P.D.Paradies :: Sonata in A Major

Have you ever heard of the composer P.D. Paradies?
I could be saying no: hey, really not? You mean, you are not familiar with this Pietro Domenico Paradies (or Paradisi), born in 1707 in Naples and who died in 1791 in Venice, probably a student of Nicola Porpora? And then you wouldn't know either that he moved to London in 1746 and returned to Italy in 1770...
But I will not say that.
My guess is that many of you did know at least the name of this 18th century composer that shares his year of death with another composer that we certainly all do know.
Frankly, I hadn't heard of him before I received the kind suggestion from Giuseppe (YT-name +PiperToTheEnd76). If I remember well, he wrote that, listening to the recording I made of a sonata by Christian Bach, already one year ago by now, that I might as well like to play this sonata by Paradies. Giuseppe was even so kind as to send me a link of the score, so there was no reason not to proceed with this!

And indeed, I liked this music very much. I could say that I wouldn't exchange it for a Mozart sonata, but let's think about this a minute. Why this eternal reflex of comparing music with only the best of the best composers ever? I don't know about you, but it is something that occurs spontaneously with me. Also for new music, like the sonata of Costas Papazafeiropoulos we recently recorded, a world premiere actually, it took a while to get rid of the urge for searching connections to what I already knew very well.
You know, in fact that is very, very un-authentic, in a way that all our beloved 18-century musicians, did not have that reflex at all. There was so much new music written by composers who all were aware of tradition, but who (mostly) wanted to proceed in developing their own style, and if possible, style in general. But there was a style to start from (different topic).
So, when a local musician ordered this sonata through Amazon.com, let's say in 1765, he would, after having cursed on all packing material he had to remove and stock first, play a new work by this Italian composer, not saying in full surprise, that this sounds like Mozart, and that part comes from Christian Bach, etc.


Of course, the composers we esteem today as being the best, were 'big names', also in their time. But my guess would be that there was not that much separation in the general appreciation between his music and that of his colleagues. I think competition was very, very hard at those days. They had to be on their very best, always, and that might be one of the reason they all worked like crazy and gave us the very best of what they could achieve.

So I am very glad I came across this composer, thanks to Giuseppe. There is still so much to be discovered...

Have a nice day!


Afterthoughts on Paradies' Sonata in A Major
1:23 Write fingerings down or not?
7:18 And we have look at some elements of polyphony in this music that seems to be rather easy at first sight.

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