We celebrate Cherubini’s 250th anniversary this year with an unusual
publication. Although the composer is universally known for his
operatic works, one of his earliest publications (at the age of 23)
was this set of six sonatas for keyboard. Vivacious and melodically
appealing two-movement works, they sound equally well on the
harpsichord and the forte-piano — the latter instrument being popular
around the court of the Grand Duke Leopold in Florence where the works
This edition, with full critical notes and facsimiles, also includes
editorial suggestions for the many small cadenzas and “lead-ins” which
are required as improvised extras in such music.
For those having a reluctance to tackle facsimiles of 18th-century prints and their occasional idiosyncrasies, this new edition by Christopher Hogwood will be of great interest, for here is to be found critically-reliable texts (with not a single editorial dynamic or fingering recommendation in sight), and with valuable interpretative guidance in the commentary for some of the finer practical issues at stake.