suzuki violin method.

We focus our attention now on the organ version. Guilmant added the little notes himself, as well as the register requirements. In the absence of a carillon, the following options are possible:

1. fl.8, 2 2/3, 1 3/5, 1.

2. fl.8, fl.2.

Some passages are marked with the sign indicating that they should be played an octave higher, in order to magnify the carillon effect.

I wish you much pleasure!

André van Vliet