Notes and Editorial Reviews
Unico Wilhelm, Graf van Wassenaer (1692-1766) was a Dutch nobleman, diplomat and amateur musician whose name is not to be found in Grove; nor did it grace the publication of his Concerti Armonici (1740) by Carlo Ricciotti, an Italian violinist—who dedicated it to another Dutch nobleman and who was wrongly named as the composer when Walsh republished the works in 1755. A nineteenth-century manuscript copy by a Polish composer, Francois Lessel, attributed them to Pergolesi and this led to their inclusion in Pergolesi's Opera Omnia—from which Stravinsky imported several themes 'by Pergolesi' for his ballet Pulcinella. Though this attribution has long been doubted it was only in 1979 that a manuscript was discovered, in an unknown hand but with
an introduction in Wassenaer's own, which places his authorship of the Concerti Armonici beyond doubt.
Such is their marvellous quality, not least their harmonic richness, that it is impossible to believe that they could have been his only works, and to wonder what happened to the rest—maybe lurking amongst the spurious or doubtful ones by others. All are in four-movement da chiesa form and reflect Wassenaer's wide knowledge of the music of his time, with his taste for Italian composers well to the fore—and even with the occasional hint of Bach! The Brandenburg Consort use Walsh's edition and adhere to the original complement of strings (188.8.131.52) with an enhancing variety of continua instruments. Their finely shaped and affectionate performances, beautifully recorded, are a major addition to the recorded repertory of the period.
-- Gramophone [4/1994]
reviewing the original release of this title
Works on This Recording
Concerti armonici (6) by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Written: by 1740; Netherlands
Notes: This work was formerly attributed to Pergolesi.
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