Notes and Editorial Reviews
When Georg Muffat was studying in Rome, his teacher Bernardo Pasquini introduced him to his colleague and collaborator Arcangelo Corelli. One evening after hearing a performance of Corelli's Op. 6 Concerti Grossi at the composer's home, Muffat was inspired to try his hand at the form, and this set of five chamber sonatas titled Armonico tributo was the result. Like Corelli's concertos, Muffat's efforts are consistently well crafted, harmonically rich, and as pre-Bach Baroque fare goes, exceptionally satisfying. Unlike Corelli however, who was more versatile and diverse with international stylistic elements, Muffat intentionally rooted Armonico tributo in the aesthetics of another one of his former teachers--Jean Baptiste Lully. Tinged with
an effective, knowing sense of the potential of northern-school sonority, these works feature a slow to moderately paced elegance and refinement, showing little of the vibrant, more extravagant virtuosic runs Corelli scored in his model.
The Finnish ensemble Opus X delivers spirited, very well played performances. Since Muffat encouraged groups of three or more members to have a go at these sonatas, recordings of Armonico tributo have varied considerably, with instrumentation and interpretation more a question of taste than correctness per se. As a nonet, Opus X is certainly one of the larger ensembles to record the work, and many listeners will enjoy its grand conception. Likewise, the very different, more crisply articulated performance by the septet Ars Antiqua Austria on Symphonia (type Q3795 in review search) also should delight fans of this repertoire.
--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Armonico tributo by Georg Muffat
Written: by 1682; Germany
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