Legrenzi - Bass Cantatas & Sonatas | Brilliant Classics 96239

Legrenzi - Bass Cantatas & Sonatas


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 96239

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 13th August 2021



Mauro Borgioni (baritone)
David Brutti (cornetto)
Renato Criscuolo (bass violin)
Mvsica Perdvta


Legrenzi, Giovanni

A' Pie d'eccelso monte
Amore e virtu
Cessa d'essere amante
Dal calore agitato
Il mio core non e con me
Sonatas (18), op.2
» no.8 La Foscari
Sonatas Libro 3, op.8
» no.4 L'Obizza a 2
» no.16 La Crispa
Son canuto e d'un bambin
Sorgea del sen di Lete


Mauro Borgioni (baritone)
David Brutti (cornetto)
Renato Criscuolo (bass violin)
Mvsica Perdvta


The Venetian composer Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690) wrote a total of eight cantatas and canzonettas for bass voice with a continuo accompaniment, all but one presented here in new, historically informed recordings by a distinguished Italian ensemble specialising in Italian chamber music of the Baroque. His cantatas are longer than those of other Venetian composers of the period, with richer counterpoint between the vocal part and the continuo and freer movement between recitative and aria. Just as the recitatives are often rich in pathos, so the arias reveal great variety of form in both the vocal and the continuo part. While the continuo part is sometimes spare and at other times more elaborated, it supports the vocal line with naturalistic illustration of the text.

Legrenzi often conjures up comical situations for the bass voice: for instance, in the canzonetta Son canuto e d’un bambin, where the words revolve around the idea that there are slaves of love even in old age; or in the cantata Dal calore agitato, where the subject is the erotic dreams of a poor Arcadian shepherd.

The three trio sonatas on this recording are among Legrenzi’s best instrumental compositions. They come from the six printed collections of instrumental sonatas, and are all à violino (played in this version on the cornett, which was common practice in the 17th century, and viola da brazzo). Within conventional formal structures, Legrenzi invests these works with a remarkably advanced sense of melody. The impression is Legrenzi was most at home working with a small ensemble, rather than with the larger groups of instrumentalists that had become common in 17th-century Venice.

Praise for Mvsica Perdvta on Brilliant Classics:

‘The overall impact is simply stunning… the most exciting and original Handel cantata I’ve heard in many a year.’ – Fanfare (Handel cantatas, 94426)

‘Director Renato Criscuolo keeps his forces tightly under control, which adds stability to the music. As the cellist in the sinfonia, he gives a rather rousing performance, which brings the music alive.’ – Fanfare (Pergolesi, 94763)

‘The ensemble, like the cellist, plays with sensitivity and personality… This is a lot of fun.’ – Fanfare (Porpora, 95279)

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