During Albinoni’s lifetime (1671-1751) four separate collections of sonatas with violin were published under his name, though only the Trattenimenti armonici Op.6 were prepared by their composer. The works in Op.6 have accordingly dominated the record catalogues and obscured the virtues of the others, which Federico Guglielmo presents here with his customary flair and feeling for the Italian Baroque which has previously yielded the much-praised Brilliant Classics collection of Vivaldi’s Opp 1-12 (95200) as well as the Op.1 Trio Sonatas (94789) by Albinoni himself.
In common with Venetian contemporaries such as the Marcellos, Albinoni observed the conventions of post-Corellian sonata form: four movements configured Slow–Fast–Slow–Fast, where the first pair is more formal (dignified) in character and the second pair more informal (expressive). However, in vocal and instrumental music alike, Albinoni’s style was highly individual, even slightly idiosyncratic: dignified, wary of technical or expressive excess and very attentive to the cantabile side of violin-playing.
The sonatas here are drawn from the six Sonate da chiesa issued by the Amsterdam publisher Estienne Roger in 1707 or 1708; Roger’s later collection of five Sonate a violino solo composed for the virtuoso Pisendel and augmented by a sonata by a Giovanni Battista Tibaldi; and then the six Sonates da camera brought out in 1742 by the Parisian engraver and music publisher Louis Hue.
Both dates and even authorship of some of these sonatas remains uncertain, but only the third of the Sonate a violino solo has been omitted from this new recording as authoritatively attributed to the German-born composer Nicolas Pepusch. This recording is thoroughly illuminated by a new booklet essay from Michael Talbot, pre-eminent scholar of music in 18th-century Venice, and demands the attention of all Baroque-music collectors.
Praise for L’Arte dell’Arco on Brilliant Classics
‘A crisp, vibrant, semi-dirty sound and a lucid balance through which the theorbo pokes delightfully.’ Gramophone (Albinoni)
‘The recording, as ever with this group, is detailed but simple: One can hear each instrument fighting with the others, just what is needed with Vivaldi.’ Fanfare (Vivaldi)
- A new instalment in the series of “Complete Instrumental Music” by Albinoni!
- Tomaso Albinoni spent most of his life in his native Venice, he was a famous opera composer, and was one of the few composers who were of independent means, not in the service of Court or Church. Nowadays Albinoni is foremost known for his instrumental works, trio sonatas and concertos, showing his great melodic gift, his inventiveness and high spirits.
- This new recording contains the two sets of 6 Violin Sonatas, published in respectively Amsterdam and Paris. Albinoni adhered faithfully to the post-Corellian sonata structure of four movements configured Slow–Fast–Slow–Fast, where the first pair are more formal (dignified) in character and the second pair more informal (expressive). Dance movements, an inheritance from the chamber sonata tradition, occur more frequently in the second pair.
The Albinoni series is a new project by Federico Guglielmo and his L’Arte dell’Arco, after their triumphant Vivaldi project of the complete instrumental music Opp. 1-12, the first complete recording on period instruments. The press has been unanimous in its praise: “a definitive recording, bravo!” (Diapason), “infectious joy, improvisatory flair and instinct, this is music making minted in the moment” (BBC 3), “They know the secret language of Vivaldi.” (Diapason).