Violino o cornetto - Seventeenth-Century Italian Solo Sonatas
Giovanni Paolo CIMA (c.1570-c.1622)
Sonata per violino o cornetto e basso (1610) [4:50]
Sonata per violino e basso (1610) [4:24]
Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643)
Canzona terza detta La Lucchesina (1628) [3:26]
Canzona seconda detta la Bernadina (1628) [3:16]
Giovanni Batista FONTANA (d.c.1630)
Sonata Prima (1641) [3:58]
Sonata seconda a soprano solo (1621, 1629) [5:25]
Biagio MARINI (1587-1663)
Sonata per sonar con due corde (1626/29) [8:28]
Sonata a basso e violino o cornetto 5.44
Marco UCCELLINI (1610-1680)
Sonata Quinta (1649) [6:00]
Maurizio CAZZATI (c.1620-1677)
Sonata Prima “La Pellicana” [4:31]
Alessandro STRADELLA (1639-1682)
Sinfonia in F [5:48]
Sinfonia in D Minor [7:13]
Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713)
Sonata in G minor [10:26]
Canzona; Theresa Caudle (violin and cornett): Mark Caudle (bass violin and violoncello): Alastair Ross (organ and harpsichord): David Miller (chitarrone)
rec. November 2008, East Woodhay Church, Hampshire
NIMBUS NI 6134 [73:34].
The solo sonata in Italy is the focus of this disc from Theresa Caudle and Canzona. The fact that there was a pervasive element of interchangeability between the violin and the ‘cornett’ in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries allows Caudle to alternate between her two instruments with amazing facility and control, the better to exemplify the qualities expected of a multi-instrumentalist of the time – not unlike, say, the doubling facilities of a jazz musician. Think of Ray Nance, for example, who doubled on trumpet and violin for Ellington.
The two Cima sonatas reveal that the dichotomous-seeming distinction between the stringed and the brass instrument has little historical basis in fact. The first sonata is for violin or cornett, and is played by Caudle on the latter, whilst she plays the second sonata on her violin. It’s this second sonata that provides greater opportunities for virtuosity and decorative elegance. The stately echo effects for the cornett of Frescobaldi’s Canzona terza detta La Lucchesina are especially notable, and indeed notably well played, and attest to the various devices open to exploratory Roman awareness of Venetian procedures. It was Venice that drove modernity in this area, and Italian composers generally looked to the city for the latest advances.
Fontana is an interesting composer but little is known of him biographically. The Brescian fiddle player and composer’s Sonata Prima is a fine study in controlled vitality, working decorative passages and slower expressive sections into his compact work. It is one that well repays listening. Castello is another who freely employs echo effects, but he also majors on a certain simplicity of means, which leads to a sense of expressive plangency, further evoked by the fine organ playing. Nor should one underestimate Marini, whose sonata per sonar is another that feeds on internal contrastive sections in its eight minute length. Additionally the double stops, theatrical paragraphs and trills which are picked up by the harpsichord add to the cumulative dynamism of the writing, and playing. Stradella’s Sinfonia is one of the richest and most beautiful of the works in this recital, a fully formed duo sonata, sounding bracingly modern in that context and finely distributing material. It and the Corelli sonata with which the disc concludes, forcefully point the way forward for the violin sonata. If Colista’s influence on Stradella was paramount, Stradella repaid the debt in full with his own music.
Throughout, textual and interpretative decisions have been gauged with acumen. The performances of the ensemble are beyond reproach and the spacious acoustic suits these works very well. Add a fine documentary booklet and you have an investigative recital of great persuasive power and real spirit.
Jonathan Woolf
An investigative recital of great persuasive power and real spirit.