Gaetano Brunetti (Fano, ca. 1744 – Colmenar de Oreja, 16 December 1798) was one of a number of Italian musicians who moved to Spain in the 18th century in order to make their living there, musicians such as Farinelli, Corselli or Scarlatti. In fact, during the 1760s the number of Italian musicians living in Madrid included Luigi Boccherini, Domenico (Domingo) Porreti, and most of the violinists in the Royal Chapel, among whom we find instrumentalists such as Francesco Landini, Felipe Sabatini, Antonio Marquesini or Brunetti.
What makes the 23 divertimenti for violin, viola and cello all the more rare is the fact that there is no extant copy in the Palacio Real in Madrid. It is also interesting to note that Brunetti only wrote five pieces for the fourth and last series of divertimenti, because up to the end of his life he always composed in groups of six. Although we can’t be one- hundred percent certain, since there is no indication of any music missing from the manuscript, we can only assume that divertimento Sexto was actually composed but was lost at some later point in time. In this case the series would simply be incomplete. There are other examples of this kind of lack of symmetry, such as Luigi Boccherini’s five quintets op. 49 for two cellos (G. 365-369), but this is most certainly an exception to the rule.
The five Divertimenti L. 145-149 were written in 1784 and are the fourth series of pieces the composer wrote for string trio: violin, viola and cello. The three earlier sets date from a very short period of time, between 1772-1774. After the fourth series Brunetti didn’t write any more music for this combination of instruments: he only wrote a collection of six trios “a due violini e violoncello” around 1794.