Ensemble J.M. Anciuti: Paolo Pollastri (baroque oboe), Gaetano Nasillo (cello), Alberto Guerra (baroque bassoon) & Giovanna Losco (harpsichord)
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This new recording in the ever growing Brilliant Classics Vivaldi discography offers an attractive set of Oboe Sonatas, for solo oboe and basso continuo (in this case a generous and colourful combination of cello, bassoon and harpsichord).
Paolo Pollastri is solo oboist of the famous Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (one of Italy’s best and most famous orchestras). On this recording however he plays a Baroque oboe, accompanied by a Baroque ensemble, following the historically based performance practice. Pollastri did his own research collecting the oboe sonatas from various sources, and offers one apocryph sonata, formerly attributed to Chedeville, whose pastoral athmosphere perfectly fits the sweet and slightly melancholy timbre of the baroque oboe.
The latest addition to Brilliant Classics’ ever-growing recorded catalogue of music by the asthmatic ‘Red Priest’ of Venice, Antonio Vivaldi, is of oboe sonatas, played (as are most of the recordings in that catalogue) by an Italian ensemble with full awareness of the latest scholarly research into Vivaldi’s manuscripts and performing styles, and on period instruments, soaked in an appreciation of how most stylishly to realise the music of the Italian Baroque.
The oboist himself, Paolo Pollastri, is oboist with Rome’s Orchestra nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which works with many of the world’s great conductors; he has also contributed fine booklet notes to this release. So both technical and scholarly address are not lacking for this album of sprightly chamber music, which was composed not for the usual crowd of orphaned prodigies at the Ospedale della Pietà, but more likely for travelling virtuosi who made Venice a stop on their itinerary. Consequently the manuscripts for the sonatas here are scattered far and wide, from Cambridge to Dresden. Pollastri also includes an apocryphal work, once attributed to Vivaldi but now ascribed to the Frenchman de Chédeville, for its smooth Francophone style and pastoral idiom.
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