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Albinoni - Homage to a Spanish Grandee
In this latest recording of works by Albinoni, Simon Standage directs Collegium Musicum 90 showcasing the rarely performed and recorded Op. 10 Concertos. As late as 1961, academics were unaware of Albinoni’s last set of concertos. All this changed when two small private collections were found to contain the print. Since then, the existence of Op.10 has been known to scholars, but awareness of it and curiosity about it has not really penetrated. Most of the Op.10 concertos have not been published in a modern edition, and the set has been recorded only twice before.
The dedicatee of Op. 10 was the Marquis of Castelar, Don Luca Fernando Patiño, who had come to Italy from Spain as a military commander. As a result, the Op.10 concertos are highly individual. If one looks at the melodic lines in isolation, they look full modern for the 1730s, but if one looks at the bass line they go right back to the time of Albinoni’s Op.2 and Op.5. Albinoni alludes to the dedicatee in the music itself: the first movement of Concerto 11 is a vivid evocation of flamenco style, with all its fierce percussiveness. Note writer Michael Talbot describes the concertos as ‘undoubtedly ‘odd’ in the fact that they are wildly different from what one expects from any composer working in the 1730s, but they are also beautiful in a way absolutely peculiar to their composer and in a way a logical conclusion of his art.’
Simon Standage performs regularly with Collegium Musicum 90 and other groups and is a very well respected performer in the early-music field.
“No one needs question the artistic probity of Collegium Musicum 90 led by Simon Standage. He rarely adds decorations to his part, yet the performances...are of a spirit, delicacy and awareness of fine distinctions in tone colour and phrasing that communicate the ethos of these concertos.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2010
“Standage...drives the music along briskly, avoiding any sense of self-indulgence in the slower movements and ready to skip and dance whenever the music, as it so often does, turns into something light and lively.” International Record Review, July/August 2010
“The playing is fresh and lively” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****
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Albinoni - Concerti a Cinque, Op. 10
Harmonices Mundi, Claudio Astronio
The Venetian composer Tomaso Albinoni was one of the very first composers to regularly use the three-movement form for concertos already employed by Giuseppe Torelli in his Sinfonias written for the instrumental groups at San Petronio in Bologna. His Concerti a cinque opus 10 were published Amsterdam in 1735 or 1736, when the composer’s international fame was already consolidated. Their success was closely linked to melodic inspiration, and the fact that the technical demands placed on performers were not excessive meant that these works were much sought after, especially by amateurs.
As well as being a a harpsichordist, organist and conductor of Harmonices Mundi, the early instrument ensemble featured on this current SACD, Claudio Astronio is also a founding member of the Musica Antiqua association in Bolzano and works as artistic director of the International Festival of Early Music.
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