AS&V's Gaudeamus label continually churn out beautifully produced and presented discs from the pre-Romantic eras and this delightful collection of Italian baroque concertos is no exception.
I thought it slightly misleading for the front cover to read 'Sinfonie e Concerti' by Domenico Scarlatti as there are only three by that composer with the rest being made up by Pergolesi, Durante, Barbella and Leo. Scarlatti's Sinfonia's are entertaining works, full of the zest and joie de vivre that is attributed to late baroque Italian music.
Leonardo Leo is enjoying something of a revival of late with several recordings of his sacred music now available and it is good to have his D minor concerto on record. Durante and Barbella are also interesting composers although the style is markedly similar and if pressed, I doubt if one can be recognized from the other!
Guglielmo and his period orchestra provide characterful and accomplished performances so the choice will ultimately rest on how much you deem a full price disc full of Italian concerti is worth it in these straitened times!
Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech