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Pugnani: Trios And Sonatas For 2 Violins / Ensemble L'astree


Release Date: 10/11/2005 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33677   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 21 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PUGNANI Violin Sonatas: in A, op. 5/2 ; in C. op. 5/3. Trios: in C, op. 1/6; in G, op. 1/1. Sonatas for 2 Violins: in G, op. 4/3; in A, op. 4/1 ? L?Astrée (period instruments) ? STRADIVARIUS STR 33677 (81:17) Read more


Gaetano Pugnani?s reputation has survived primarily as the student of Giovanni Battista Somis (himself a pupil of Arcangelo Corelli) who transmitted the Master?s heritage to grateful ensuing generations through his tutelage of Giovanni Battista Viotti?who in turn adapted the technique (and equipment) of the violin to the coming generation and championed the violins of Antonio Stradivari. William S. Newman considered Pugnani in his study of the Classic era rather than among Baroque composers and noted that the works? generally homophonic textures rendered the continuo, which Pugnani continued to use, almost irrelevant. He suggests that the music?s swirling figuration, illuminated with flinty sparkle rather than extravagant harmonic explorations or any special ingenuity, sustains the listener?s interest. He also identifies incipient sonata form in various movements, both slow and fast; in this formal experimentation Pugnani may have been influenced by his teacher, Somis, some of whose binary form movements, at least in his Sonatas, op. 4, conclude with a rudimentary recapitulation. Both his sonatas and his trios usually fall (as did the works of his teacher) into the new pattern of three movements, although the first trio in the collection, op. 1/6, adds a rollicking fourth movement, Caccia. L?Astrée (violinists Francesco D?Orazio and Alessandro Tampieri, cellist Alessandro Palmeri, and harpsichordist Giorgio Tabacco) spice these zesty works with all the tang that crisp articulation, bright period timbres, sensitive explorations of the timbres implied by the harmonies, and infectious rhythmic verve can create. And although none of the movements actually bears a designation like Affetuoso , L?Astrée frequently endows phrases, sometimes quite unexpectedly, with a melting sweetness?and sometimes, as in the Grazioso of the Trio, op. 1/1, with a sweet and sour sort of yearning at the crossroads of melodic and harmonic byways. The ensemble?s ability to derive full and sonorous textures from the unaccompanied duos in the sonatas of op. 4 convincingly illustrates Newman?s remark about the general irrelevance of the figured bass (in weaning themselves from the older textural organizing principle, Pugnani?s sonatas resemble those of Tartini, with whom, however, Newman doubts that Pugnani had ever studied, despite frequent suggestions to the contrary).


L?Astrée?s engineers have enhanced the ensemble?s gregarious chattering with clear yet amply reverberant recorded sound. Newman considers these works to have reached a high-water mark in the elegance of their phrases, but their occasional poignant harmonic diversions and their rushing ornament-like figuration also impart a sense of convincingly self-possessed coherence. Recommended?and not least of all for a resplendent 81-minute length?with equal urgency to teachers and students in search of repertoire, to aficionados of the period, and to general listeners simply addicted to Vivaldi-like energy, purposefulness, textural clarity, and timbral sensitivity.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Op. 1: no 1 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1754 
2.
Trio Sonatas (6) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Op. 1: no 6 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1754 
3.
Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 4: no 1 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1770 
4.
Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 4: no 3 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1770 
5.
Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 5: no 2 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1776 
6.
Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 5: no 3 by Gaetano Pugnani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1776 

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