Notes and Editorial Reviews
Michala Petri (rcr); Lars Hannibal (lt) (period instruments)
OUR RECORDINGS 6220604 (SACD: 67:48)
Sonata in d,
Sonata in F,
Sonata in G,
Sonata in B?,
This disc presents some of the most beautiful and most intricate music of the Baroque era. Tomaso Vitali may or may not have composed the Chaconne in G Minor that was credited to him in the 19th century by violinist Ferdinand David. Nonetheless, the work has been very popular with violinists. Jascha Heifetz played it in his first New York recital, for example. Here, Petri and Hannibal play it with great care and considerable bravura. Although it was written to be played by amateurs, the artists on this CD play an intricate decorated version that no amateur is likely ever to attempt. Needless to say, it charms the ear.
The Flute Sonata in C Major was originally thought to have been written by Johann Sebastian Bach. It may, however, have been composed by one of his sons in collaboration with the father. In any case, the scintillating four-movement work has been transposed to the key of F so it can be played on the recorder and it is rendered with glorious virtuosity by Petri with Hannibal providing the well-balanced continuo.
Antonio Vivaldi, the red-headed priest of Venice, was a very popular composer. For that reason he had many imitators. One of them was the French composer Nicolas Chédeville, who passed off some of his own music as having been written by the Venetian. The Chédeville/Vivaldi Sonata in G opens with a simple Largo that caresses the ear. It is followed with a truly Baroque Allegro in which Petri and Hannibal play with abandon. The Pastorale is an invitation to enjoy nature, possibly on a pleasant spring day. Then it is followed by a catchy Allegro finale that seems to invite the listener to a musical party. Petri and Hannibal serve it up with gusto.
Perhaps the best-known works on this disc are the Corelli
and the Tartini “Devil’s Trill” Sonata. Both are played with intelligence and precision, but that is true of all the works on this disc. The Corelli gives us a memorable tune with which to stay grounded for a few moments. Tartini made up a great public relations story of having heard the devil play the trill he put in the sonata. Petri plays all the lustrous silvery decorations that illuminate the background provided by Hannibal’s lute. The disc finale is Handel’s B?-Major Sonata, with its memorable songlike base.
It’s a beautiful program and every bit of it is magnificently rendered. The balance between the instruments is excellent and the sound gives the feeling of a fine, small concert hall.
FANFARE: Maria Nockin