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Mancini: Solos for a Flute
Gwyn Roberts (recorder, flauto traverso)
Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players
Born in 1672 in Naples where he trained as an organist and composer, Francesco Mancini became one of the most prominent composers of Neapolitan opera in the eighteenth century.
The Solos for a Flute, published in 1724, were a collection of Sonatas dedicated to John Fleetwood, the English consul to Naples and himself an amateur flautist. Hoping to gain himself a steady remunerative position in England, Mancini designed this flattering dedication to take advantage of the popularity of Italian music in London and the rise in prominence of wind music at the time. Fleetwood died the year after the Solos were published and Mancini never moved from his native Italy. The quality of these works was nevertheless recognised in England and the Solos for a Flute achieved great success. The Sonatas, as the individual Solos are called, follow the usual four- or five-movement structure established by Corelli, wildly popular in England at the time. Clear Neapolitan influences are present, however, in elements such as the minor tonalities and almost operatic melodies employed in the slow movements.
This collection of substantial excerpts from the set is performed by the Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players, the Philadelphia-based early music ensemble, which has been recording exclusively for Chandos since 2004. Gwyn Roberts, co-director of the ensemble, playing a variety of period flutes and recorders, is the soloist.
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Una follia di Napoli 1725
Concerti & Sinfonie per flauto
Maurice Steger (direction, recorder); Fiorenza de Donatis, Andrea Rognoni, Anaïs Chen (violins), Stefano Marcocchi (viola), Mauro Valli (cello & violoncello piccolo], Vanni Moretto (double bass), Brigitte Gasser (violetta, viola da gamba & lirone), Naoki Kitaya (harpsichord & organ), Daniele Caminiti (theorbo, baroque guitar & archlute), Margit Übellacker (psalterium)
In the ‘holy year’ of 1725, the most famous flautist of his time, J. J. Quantz, visited Naples. He inspired a host of sonatas and concertos by the great Alessandro Scarlatti and his most talented successors. Now Maurice Steger brings these treasures back to life, drawing on a Neapolitan collection dating from 1725. He has assembled the leading specialists in the genre and the result is dazzling, poetic, in a word, masterly.
Maurice Steger has succeeded in establishing himself as one of the most popular soloists in the early music field. His lively manner and his personal, spontaneous and technically brilliant style of playing have helped to revive the recorder as an instrument and give it an entirely new place in the musical world. He has been acclaimed as "the Roger Federer of the recorder” by IRR
“a captivating, bracing and powerfully muscular performance…Steger’s thoughtful and adroit recorder playing is delightfully enticing…exquisitely cultivated and fastidiously controlled…a superbly played and recorded issue” International Record Review, November 2012
“Much of the success of the pieces has to do with the instrumentation, though how much of that came from the manuscripts or Steger's imagination is hard to say...As for Steger's own playing, he has rare solidity and precision, plus almost any shade of colour that he can imagine.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
“Maurice Steger always produces exciting recordings, and his brilliant but lyrical playing is well matched by a small one-to-a-part ensemble … beautifully performed and recorded.” Early Music Review, December 2012
“harmonia mundi’s recorded sound is first rate, and the colour palatte of the continuo team – psaltery and all – is wonderfully wide. Steger’s recorder playing is fresh and alluring, clear and soft-edged by turns” Classical Music, March 2013
“a nice recording” MusicWeb International, March 2013
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Mancini - Complete Recorder Sonatas
Lorenzo Cavasanti (recorders), Caroline Boersma (cello) & Sergio Ciomei (harpsichord)
Ensemble Tripla Concordia
Francesco Mancini (1672-1737) was born in Naples, and worked initially as an organist at the Cappella Reale, an institution he would direct some years later until he was replaced by Alessandro Scarlatti in 1708.
Mancini composed many concertos and sonatas, and the works on these CDs were first published in London in 1724. The music contained in these sonatas displays Mancini’s gift for great expressivity and lyricism. The material is developed skillfully in ways that often lead to considerable tension and drama.
The spirit of the dance is never far away from the finales and often contrast with the tense and dramatic opening movements and the long slow movements.
Period instrument performances.
Very rare repertoire of interest to early-music connoisseurs.
Charming flute music to appeal to the MOR market.
Recordings date from 2009, 1996 and 1992.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.