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Brescianello: Concerti, Sinfonie, Ouverture / Plantier, Luks, La Cetra Basel

Brescianello / Cetra Barockorch Basel / Plantier
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Glossa   Catalog #: 922506  
Composer:  Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Performer:  Katharina ArfkenDavid PlantierEckhard Lenzing
Conductor:  David PlantierVáclav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Number of Discs: 1 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Born in Bologna around 1690, Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello is today a forgotten figure, recalled if at all only as a predecessor of Niccolò Jommelli as Kapellmeister to one of Europe’s most glittering musical centers, the Württemberg court of Carl Eugen at Stuttgart. Prior to his arrival in Munich from Venice as a violinist in 1715, nothing is known of Brescianello. The following year he moved on to Stuttgart, where he entered the service of Carl Eugen’s grandfather, Duke Eberhard Ludwig, as director and maitre des concerts de la chambre, subsequently entering into a period of bitter dispute with his rival Reinhard Keiser, who unsuccessfully attempted to gain Brescianello’s position. During the 1730s, the precarious state of the Read more duchy’s finances resulted in the court orchestra being disbanded, but on the notoriously profligate Carl Eugen taking over the regency in 1744, he immediately reestablished the orchestra with Brescianello reinstated as Kapellmeister, at the same time setting Württemberg on its course toward becoming one of the leading artistic courts in Europe. Brescianello remained in his post until he retired in 1751, living his remaining years in Stuttgart before his death there on October 4, 1758.

Although his extant list of works includes one early dramatic work (the pastorale La Tisbe, of 1717–1718), Brescianello appears to have played no part in the dramatic rise of opera in Stuttgart, at least as a composer. Instead he concentrated on orchestral works and chamber music, the modest work list in The New Grove including a set of 12 concerti et sinphonie published as op. 1 in Amsterdam in 1738, and some 15 other miscellaneous concertos and sinfonias. The selection on the present disc, the first to be devoted to the composer, includes three of the op. 1 pieces (the numbered works in the heading) and several unpublished works. It makes for a rewarding and diverse program that well illustrates a mastery of forms ranging from the old-fashioned chaconne to the forward-looking Italian sinfonia, with its brilliant orchestral writing, periodic phrasing, and rudimentary hints of thematic development. Of the three concertos, that for violin in F Minor is obviously modeled on the Vivaldian ritornello type, but both the others sound like later works, the Concerto in D for violin and bassoon in particular making greater use of extended and contrasting thematic material more closely integrated with the solo passages. The rhapsodic dialogue between violin and bassoon in the central Adagio of this concerto is a compelling example of Brescianello’s lyric gifts. No less notable is the composer’s assimilation of the French style in the G-Minor Ouverture, a suite of eight movements including an inventive fugal allegro in the opening movement, a beguiling Siciliana (v), and a broad, rather Handelian Aria (vi).

All these fine works are played with verve, sensitivity, and no small degree of wit (listen to the Rigaudon from the Ouverture), although some may find David Plantier’s solo violin tone less than totally ingratiating. The music certainly well illustrates why Brescianello was held in such high regard in Stuttgart, and will prove a rewarding discovery for anyone interested in the fascinating transitional period between the high Baroque and Classical periods.

Brian Robins, FANFARE Reviewing original release (2004)
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerti et sinphonie, Op. 1: Sinfonie no 1 in D major by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738; Stuttgart, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Violin and Oboe in G minor by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Performer:  Katharina Arfken (Oboe), David Plantier (Violin)
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
3.
Concerto for Oboe, Bassoon and Basso Continuo in B major by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Performer:  David Plantier (Violin), Eckhard Lenzing (Bassoon)
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
4.
Concerti et sinphonie, Op. 1: Concerto for Violin no 4 in E minor by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Performer:  David Plantier (Violin)
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738; Stuttgart, Germany 
5.
Concerti et sinphonie, Op. 1: Sinfonie no 5 in F major by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738; Stuttgart, Germany 
6.
Overture in G minor by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
7.
Chaconne for Strings in A major by Giuseppe A. Brescianello
Conductor:  David Plantier,  Václav Luks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 

Featured Sound Samples

Concerti et sinphonie, op 1: Sinfonie no 5 in F: I. Allegro
Overture in G minor: Rigaudon
Concerti et sinphonie, op 1: Sinfonie no 1 in D: I. Allegro

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