Complete Concertos for Strings[CD]
~ GALUPPI / ENSEMBLE STIL MODERNO
No score survives for the seven 'Concerti a quattro' recorded here: they are preserved only in a set of manuscript parts in Modena's BibliotecaEstense. They may not have belonged together as a set, given their diversity of style, but together they present a most attractive compilation of a personal voice at a turning point in musical history around the beginning of the 18th centur. Galuppi took the best of both worlds: the solid counterpoint of his teachers (Lotti and Marcello) and the vivid innovations of the younger generation such as Vincenzo Manfredini, presently made famous by Cecilia Bartoli'sBarock adventures into hitherto unknown vocal repertoire, but also long famous as one of the founding fathers of the string quartet. Nonetheless, we can be sure that Galuppi did not intend to write for string quartet: the basso part is still a continuo part, because a few numbers are still present in figured bass; here and there are also written notes such as 'violoncello solo'. In some of them the style is simple, with the typical structure of the opera symphony (a French-style overture followed by a dance movement). Elsewhere, Galuppi conceives larger forms: both the C minor and G minor works open with highly affecting, chromatically inflected slow introductions full of aching suspensions. In this recording, the continuo part is provided by a chamber organ. Founded in 2005 and this year celebrating it's tenth anniversary, Ensemble StilModerno's discography includes the Sinfonie Op.5 by Giovanni Battista Bassani (BC94259), a disc of which MusicWeb International's reviewer remarked: "Ensemble StilModerno is thoroughly at home in the idiom. The instrumental interplay is perfectly judged though their performance is clearly thoroughly informed by a knowledge of baroque practice. They choose to play on modern instruments. Only those who care more about authenticity than about music will be troubled by their choice. Anyone who loves the instrumental music of this period is urged to hear this.
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