Music with a well-refined intelligence from a forgotten Baroque master.
Now here is a name that will almost certainly be new to every collector of baroque music on CD. Lorenzo Zavateri was a Bolognese composer and one-time pupil of Giuseppe Torelli. Zavateri became elected a member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica in 1717 and joined the almost equally esteemed orchestra of San Petronio in Bologna during the mid 1720s. Little of his music was published, but among that which was is his set of 12 Concerti da chiesa e da camera, Op. 1. The set was issued in 1735 and was praised by the celebrated Padre Martini for “a well-refined intelligence”.
There is less differentiation here between ‘church’ andRead more ‘chamber’ styles than occurs in Corelli’s Op. 6, for instance, though several of Zavateri’s concertos contain illustrative or quasi-illustrative titles. Concertos Nos. 7 and 9, for example, are termed “Teatrale” – his almost exact contemporary, Locatelli, published six Introduttioni Teatrali in the same year, which are, like Zavateri’s pieces, concerti grossi in the three-movement form of the Italian opera sinfonia – while the tenth Concerto is “a Pastorale” and the twelfth “a Tempesta di mare”; the first work is perhaps rather unnecessarily subtitled “Introducione”, though via the heading Zavateri declares a cohesive purpose.
Dedicated to his pupil and patron, Count Cornelio Pepoli Musotti, the 12 concertos contain enough individual gestures and a sufficient diversity of ideas to hold our attention without difficulty. But perhaps it is those readers with a taste for stylistic pluralism, whose ears savour that Janus-like stance characteristic of vocabulary which draws upon the obsolescent and the new, who will derive the most constant pleasure from the music. There is little in the way of set formulae.
Four of the works are ripieno concertos while two others, as I have mentioned, are opera sinfonias in character and layout. The remaining six occupy a middle ground between concerto grosso and solo violin concerto – one of them, No. 10, is for two violins – and it is these which, on balance, make a deeper impression. There is frequently a contrapuntal interest in Zavateri’s concertos, sometimes an element of dazzling, if short-winded virtuosity, and at other times an affecting expressive intimacy. Like so many Italian composers of his generation and earlier, Zavateri embraces a tradition of including a 12/8 “Pastorale” movement within the set. Perhaps the tradition began with his teacher Torelli who included such a movement among the concertos of his Op. 8 (1709). Yet though not at that time published, it may have been Corelli’s well-known Christmas Concerto (Op. 6 No. 8) which set the trend. Zavateri’s “Pastorale” is an altogether more galant affair than those of his fellow Italians, airier in character, with trio episodes for two solo violins and continuo, and containing some striking key shifts. Of a completely different character is the splendidly vibrant Tempesta di mare which concludes the set. There are some telling contrasts here with rhythmically undulating passages juxtaposed with thrashing waves depicted chordally. Following a lyrical binary Adagio – the boat in calm waters – the tempest is unleashed with only modest ferocity.
Almost all is played with imagination and finesse by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under their leader and solo violinist Gottfried von der Goltz. A fascinating release and one to which I am eager to return.
-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [8/1996] Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerti da chiesa e da camera (12), Op. 1by Lorenzo Gaetano Zavateri Performer:
Gottfried Von der Goltz (Violin)
Gottfried Von der Goltz
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque Written: by 1735; Italy