Sebastián de Albero: 30 Sonatas for Harpsichord

30 Sonatas for Harpsichord (30 Sonatas para clavicordio) (ISBN 9781329660281)

The 30 Sonatas for Harpsichord of Sebastián de Albero (1722–1756), who worked for the Spanish court in Madrid along with Italian-born Domenico Scarlatti and fellow-Spaniard Antonio Soler, is a remarkable contribution to the vital Iberian keyboard literature of the 18th century.

Lively, colorful, melancholy—with the Spanish-style harmonic and melodic inflections, irregular phrases, dissonances, and ingenious modulations characteristic of the best work of his contemporaries—Albero's 30 Sonatas for Harpsichord displays his distinctive personality. While enriching the repertoire of pianists and harpsichordists, Albero's work affords new insights into the vivid and expressive music of the Iberian keyboard tradition, as well as many hours of delightful music for performance and practice.

The 30 Sonatas for Harpsichord are newly edited from the manuscript source, clearly typeset and formatted for optimal page turns, and prefaced with a biographical and editorial introduction. Available from Lulu.com in both perfect-bound and coil-bound versions, and in perfect-bound form only at Amazon.com and other on-line outlets, as well as through ordering at local bookstores.


Sebastián de Albero Biography

Sebastián de Albero, was born in Roncal, Navarro, Spain, on 14 June 1722, and died in Madrid, Spain, on 30 March 1756. In 1734 he entered the choir at the Cathedral of Pamplona, where he remained until 1739. What he did between 1739 and 1746, or perhaps 1748, when he took over the post of organist of the Royal Chapel in Madrid, is not known, but he obviously received thorough musical training, and demonstrated considerable talent, to have acquired the post at such a young age. At some point Albero studied with the organist and composer José Elías (c. 1678–1755), who had come to Madrid in 1725 from Barcelona, and whose long organ fugues may have influenced those of Albero.

To date, only two works are known by Albero: the 30 Sonatas para clavicordio (in Spain at that time the word clavicordio referred to the harpsichord), and a set of six three-movement works (unmeasured recercata, fugue, and binary sonata), the Obras para clavicordio o piano forte. (The sole manuscripts of each of these works are not thought to be Albero’s autographs.) The 30 Sonatas is already published (see above), and the Obras is projected for publication in late 2017 or early 2018.