Notes and Editorial Reviews
A sonically intriguing presentation of some music whose composers have remained obscure. The Giuliani involved is not Marco Giuliani, but Giovanni Francesco Giuliani, a Florentine composer, violinist, and conductor with a large and today sparsely performed output. His quartets for mandolin, violin, cello or viola, and lute are two-movement works with long (10-minute), rather diffuse opening movements capped by a shorter rondo or variation set. The mandolin has solo passages but largely fills an accompanimental role. Johann Hoffmann was a Viennese mandolinist whose music was doubtless composed for his own use. He was one of a number of Viennese around 1800 (including Beethoven) who wrote for the mandolin, which apparently achieved a small
resurgence in popularity at the time. The two divertimenti recorded here would have been quite old-fashioned in style; with their combination of a pair of melody instruments and an indeterminate "basso," they hark back to the early divertimenti of Haydn. Their most interesting feature is the variety of the mandolin part and the liveliness with which it answers the violin; the virtuosity level is enough to pleasantly challenge the skills of mandolinist Marco Luca Capucci of the Ensemble Baschenis. The best news of all lies in the cooperation of the musicians and the sound engineers; the Hoffmann pieces are accompanied by a little continuo group consisting of the lower strings combined with the unusual (for 1800) choice of a theorbo. This may not make a lot of historical sense, but it creates an eerily beautiful sound that's displayed in full color by the engineers, working in a Milan studio. This is a release that really uses the music involved as a starting point for creativity in the medium of audiophile-quality recording; as such it's quite successful.
– James Manheim, All Music Guide, reviewing the
first volume of these works
Works on This Recording
Divertimento No. 3 for mandolin, violin & bass by Johann Hoffmann
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs.
Divertimento No. 4 for mandolin, violin & bass by Johann Hoffmann
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs.
Quartet for mandolin, violin, cello (or viola) & lute No. 2 by Giovanni Francesco Giulia
Length: 14 Minutes 17 Secs.
Quartet for mandolin, violin, cello (or viola) & lute No. 4 by Giovanni Francesco Giulia
Length: 10 Minutes 10 Secs.
Quartet for mandolin, violin, cello (or viola) & lute No. 6 by Giovanni Francesco Giulia
Length: 7 Minutes 55 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A necessary companion July 17, 2012
By Anthony G. (valley stream, NY) See All My Reviews
"A necessary companion to Volume 1, this music is sweet and luscious and is played with love and vivacity. "