The Veracini who wrote these playful and virtuosic trio sonatas is not Francesco Maria but his uncle, Antonio. The nephew’s work is relatively well-known, including an Op.1 set of twelve sonatas which has already received a recording on Brilliant Classics (BC93809) by Enrico Casazza and La Magnifica Comunita. Antonio was also born and raised a Florentine, taught by his father and in time director of the school of music which Veracini pere had founded. This duty was the likely obstacle to his forging an international career, despite promising and well-received visits to Rome and Vienna.
The three sets of trio sonatas published as Antonio Veracini’s Opp. 1-3 have been excerpted by El Arte Mvsico on this album. Op.1 (1692) is a collection of sonate da chiesa in the style of Corelli, whereas the works of Op.2, dating from two years later, are composed in the newly fashionable style of sonata da camera, in which the first movement is a free prelude that calls for interpretation to recreate the vibrant flourishes of Corelli's style. There is much technically challenging moto perpetuo writing in this collection, such as the Veloce of Sonata No.8, and notably French-inflected movements, such as the delicate Largo affettuoso of Sonata No.1.
Op.2 would go on to serve as a reference for composers including Francesco Maria Veracini, Giuseppe Tartini and Pietro Locatelli. Dating from 1696, the Op.3 collection returns to the sonata da chiesa form, but experiments with more unusual keys and more florid expression. The fast movements are complex and masterful, and the slow movements offer us some of the most beautiful, exquisite and refined melodies of the era, such as the third movements of Sonatas No.7 and No.8.
El Arte Mvsico (Musico) is a Madrid-based ensemble comprising four musicians who specialise in Baroque music: violinists Angel Sampedro and Teresa Casanova violin, cellist Isabel Gómez-Serranillos and keyboard-player Diego Fernández. Founded in 2003, their previous recordings include trio sonatas by Caldara and Erlebach.
Antonio Veracini (1659-1745), skilled violinist, was one of the most prominent composers of his generation, alongside Arcangelo Corelli and Giuseppe Torelli. He was a notably distinguished figure in the musical culture of Florence at the end of the XVII century, playing in the opulent festivities of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany Court. He was educated by his father, Francesco di Niccolò Veracini a noted violist.
This new recording presents the three published collections of Sonatas: the Opus 1 and 3, which contain Sonatas in the Sonata da Chiesa style, multi-movement sonatas with alternating slow and fast movements, written for 1 or 2 violins, cello and basso continuo, and the Opus 2, sonatas for violin solo: music of great richness and complexity, and in the slow movements of exquisite and refined beauty.
Excellent performances by the Spanish early music group El Arte Mvsico, specialising in the historically informed performance of 17th and 18th century music for string instruments.
Extensive liner notes written by a musicologist are included in the booklet.