With their music director Federico Guglielmo, L’Arte dell’Arco have travelled through the highways and byways of the Baroque era on Brilliant Classics. They have chalked up recordings of his complete Op.1-12, now reissued together as a 20CD boxset (BC95200), but also taken in works by Haydn and C.P.E Bach, as well as lesser-known works by ‘The Red Priest’. Rhythmic vigour, smooth cantabile phrasing and an alert sense of the rapidly changing moods of the Italian Baroque: these are the hallmarks of their performing style.
For their latest album L’Arte dell’Arco turn to another noted musical son of La Serenissma, Tomaso Albinoni. The twelve trio sonatas published as Op.1 were published in Venice in 1694, when Albinoni was 23 years old, self-described as ‘an amateur Venetian violinist’. In the same year his first opera was staged, and the two works proved to be the springboard for a long and successful career, not lived in Vivaldi’s shadow but pursued across Italy and later around Europe.
The esteem in which his instrumental music was held, even at the time, may be gauged from the fact that no less than Johann Sebastian Bach borrowed certain themes from Op.1 as subjects for a number of his fugues (BWV 946, 950, 951, 951a), and made a realisation of the basso continuo part of the Second Concerto in Albinoni’s Op.2 set. The 12 sonatas of Op.1 all contain four, fairly brief movements, alternating slow and quick. They have been recorded but rarely and there are no other budget-priced new recordings available, making this set all the more attractive to any lovers of Baroque music.
The start of a new prestigious series on Brilliant Classics: the complete instrumental music by Albinoni!
Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751) 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. These Trio Sonatas Op. 1 are played by the Italian elite group L’Arte dell’Arco, led by violinist Federico Guglielmo, with an established reputation in this repertoire, having won several international prizes and rave reviews for their numerous CD’s, notably their Vivaldi cycle for Brilliant Classics.