Rossini - String Sonatas, Duet for Cello & Double Bass
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Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 95092
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 19th November 2021
ArtistsFrancesco Manara (violin)
Daniele Pascoletti (violin)
Massimo Polidori (cello)
Francesco Siragusa (double bass)
These sonatas, saucy and urbane, are the work of the young Rossini, who was possibly though not certainly 12 at the time of their composition while spending his summer holidays on the family estate of the Ravenna aristocracy. They are great fun, for the composer wrote them originally for two violins, cello, and double bass, and set a variety of obstacles for his friend the double bassist Agostino Triossi. Rossiniís youth in any case quickly becomes immaterial when listening to these works, which demonstrate a fluency and finesse that many composers would struggle to emulate whatever their age.
The pieces were later transcribed by others for normal string quartet, for woodwind quartet, even for full string orchestra, in which capacity four of them were recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic and Karajan. However, Rossiniís original version retains an unrivalled freshness of expression, and no one can fail to be entertained by the overt drama of no.6, with its last movement rising in the chromatic waves so beloved of Berlioz, or the occasional galloping efforts of the double basses, taking their turn at figurations more at home on the violins.
While the Sonatas have enjoyed no shortage of recordings, very few of them are so generously or appropriately coupled with the bonus item here. This is a Duet for cello and double bass in D major from Rossiniís maturity: he was all of 32 at the time, by then a celebrity across Europe and staying in London with another aristocratic instrumentalist, an English cellist in search of repertoire to partner his friend, the virtuoso bassist Domenico Dragonetti, who had made his career in the English capital. The Duo is a substantial three-movement piece proportioned along the same Classical lines as the Sonatas and no less attractive.
All four of these Italian musicians are principal players in the orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the upper three being members of the Quartetto díArchi della Scala, and their performances are accordingly imbued with the lively, native feel for this joyous music, which finds them Ďon holidayí as much as the composer was when he wrote it.
Pilati - Chamber Music for Violin, Cello and Piano
Classics for the People Vol.2
Rossini - Overtures arr. for Mandolin Quintet
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