Twenty Sonatas for Solo Keyboard by Giovanni B. Platti (Ca. 1697-1763): A Study of Their Style and Significance.

Naomi Suzuki, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College


Giovanni Benedetto Platti (ca. 1697-1763) contributed significantly to the development of the sonata for solo keyboard. He is one of the earliest composers to see the importance of the new genre of solo keyboard sonata, and he is also one of the earliest Italian composers to write in a galant style. His twenty extant keyboard sonatas show both high Baroque and pre-Classical styles, and some of his sonatas demonstrate features of emerging Classical form. In this monograph, I conclude that the solo keyboard sonatas of Giovanni B. Platti demonstrate the single-movement sonata form and the sonata cycle of the early Classical period. His sonata cycle of three and four movements with a dance as the penultimate or final movement foreshadows the Classical sonata design. Some features in Platti's sonata movements support this conclusion: (1) restatement of the opening theme in the tonic after the developmental section; (2) proportion of rounded binary form; and (3) quasi-secondary theme. Sonata-allegro form is found in Platti's Sonatas Nos. i/iv, 2/iv, 5/iv, 11/iii, and 13/ii.