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SACD Review

Tomaso Albinoni

Concerti à cinque, Op. 10

  • Concerto #1 in B Flat Major
  • Concerto #2 in G minor
  • Concerto #4 in G Major
  • Concerto #5 in A Major
  • Concerto #7 in F Major
  • Concerto #8 in G minor
  • Concerto #9 in C Major
  • Concerto #11 in C Major
Harmonices Mundi/Claudio Astronio
Arts 47747-8 72 Hybrid Multichannel SACD
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When the name of Tomaso Albinoni crops up, one almost always seems to associate him with the "Adagio in sol minore" and almost nothing else. But this Venetian composer was one of the most prolific of his time and also one of the most sought after. In 1700, he published a collection of "Sinfonias" and "Concerti à cinque" which were to have a great impact, particularly north of the Alps. In the following years, Albinoni wrote a considerable number of similar compositions and the series was terminated with Op. 10, which works were published in Amsterdam in 1735 and 1736 when the composer's reputation was at its zenith.

These concertos attracted many performers, particularly amateur ones, as the technical demands were not excessive, and the abundance of fantasy and felicitous melodic inspiration made them highly attractive pieces for performer and listener alike. This wonderful Arts SACD recording incorporates eight of the best examples in the genre, and the exciting interpretations by Harmonices Mundi under the direction of Claudio Astrinio reveal all of Albinoni's mastery in creating a sound world that is unique in its fragile invention and dynamic diversity. A first rate advert for one of baroque music's most prolific musicians who sadly remains rather unrepresented in the catalogue something which this new issue will hopefully change.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech