Fortunato Chelleri (1690 -1757) was an Italian Baroque composer. Chelleri’s father was from German origin, but he had migrated to Italy and married an Italian woman. Fortunato Chelleri received training in Parma and Piacenza in singing, playing the cello and keyboard instruments and in composition. In his early career he was moderately successful composer of operas. Later in live he came in the service of Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, prince-bishop of Würzburg. After the death of von Schönberg Chelleri joined the service of the landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel and moved to the town of Kassel. There he remained until his death.
Several of Chelleri’s instrumental compositions survive till today. Among them 6 Fughe per il organo, composed around 1725. They are works that forshadow the galant and even the classical period. Each of the fugues starts as a 4 part piece and each of the fugues each of the 6 fugues abandons the strict 4 part counterpoint immiadetely after or even during the exposition. In the remaining of each piece Chelleri alternates virtuosic passage work with the occasional repetition of the theme of the fugue. The first fugue is a nice example of this: it features an episode with full fledged Albertini basses, like an early keyboard sonata by Joseph Haydn.

The recording was done with the sampleset of the Onderhorst Kabinetorgel in Bennekom.

Chelleri, Fuga 1



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