Geminiani was a pupil of Corelli, and like his teacher he limited his musical output to a small collection of orchestral and chamber works. In this set of six sonatas for cello and continuo, Geminiani follows the Corellian model in the number (four) and order (slow–fast–slow–fast) of movements—except for the last, which is inRead more three movements. Geminiani’s writing for the solo instrument shows an advance on Corelli in the brilliant figuration in the fast movements. Slow movements can sometimes be a bit perfunctory, lasting less than a minute, though this is not always the case. Geminiani apparently enjoyed working with the sonorities created by two cellos, and in his contrapuntal movements sometimes allows the solo and continuo cellos to cross lines.
Jaap ter Linden, performing on a cello made by Giovanni Grancino in 1703, shows why he has achieved prominence as a solo performer of Baroque music. He handles Geminiani’s elaborate music with ease. His smooth and rounded tone serves the music well. The continuo players provide able accompaniment. The performers are recorded in close perspective in excellent sound.
I am not familiar with any of the competing recordings of this music, but I cannot imagine that anyone looking for an excellent recording of these works would be disappointed with this disc. Brilliant’s low price merely adds to the attraction. Although I would not consider this music to be an essential purchase, it makes for a pleasant listening experience.