Notes and Editorial Reviews
Among this cornucopia of treasures, listeners will find their own favorites, but no one will be able to resist the lyrical, deeply expressive melodies of the slow movements or the lilting rhythms of the dances... The performances are beyond praise.
Charles Avison’s twelve concerti grossi after Scarlatti are more than mere transcriptions. By his own account, Avison took great liberties with the originals, convinced, despite his admiration for them, that they could be “improved by the removal of certain elements” and that “forming them into parts” would better reveal “their natural beauty.” Thus one cannot discern where Scarlatti leaves off and Avison begins. Scarlatti’s music is utterly beautiful, and Avison’s version
brings out its qualities to best advantage. To create the customary concerto format, Avison used four alternately slow and fast sonatas. He assembled them so skillfully that each concerto becomes a coherent whole. His transcriptions are remarkably idiomatic to the instruments. Among this cornucopia of treasures, listeners will find their own favorites, but no one will be able to resist the lyrical, deeply expressive melodies of the slow movements or the lilting rhythms of the dances.
The performances are beyond praise. The players use period instruments (listed along with their names) and semi-period style, with very little vibrato but a full, warm tone. The intonation is impeccable, the pacing perfect; the balance is exemplary with a strong, solid bass. The players create variety through articulation and dynamics, and are sensitive to every mood change and expressive nuance. Beznosiuk is a virtuoso violinist but acts as first among equals, stepping forward and melting back into the ensemble seamlessly; when there are two soloists, they sound indistinguishable.
-- Edith Eisler, Listen [March/April 2009]
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Concerto for Strings no 1 (after Domenico Scarlatti): I. Adagio
Concerto for Strings no 4 (after Domenico Scarlatti): IV. Vivace
Concerto for Strings no 6 (after Domenico Scarlatti): II. Con furia
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