TOMASO ALBINONI: Concerti a Cinque Op. 10 (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 11) – Harmonia mundi/ Claudio Astronio – Arts

by | Dec 19, 2009 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

TOMASO ALBINONI: Concerti a Cinque Op. 10 (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 11) – Harmonia mundi/ Claudio Astronio – Arts multichannel SACD 47747-8, 72:12 **** [Distr. by Albany]:

There are so many recordings released lately premiering or encoring various instrumental works of Vivaldi and Corelli that it’s satisfying to have some other music of Albinoni presented to us in addition to his hit Adagio in g minor.  The concertos of Op. 10 may be regarded as an odd mixture of the old and the new, and differ in a number of ways from fellow Venetian Vivaldi’s concertos. Albinoni was one of the first to settle on a three-movement form.  His middle slow movements hark back to the older church sonata style and the contrapuntal trio sonata. His first and last movements tend to avoid strongly serious or reflective qualities and concentrate instead on a more carefree and optimistic feeling. His concertos were also somewhat less difficult for the lead violinists to negotiate and therefore were more popular with amateur musicians. Whereas Vivaldi frequently gave the principal violinist virtuoso passages that departed from the main themes, Albinoni has the principal violinist playing mostly decorative and ornamental material, often in unison with the other violins.  

Albinoni tries to make use of many of the musical fads of the period, including soto voce passages for echo effects and/or in minor keys, triplets, and the beginnings of what was to be the “gallant” style of the Classical period. The 11th concerto was dedicated to a Spanish marquis, and in it Albinoni went the route of his compatriot Domenico Scarlatti in imitating in this concerto the plucked strings of the guitar and even using an explicit chordal rhythm which sounds straight out of flamenco. String tone is glorious and silky in the disc, no hint at all of the annoying edginess that afflicts some standard CDs of string ensembles.

 – John Sunier

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