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Geminiani: Sonatas Vol 1 / Mosca, Pianca, Paronuzzi


Release Date: 05/08/2012 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33853   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Giorgio ParonuzziAntonio MoscaLiana MoscaLuca Pianca
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



GEMINIANI Violin sonatas, op. 4/1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 12 Liana Mosca (vn); Antonio Mosca (vc); Luca Pianca (archlute); Giorgio Paronuzzi (hpd) (period instruments) STRADIVARIUS 33853 (67:41)


William S. Newman, in his massive study of the Baroque sonata, listed Francesco Geminiani’s sonatas for violin and continuo (op. 1 from 1716 and op. 4 from two decades later) and for violin and cello (op. 5) and judged Geminiani’s knowledge of the violin to equal that of Giuseppe Tartini or Read more Pietro Locatelli (the latter of whom, like Geminiani, had been a pupil of Arcangelo Corelli, though a more technically adventurous one), but considered his style to be more conservative. Of the six sonatas presented by Liana Mosca, Antonio Mosca (her father), Luca Pianca, and Georgio Paronuzzi, all but two consist of four movements (the others numbering three); none of the movements’ titles give a hint of their dance-like elements or rondo forms. Almost all the sonatas have been cast in major keys. Geminiani would later rework six of the 12 sonatas of op. 4 (including No. 1 and No. 7 from Stradivarius’s collection) as concerti grossi. While Mosca remarks in a personal note in the booklet that Geminani’s sonatas from op. 4 haven’t received a great deal of attention, Rüdiger Lotter included the First, Eighth, Ninth, and 10th (two from Mosca’s selection) in a program released on Oehms 356 that also included several sonatas from Antonio Maria Veracini’s op. 1 ( Fanfare 29:1).


Geminiani revised the sonatas of his op. 1 at about the same time as he published op. 4 and included in the new edition of op. 1 the kinds of ornaments that make so striking an impression in Mosca’s performance of op. 4, as in the First Sonata’s Adagio (and also that of the Third Sonata). In that movement, she also displays a rhythmic and dynamic flexibility to create a capricious expressive sensibility that apparently suits not only the works themselves but Geminiani’s reputation as an expressive performer (among some: Tartini called him il furibondo , while John Hawkins thought he lacked the fire of the later violinists of his era). The sonata’s second movement isn’t fugal; it depends for its effect on the piquancy of its homophonic lines, of which Mosca gives a tangy account. The continuo provides an ingratiating strumming accompaniment in the Largo, a backdrop against which Mosca makes at times startling adjustments to the solo’s dynamic level; the finale includes surprises after dramatic pauses, and Mosca times them with the acute sensibility of a persuasive rhetorician. In general, she produces a twangy though by no means sharp-edged tone from her violin (and a perhaps surprisingly full one from its lower registers), described as a Venetian instrument from about 1750.


Mosca and the ensemble bring vivacious wit to the second movement of the Seventh Sonata and its jaunty subject (do these suggest the stolidity for which Geminiani has sometimes been condemned?) and spice to the ornamentation of the sonata’s third movement, Moderato. The Adagio of the Third Sonata showcases, as well as the encrustations of ornamentation mentioned earlier, the sudden gestures that make the sonatas sound inventive, at least from an expressive point of view (that sense of invention, continues, reaching almost to the level of improvisation, in the ensuing Allegro). The Sixth Sonata, again in D Major, at first seems almost somber compared to the three that precede it on the program, until Mosca dispels whatever gloom might have enshrouded it with her bright gaiety in the second movement; similarly, she shifts from the almost romantic sensibility of the sonata’s Andante to crisp Gallic sprightliness (Geminiani spent time in Paris) in the final movement, recalling a similar vein in the works of Jean-Marie Leclair (also a musical descendent of Corelli, this time through Giovanni Battista Somis). The two three-movement sonatas omit the slow movement; what they lose in affetuoso they gain in starchiness (although the last Allegro of the 10th Sonata includes a slow episode that almost replaces the missing movement). A multisectional fantasy serves as the first movement of the 12th Sonata’s three.


Lotter deploys a more astringent tone in his recording but he hardly stints on ornamental or expressive detail. Still, Mosca’s unaffected geniality, dramatic Luftpausen , and rhetorical sensibility breathe extra life into her performances.


With its clean recorded sound, its imaginative performances, and its ingratiating literature, Mosca’s selection of Geminiani’s sonatas might serve either as a favorable introduction to the works of the composer for those who aren’t familiar with him or an enjoyable reminder for those who know him that he brought more than Corelli’s teachings to London. Strongly recommended to all types of listeners.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 4: no 1 in D major by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord), Antonio Mosca (Cello), Liana Mosca (Violin),
Luca Pianca (Archlute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; England 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 12 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2.
Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 4: no 7 in A major by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Antonio Mosca (Cello), Luca Pianca (Archlute), Liana Mosca (Violin),
Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; England 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for violin & continuo No. 3 in C major, Op. 4/3 by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Antonio Mosca (Cello), Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord), Luca Pianca (Archlute),
Liana Mosca (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for violin & continuo No. 6 in D major, Op. 4/6 by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Luca Pianca (Archlute), Antonio Mosca (Cello), Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord),
Liana Mosca (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
5.
Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 4: no 10 in A major by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord), Antonio Mosca (Cello), Liana Mosca (Violin),
Luca Pianca (Archlute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; England 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 9 Minutes 37 Secs. 
6.
Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 4: no 12 in A major by Francesco Geminiani
Performer:  Giorgio Paronuzzi (Harpsichord), Antonio Mosca (Cello), Liana Mosca (Violin),
Luca Pianca (Archlute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; England 
Date of Recording: 06/2010-08/2010 
Venue:  Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo, Nomaglio, Torin 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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