No score survives for the seven ‘Concerti a quattro’ recorded here: they are preserved only in a set of manuscript parts in Modena’s BibliotecaEstense. They may not have belonged together as a set, given their diversity of style, but together they present a most attractive compilation of a personal voice at a turning point in musical history around the beginning of the 18th century.
Galuppi took the best of both worlds: the solid counterpoint of his teachers (Lotti and Marcello) and the vivid innovations of the younger generation such as Vincenzo Manfredini, presently made famous by Cecilia Bartoli’sBarock adventures into hitherto unknown vocal repertoire, but also long famous as one of the founding fathers of the string quartet. Nonetheless, we can be sure that Galuppi did not intend to write for string quartet: the basso part is still a continuo part, because a few numbers are still present in figured bass; here and there are also written notes such as ‘violoncello solo’.
In some of them the style is simple, with the typical structure of the opera symphony (a French-style overture followed by a dance movement). Elsewhere, Galuppi conceives larger forms: both the C minor and G minor works open with highly affecting, chromatically inflected slow introductions full of aching suspensions. In this recording, the continuo part is provided by a chamber organ.
Founded in 2005 and this year celebrating its tenth anniversary, Ensemble StilModerno’s discography includes the Sinfonie Op.5 by Giovanni Battista Bassani (BC94259), a disc of which MusicWeb International’s reviewer remarked: "Ensemble StilModerno is thoroughly at home in the idiom. The instrumental interplay is perfectly judged though their performance is clearly thoroughly informed by a knowledge of baroque practice. They choose to play on modern instruments. Only those who care more about authenticity than about music will be troubled by their choice. Anyone who loves the instrumental music of this period is urged to hear this."
For the first time complete on CD: the complete Concertos for Strings by Galuppi.
Baldassare Galuppi was an important and highly successful composer in 18th century Italy.
A student of Antonio Lotti he was well schooled in solid counterpoint, and his compositions form a perfect marriage between the “old fashioned” counterpoint and the “modern” predominance of melody. They are charming, elegant and well crafted works, a delight of melodic invention and instrumental brilliance.
Excellent performances in Historical Informed Performance Practice by the Ensemble StilModerno, led by Carlo Centemeri. Their previous recording for Brilliant Classics (Bassani: Sinfonie, BC 94259) received excellent reviews in the international press: “thoroughly at home in the idiom…perfectly judged interplay between the instruments” (Musicweb).
Excellent liner notes written by the artists.