Notes and Editorial Reviews
A seminal moment in the birth of the cello as a solo instrument: historically informed performances of lively and athletic Baroque trio sonatas. The series of Brilliant Classics recordings by L’Arte dell’Arco has garnered much admiring press over the years. Their discography has focused on the music of Vivaldi, usefully compiled last year into a 20-release set, which was welcomed in Gramophone for ‘superb interpretations’ and the ‘scholarly rigour’ of the scholarship which underpinned the new editions used by the ensemble. With the music of Salvatore Lanzetti, the ensemble has turned its attention to rather more out-of-the-way pleasures. This is the most complete set yet assembled of his surviving works: born in Naples in 1710 he was known as the prince of the cello of his day, a celebrated soloist once he undertook extensive northern-European tours. By the second half of the 1730s he was in Paris and then London, where he seems to have lived until at least 1754. He had great success there and, according to the writer Charles Burney, helped to establish a taste for the cello. His technical innovations included the extensive use of thumb position as well as intricate fingering systems, doubtless developed in harness with his own elaborate music that was clearly designed to display his virtuosity to the full. Four collections of sonatas are assembled here, in which Francesco Galligioni is joined by a variety of colleagues from L’Arte dell’Arco: not only on harpsichord and chamber organ as one would expect, but also a second cello, a violone and an archlute, according to context. The result is satisfyingly varied in timbre, and the album is further enriched by Galligioni’s own reflections on interpreting this little-known repertoire as well as a scholarly introduction to the life and music of Lanzetti.