When thinking of important cello repertoire from the Baroque period of course J.S. Bach’s suites spring to mind immediately. But there is so much more out there to be discovered from this period. And not just from Germany. Italian composer and violinist Geminiani wrote just six sonatas for cello but they deserve far more attention then they are getting today.
In fact Francesco Geminiani’s only set of six sonatas for cello and basso continuo is one of the finest from the Baroque era. This composer was London-based for quite a while. He then began to visit France (among other countries). When writing his cello sonatas he also drew on the French viola da gamba tradition. He combined this with his own style which was based on Corelli. But Geminiani also inserted a lot of embellishments and contrapuntal passages.
These sonatas are highly attractive and expressive pieces. Especially both ones two in minor keys touch on the emotions of the listener. The sonatas are quite demanding for the performers. Unusual is Geminiani’s frequently allowing the main cello and the accompanying parts to cross.
Dutch cellist Jaap ter Linden hardly needs any introduction. He is one of the leading musicians having been involved in historically informed performances from the very start. Ter Linden has made several recordings for Brilliant Classics, including Bach’s suites and sonatas by Vivaldi. His performances of these works by Geminiani are intense and lively.