Two Albinoni sonatas recently discovered by Professor Michael Talbot and the only two extant cello sonatas written by who was the concertmaster of San Marco in Venice are just some of the works that have been recorded for the first time on our latest album. This is a unique recording that brings us to Venice at the beginning of the 18th century. If you think that in those years Venice is just Vivaldi, this album will surprise you.
In 1709, the French François Raguenet wrote about the best violinists in Italy: “in Rome: Corelli and Montanari, in Venice: Giorgetto and Albinoni…”. He was referring to Giorgio Gentili and Tomaso Albinoni. However, the young Vivaldi, who by then was already Maestro di Violino in La Pietà and who would publish his second opus of violin sonatas that year, is not one of the best violinists for our French narrator. Our recording unearths the music of some of the greatest Venetian masters who at the dawn of the 18th century forged the style of the new century, and who are today overshadowed by the great Prete Rosso. This is wonderfully explained by Michael Talbot in the notes that he himself has kindly prepared for our CD:
The centrality of the unusually versatile figure of Vivaldi – who began to move out of the category of ‘Interesting Historical Figure’ into the Pantheon of great composers only about a hundred years ago – to the musical culture of Venice in the first half of the eighteenth century is undisputed. Yet it would be a mistake to regard the many gifted musicians contemporary with him born or active within that city as merely ‘within Vivaldi’s orbit’. Venetian cultural life encouraged plurality, not least because the state and its metropolis were not a dynastic autocracy with a single courtly hub but a republic in which political power and cultural orientation were widely dispersed. This encouraged a climate of innovation and experimentation, which were nourished by Venice’s exceptionally wide international connections through commerce and – the term is not anachronistic – tourism
Prof. Michael Talbot (L´Altra Venezia, notes)
Diogenio Bigaglia. “Dresden” Sonata No. 2 in C major, Venezia, ca. 1716
Antonio Caldara. Sonata for violin and continuo in F major, E.M. 28
Tomaso Albinoni. Sonata for violin and continuo in B flat major, E.M. 65l, ca. 1710
Giorgio Gentili. Sonata for violoncello and continuo in A major, CORRER Busta 128.108
Giorgio Gentili. Capricci da camera a violino e violoncello o cimbalo, Op. 3, Venezia 1707 Capriccio Undezimo [in B minor]
Giorgio Gentili. Sonata for violoncello and continuo in G major, CORRER Busta 128.109
Tomaso Albinoni. Sonata for violin and continuo in G minor, E.M. 65f, ca. 1700
Giovanni Battista Reali. Sonate da camera a violino e basso, Op. 2, Venezia, 1712. Sonata Settima [in B flat major]
The recordings on this CD were made with a proprietary microphone technique, called ECA, that was developed by our sound engineer in order to achieve maximum sound fidelity, with very good positioning of the instruments in the virtual space that is being created between your speakers. The mixing and mastering process has been performed with an almost fully analog equipment chain in order to maintain the complex tonal character of the sound of gut strings and the harpsichord. This results in a musical vividness and three-dimensional sound that is rarely heard in acoustic music recordings.