Notes and Editorial Reviews
Although Alessandro Scarlatti was best known in his day for his prolific vocal oeuvre (more than 60 operas, 33 oratorios, and 700 cantatas, among hundreds of other miscellaneous settings), later in life he turned his attention to composing a few orchestral and chamber works. Among these were the six Concerti Grossi (posthumously printed in London in 1740) and three cello sonatas performed here by the Italian period-instrument ensemble Accademia Bizantina. The concertos are strikingly similar in style and temperament to the Op. 6 set by Scarlatti's friend Arcangelo Corelli, works that Scarlatti was known to have heard (and that the Accademia Bizantina has recorded as part of its complete Corelli cycle for Frequenz). Lovely pastoral sequences
are balanced with equally inspired, more upbeat movements, and listeners who treasure Corelli's achievement certainly will enjoy Scarlatti's.
These CD-premiere recordings of Scarlatti's equally well-crafted cello sonatas are also welcome. Cellist Mauro Valli is joined by Accademia Bizantina director/harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone, and together they deliver animated and engaging performances throughout, though their spirited renderings of the Allegros of the C minor and C major sonatas are especially ravishing.
Arts' sound is very good, though it admittedly lacks the definition and immediacy of the equally distinguished performances of the Concerti Grossi by the Ensemble Baroque de Nice (Pierre Verany). Alessandro Borin's notes offer analysis as well as many fascinating historical anecdotes. Recommended.
--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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