An Alleluia Fugue in D Major

A C-Minor Fugue with Chromatic Subject

Leonardo Leo (1694–1744) began his professional training in Naples in 1709, age 15, under the tutelage of Nicola Fago at the Conservatory of the "Turchini" (where the boys wore "turquoise" uniforms). Leo was a precocious composers of opera and in the 1720s would have been counted among the giants of the new generation in Naples. During the 1730s he began to teach at his alma mater and produced the beautiful partimenti and solfeggi for which he may be best known today. His mastery of counterpoint may have been learned from Giuseppe Pitoni (1657–1743), a Roman master who may also have taught the young Francesco Durante, Leo's main competitor as a teacher in Naples. Pitoni studied and highly valued the smooth contrapuntal style of Palestrina. A vocal ideal of supple, easily performed melodic lines pervades Leo's pedagogical works, and the fugues provided here give suggestions for how Leo imagined the types of textures implied in his partimenti. The C-minor fugue is historically important because it was reprinted as the capstone work in one of the volumes on "The Italian School" printed by Choron in Paris (1808). Leo's pedagogical works appear to have had a significant influence on instruction through much of the nineteenth century at the Paris Conservatory.