Giardini - 6 Sonatas for Flute & Harpsichord | Brilliant Classics 95625

Giardini - 6 Sonatas for Flute & Harpsichord


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95625

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 23rd July 2021



New to the catalogue, delightful chamber music by an Italian celebrity of 18th-century London.

Almost completely unknown now, the six Sonatas for transverse flute and basso continuo by Felice Giardini, published in London late in 1751, were the first works of their kind to appear in print by a composer working in England. Giardini had taken London by storm with the brilliance of his violin playing, and his success there seemed assured. They were also the first sonatas published for obbligato harpsichord and violin, as opposed to violin ‘solos’ with a basso continuo. In practice, the solo part was often taken by a flute, as we find on this superb new, historically informed recording.

Born in Turin in 1716, Giardini studied violin with the notable soloist and pedagogue Somis. He moved to Rome and then Naples, and by 1748 had become sufficiently renowned to seek his fortune on an international tour. When he arrived in London in 1750, however, he attracted immediate attention in aristocratic circles, and became a music master for figures including the Prince of Wales, as well as leading the orchestra of the King’s Theatre in London. He conducted the Three Choirs Festival in London between 1770 and 1776 before taking long tours of Italy and Spain. One last tour to Russia proved too much, and he died in Moscow in 1796.

The contemporary reputation of Giardini’s Op.3 is indicated by the fact that it was reprinted on the Continent, at a time when relatively few English musical publications found their way into foreign catalogues. Giardini’s sonatas are significant as a harbinger of the Classical concertante sonatas by Beethoven and his contemporaries, in that they work with a truly dualistic approach to the instruments. The instrumentation and the ornamental and elaborate treatment of the solo part recalls the Baroque-era continuo sonata. The two-movement sequence, bipartite form, and a flair for idiomatic writing reflect the influence of the popular Italian keyboard sonata. The basic principle of cooperative opposition in a homophonic context that underlies the entire set most resembles the concerto.

Praise for Mario Folena on Brilliant Classics:

'Mario Folena… is a very fine flautist, with imagination and flexibility. His intonation is right on, and the tone he produces is huge and round... warmly recommended.'
- Fanfare (93703: Vivaldi Flute Sonatas)

'This is the only recording available of the six concertos of Op. 10 on period instruments and would be self-recommending even if it were not quite as good as it is. As it is, however, it is very good indeed and can be recommended.' - Fanfare (95047: Vivaldi Flute Concertos)

ConSerto Musico:
- Mario Folena (flute)
- Francesco Galligioni (cello)
- Paola Frezzato (bassoon)
- Roberto Loreggian (harpsichord)

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