Asioli: Cello Sonata, Piano Sonatas

Asioli: Cello Sonata, Piano Sonatas
Composer Bonifazio Asioli
Artist Francesco Galligioni cello
Jolanda Violante piano
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95908
EAN code 5028421959085
Release December 2021

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About this release

Bonifazio Asioli 1769–1832 is perhaps best known for being appointed the first director of the Milan Conservatory by Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, but Asioli augmented his teaching role with composition, writing a series of instrumental and vocal pieces and educational works.

Prior to taking up his post in Milan the young composer worked in Piedmont and Veneto as a private music teacher to the aristocracy, and in their salons he met various foreigners on tours of Italy and was exposed to musical tastes from the rest of Europe.

His early musical output reveals a composer attentive and receptive to the sophisticated international musical production he encountered in cosmopolitan centres such as Venice. His work draws notably on C.P.E. Bach’s Empfindsamer stil, which Asioli employed expertly to express the refined and shifting aesthetics of the Mediterranean.

The Cello Sonata dates from 1786, during that pre-Milan period when Asioli divided his time between Venice and Turin. The Piano Sonatas Op.8 were published in London by Robert Birchall in the final years of the 18th century at the behest of the tenor Chevalier La Cainea, who was well known for his performance of one of Asioli’s several successful vocal works, the opera Pigmalione (1796).

Born in Correggio, Italy Bonifazio Asioli (1769-1832) was a child prodigy, having commenced to study music when five years of age and composing several masses and a piano concerto by the age of eight. By the time he was eighteen, he had composed five masses, twenty-four other works for church and theatre, and many instrumental pieces. He was the first director of the Milan Conservatory (1807-1814), a position conferred on him by Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy with Milan as its capital.
During the course of the 18th century the cello, from being a stringed instrument used mostly in the basso continuo group, began not only to take on increasingly significant roles in orchestras and chamber ensembles, but also as a soloist, as can be seen in the contemporary compositions of Leonardo Leo, Antonio Vivaldi, Luigi Boccherini and, certainly not least, Carl Philip Emanuel Bach. This new recording presents the Cello Sonata by Asioli, dating from the same period, a substantial work of nearly 30 minutes, written in the Classical Style but with hints of romantic expressions of strong emotions.
As companion to the cello sonata this disc contains two piano sonatas, published in 1790 in London, written in the classical style and brilliant instrumental fashion.
Excellent performances by Francesco Galligioni, cello and Jolanda Violante, fortepiano.
Galligioni successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics works by Vivaldi, Lanzetti, Dell’Abaco and others. Jolanda Violante recorded the Haydn piano concertos for Brilliant Classics.

Other information:
Recorded in October of 2020 in Vicenza, Italy
Bilingual booklet in English and Italian contains notes on the composer and the works by Italian musicologist Licia Sirch
Francesco Galligioni plays a late-17th-century Cremonese cello
Jolanda Violante plays a Paul McNulty fortepiano after WALTER & SOHN c.1805

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Bonifazio Asioli: Cello Sonata in C Major: I. Allegro molto
  2. Bonifazio Asioli: Cello Sonata in C Major: II. Adagio
  3. Bonifazio Asioli: Cello Sonata in C Major: III. Allegro, valtz-trio
  4. Bonifazio Asioli: Cello Sonata in C Major: IV. Allegro finale
  5. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 8: I. Allegro brillante
  6. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 8: II. Adagio
  7. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 8: III. Andante con variazioni
  8. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 3 in E Major, Op. 8: I. Allegro
  9. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 3 in E Major, Op. 8: II. Andante più tosto allegretto
  10. Bonifazio Asioli: Piano Sonata No. 3 in E Major, Op. 8: III. Prestissimo