Though primarily known as an opera composer, Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) did not neglect the instrumental repertoire. When Empress Catherine II of Russia summoned him to St Petersburg in 1776 to take up the post of maestro di cappella, he also became the teacher of the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, for whom he composed a collection of rondos, capriccios and other keyboard pieces (R 8.14).
The Sonata in D minor (Capriccio no. 36), to which the title "The Grand Duchess's Farewell" was added at a later date, is a fine example of keyboard writing by the composer from Taranto in Southern Italy.
“Edition HH has produced another beautifully presented and easily readable score. The fifteen-page piece is clearly laid out and easy to read, and it is prefaced with facsimiles of the title page and opening of the score. ... That this piece borrows its main theme from the subject of Bach's Musical Offering may have a bearing on its appeal. Paisiello develops the theme melodically rather than contrapuntally; he demonstrates a declamatory brilliance which arrests the attention.”