Trio Legrenzi: Vasco Magnolato, Giuliano Vio and Michele Liuzzi
CD - 2 discs
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Although a nobleman by birth, Benedetto Marcello was also a serious amateur composer whose influence reached long beyond his time. This compilation focuses on his 12 Sonatas Op.2 for solo flute and basso continuo – a charming set of works which, first published in 1712, dates from the early end of an extensive output that came to be dominated by vocal music.
Marcello was a man with an array of artistic interests, and his entry into two of Italy’s most esteemed intellectual establishments – the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna and the Arcadian Academy in Rome – dates from around the same time his Op.2 sonatas first appeared. Originally conceived for recorder, whose pastoral associations were very much in vogue during that period, the works were later reprinted in London as Solos for a German Flute or Violin. This change of title not only allowed for the possibility of alternative instrumentation but also admitted the flute’s rising popularity as a vehicle for domestic music making.
Though seemingly unambitious in lyricism and texture, the sonatas emphasise, through melodic clarity, strongly directed harmony and solid contrapuntal grounding, the ‘noble simplicity’ that Marcello wished music of his time to return to. They are quietly accomplished models of their kind that, elegantly performed by the players of Trio Legrenzi, comprise a fine addition to the Newton Classics catalogue.
Recorded in 1990
New booklet notes by the writer and broadcaster Lindsay Kemp
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