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Giuseppe FERLENDIS (1755-c.1810)
Oboe Concerto No.2 in C major [14:34]
Oboe Concerto [No.3] in C major [14:57]
Oboe Concerto No.1 in F major [12:53]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 1 in D major [4:34]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 2 in G major [4:18]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 3 in C major [5:24]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 4 in B flat major [4:52]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 5 in D major [4:04]
Trio for Oboe, Flute and Bassoon No. 6 in A major [4:48]
Diego Dini Ciacci (oboe), Francesco Dainese (flute), Flavio Baruzzi (bassoon)
Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento/Diego Dini Cacci
rec. Auditorium ‘Haydn’, Bozen, Italy, 23-24 September 2005
CPO 7773682 [70:33]


Experience Classicsonline

If the name Giuseppe Ferlendis rings any bells in the mind, it may well be because of the Mozart connection. Having been born in Bergamo, Ferlendis’s success as a soloist in Italy led to his appointment, in 1777, as court oboist in Salzburg. His standing was such that his yearly salary was 540 florins to Mozart’s 500. Mozart wrote a concerto for him - pretty certainly the work we also know in its arrangement as a flute concerto, K314 - which met with considerable success, being later played to some acclaim by the oboist Friedrich Ramm. In a letter of 14 February 1778, Mozart writes from Mannheim to his father, reporting that “Ramm played my oboe Concerto for Ferlendis for the fifth time; it is attracting much attention, and is now Ramm’s cheval de bataille”. Indeed the connection between Ferlendis and Mozart led to what was surely a rather flattering case of misattribution. The great Mozart scholar Georges de Saint-Foix found, in the library of the Milan conservatory, a manuscript oboe concerto attributed to Ferlendis which he judged to be by Mozart, the attribution to Ferlendis merely acknowledging that it was written for him and played by him. Einstein argued convincingly on stylistic grounds that it was a non-Mozartean work – suggesting that in form it was reminiscent of Tartini and in invention was more like Spohr than Mozart. He also found aspects of the scoring unlike Mozart, while acknowledging some general resemblances. This is the concerto which we now know as Ferlendis’s first concerto. He appears to have written three others, preserved in whole or part in Milan and Genoa. Of one only the orchestral parts survive. The other two – both in C major – have here been reconstructed and are recorded for the first time. In some ways they are actually more interesting than the one mistakenly attributed to Mozart.

The concerto in F major is apparently the earliest of the three, and there is a certain slightly inhibited quality to it, compared to its successors. Still, it is full of pleasant music, not least in the rather melancholy adagio and the pleasantly dancing rhythms of the closing rondo. In the two C major concertos there seems to be a greater freedom, perhaps a greater self-confidence, to the writing. In No.2, for example, the sonata form of the opening allegro is handled with flexible assurance and individuality; the brief - only a minute and a half - adagio is a little gem, gorgeously lyrical (and beautifully played by Ciacci). The allegro into which it leads is a delightful and musically witty set of variations on Paisiello’s ‘Nel cor più non mi sento’ - on which both Beethoven and Paganini also wrote sets of variations. In the third Concerto there are some beautiful unaccompanied passages in the initial allegro and in the closing allegro it is not hard to hear some of those echoes of late-baroque practice which Einstein detected in the F major concerto. All in all these are fine pieces which should surely find their way into the repertoire of other oboists. The playing of Diego Dini Ciacci is exemplary, his tone consistently apt and eloquent. He directs the Haydn Orchestra – the orchestral parts are not perhaps especially demanding, but they are handled with attractive competence.

The Six Sonatas - no date of composition or publication is given - are relatively slight, all in two movements and only one of them running over five minutes in these performances. These have the air of pieces written for domestic performance and make fewer technical demands than the concertos. Flautist Francesco Dainese and bassoonist Flavio Baruzzi make assured partners for Ciacci here, and the use of bassoon makes for some interesting textures. This is elegant, shapely music which makes no very great demands on performers or listeners. Pleasant as it is, it is the concertos which make this a desirable CD.

Glyn Pursglove



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