During the baroque era, a great number of composers flourished in most European countries, particularly in Italy, France and Germany. One of these was the Venetian Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739), who although earmarked for a career in the civil service, still managed to have his way to become one of his time's most respected musicians.
The 12 Sonatas Op. 2 are one of his earliest compositions, but glimpses of his genius are already evident, particularly in the art of ornamentation and rhythmic control. These recordings on authentic instruments were taped way back in 1985 so Arts are to be commended for giving us a fresh opportunity to not only re-assess, but also enjoy these beautiful pieces.
The Op. 2 are mainly mini-concertos for either the violin, and in most instances, the flute (traverse or dolce) and so, interpretations have to be dynamically controlled always allowing the prime instrument to shine.
The Accademia Claudio Monteverdi Venezia under the able hand of Hans Ludwig Hirsch perform these fragile works with a purified dignity and grace, making of the music, a vehicle of unalloyed joy. Despite its age, the sound is still fresh and immediate. If you've missed it first time round, do not hesitate to invest now.
Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech