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CD Review

The Neapolitans

  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi:
  • Concerto in B Flat Major
  • Sonata in A Major
  • Sinfonia in F Major
  • Francesco Durante:
  • Concerto #2 in G minor
  • Concerto #8, "La Pazzia"
  • Concerto #5 for String Orchestra
  • Leonardo Leo:
  • Concerto in D Major for 4 Violins and Strings
Elizabeth Wallfisch, violin
The Raglan Baroque Players/Nicholas Kraemer
Hyperion CDA67230 59m DDD
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Subtitled, "The Neapolitans", this lovingly recorded CD presents some of the best works from that city in its musical heyday as cultural port of European peoples.

Leonardo Leo is only recently coming to the fore, his astonishingly advanced style is something for the technocrat to examine but his Concerto for 4 violins affords us with sublime listening pleasure.

Pergolesi and Durante are represented by three works each, they were obviously more representative figures in the development of Neapolitan concert and operatic music. Pergolesi's Concert is very much molded in the Corelli vein whilst his short Sinfonia is a delightful example of post-Scheibe technique.

Durante's magnum opus remains his collection of concertos for various instruments and string orchestra and here we are presented with the 2nd, 5th and 8th contributions. All are enjoyable to listen to but I would plump for the lovely and charmingly titled, "La Pazzia" concerto in A minor in which Wallfisch has a considerable field day.

The music is scrupulously interpreted with a particular accent on fast temp and Kraemer conducts with obvious affection for the works on offer. The stunning painting reproduced on the front cover is definitely an added incentive to buy, let alone with such charming music filling the CD!

Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech