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 Recording of the Week  Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin put Platti firmly on the map

A baroque discovery this week, in the form of the 18th century Italian composer Giovanni Benedetto Platti. Born in 1692, he studied in Venice, probably with people like Vivaldi, Lotti, Albinoni and Marcello. However, like many other Italian composers in that period, he headed north in search of employment to the countries whose inhabitants admired the fashionable Italian music of the time. He settled in the German town of Würzburg where he entered the service of the Prince-Bishop and remained there until his death in 1763.

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

As well as composing, he was a virtuoso oboist, played the cello, violin, harpsichord and flute, taught singing and when needed, sung tenor. His numerous works include harpsichord and flute sonatas, trio sonatas and ricercati for violin and violoncello. I’ve had a chance to listen to some of these, and whilst the harpsichord sonatas to me sounded like a dull version of those by CPE Bach, the trio sonatas are both innovative and very attractive. However, the impetus behind today’s editorial lies in a new disc from the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin of three of his Concerti Grossi coupled with an oboe concerto and a cello concerto.

The Concerti Grossi are derived from some of the Op. 5 Violin Sonatas of Corelli and, full of rich and sometimes exotic harmonies, show Platti as a very worthy heir to one of the great masters of the genre. The Cello Concerto is one of at least twenty-eight he wrote for the instrument, for his patron’s brother Rudolf Franz Erwein (an enthusiastic amateur cellist and tireless collector). The one played here suggests a quality easily equivalent to those of Boccherini, and I hope that some of the others will see the recording studio soon. I’ve put the whole of the first movement below for you to listen to and hope that you will be similarly enthused by this exciting music and stunning playing.

Indeed, the playing throughout this disc is nothing short of superb. Tempos, phrasing, style, sound, dynamic contrast, excitement, tenderness, ... it is hard to find fault anywhere on this disc. Very highly recommended, and hopefully it will result in a plethora of Platti recordings in the years ahead!

Platti - Concerti Grossi after Corelli

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Available Formats: MP3, CD Quality FLAC