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Albinoni: Complete Oboe And Two Oboes Concerti / Parravicini


Release Date: 05/31/2005 
Label:  Bongiovanni   Catalog #: 5064/5   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni
Performer:  Alessandro BacciniFrancesco Di Rosa
Conductor:  Riccardo Parravicini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Offerta Musicale
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews





Tomaso Albinoni (1671?1751) the self-styled ?dilettante Veneto???so called because his family?s wealth shielded him from the necessity of composing for money??was both prolific and successful, writing a respectable number of sacred compositions, numerous chamber works, some 50 works for orchestra (mostly concertos), and a like number for the stage that were produced not only in Venice, but throughout Europe as well. Ironically, his theatrical success may have allowed him to weather hard times when he exhausted his inheritance.


Most of Albinoni?s operas are lost, but he is generally accorded the distinction of having invented the Read more oboe concerto by liberating the oboe from its doubling function and giving it?not the violin?the principal role. In Albinoni?s concertos the oboe is the first among equals. His Venetian contemporaries, Alessandro Marcello and Antonio Vivaldi, took Albinoni?s concept to the next level, creating virtuoso parts for the newly emancipated soloists, but Albinoni?s oboe lines are primarily lyrical, as one might expect from a composer whose specialty was vocal music.


Albinoni?s oboe concertos were included in two sets of 12 concertos, ops. 7 (1716) and 9 (1722), each of which is systematically organized into four groups of three concertos??one for strings alone, one with (not ?for?) solo oboe, and one with a pair of solo oboes. All of the concertos are in three movements??fast-slow-fast??and all but one, op. 9/2??are in major keys. Then, as now, Albinoni?s slow movements were greatly admired and imitated.


In making this recording, Alessandro Baccini has uncovered another oboe concerto by Albinoni in a miscellaneous collection published by Walsh & Hare of London in 1728. Straying from the ops. 7 and 9 formulas, this so-called Harmonia mundi Concerto No. 4 has a slow-fast-slow-fast structure and a solo part that is somewhat more animated, perhaps a nod in the direction of Vivaldi. Bongiovanni?s is apparently the first recording of this work.


Appropriately, Baccini?s approach to the concertos is essentially lyrical, and his playing (on a modern instrument) has an appealing sweetness. Di Rosa and the chamber orchestra L?Offerta Musicale provide apt support. (Interestingly, conductor Parravicini is not acknowledged on the front cover.) For anyone interested in the music of Albinoni or the origins of the oboe concerto, this release can be immensely rewarding. Bongiovanni?s recording is excellent, and the notes by Chiara Staibano and Baccini are most informative.


Albinoni?s solo concertos are staples of the oboe repertoire, and single works grace most Baroque oboe recital discs. The double concertos, understandably, are less frequently (but by no means rarely) recorded. Three other traversals of the 16 oboe and two-oboe concertos have their own special attractions. The complete op. 7 and op. 9 were recorded (separately) on Philips LPs by I Musici with Heinz Holliger (a mentor of Baccini) and Maurice Bourgue. Both sets, subsequently transferred to CDs, may be difficult to find but will reward your diligence if you do so. Anthony Robson, playing a Baroque oboe, recorded the solo concertos on one Chandos CD and the duo-concertos (with Catherine Latham) on another. I haven?t heard the latter, but I characterized the former as ?an unqualified delight? in Fanfare 19:1. Anthony Camden (with Julia Girdwood and Alison Alty) recorded all 16 concertos on three Naxos discs along with two strings-only concertos and a sinfonia arranged by Camden for two oboes and strings. Camden?s eminently listenable discs have the obvious advantage of Naxos?s lower price but haven?t the sparkle of either Holliger or Robson (and the third disc reduces its cost advantage). That said, you will have no regrets if you opt for the current release.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerti (12) à 5, Op. 7 by Tomaso Albinoni
Performer:  Alessandro Baccini (Oboe), Francesco Di Rosa (Oboe)
Conductor:  Riccardo Parravicini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Offerta Musicale
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715; Venice, Italy 
2.
Concerti (12) à 5, Op. 9: Excerpt(s) by Tomaso Albinoni
Performer:  Alessandro Baccini (Oboe), Francesco Di Rosa (Oboe)
Conductor:  Riccardo Parravicini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Offerta Musicale
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Venice, Italy 

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