Tomaso ALBINONI (1671 - 1751)
Six Sonatas for Flute and Continuo Op. 6
Sonata in D, op. 6,7 [11:36]
Sonata in e minor, op. 6,8 [10:08]
Sonata in C, op. 6,1 [11:09]
Sonata in g minor, op. 6,2 [11:53]
Sonata in a minor, op. 6,6 [11:13]
Sonata in G, op. 6,9 [10:43]
Ensemble Barocco Padovano Sans Souci (Mario Folena (transverse flute),
Carlo Zanardi (cello), Terrell Stone (theorbo, guitar), Aldo Fiorentin
rec. 24 - 25 April, 1 May 1995, Chiesa della Natività della B.V.
Maria ai Servi, Padua, Italy. DDD
DYNAMIC DM8032 [65:11]
Tomaso Albinoni was one of the most respected composers
of his time, despite being not a professional composer but rather a
dilettante, as he called himself. The largest part of his oeuvre
consists of music for the theatre. Unfortunately almost none of his
compositions in this genre has been preserved complete. Most of his
operas are lost; of others only a few arias have come down to us.
Therefore today he is mainly known for his instrumental music. His concertos
with parts for one or two oboes are quite popular and are regularly
played at concerts and recorded. He also wrote a considerable number
of sonatas for one or two violins and bc. Several of his collections
of sonatas have been recorded. One of these comprises twelve for violin
and basso continuo which were printed as his op. 6 in Amsterdam around
1712. The title is Trattenimenti armonici per camera. The word
trattenimento means 'entertainment' and indicates that these
sonatas were intended for the growing market of amateur performers.
The addition da camera suggests that these sonatas follow the
model of the Corellian sonata da camera. It may then come as
a surprise that the movements bear not the titles of dances, as was
common in sonate da camera, but rather indications such as adagio
or allegro as was usual in the sonata da chiesa. However,
these are dances in disguise: many fast movements are in fact allemandes,
courantes or gigues.
The title of this disc suggests that we have here six flute sonatas,
but that is not quite correct. Albinoni didn't give any indication that
his sonatas could be played on the transverse flute. That doesn't mean
that he didn't approve of adapting these sonatas for other instruments.
This was common practice and composers expected performers to adapt
their sonatas for their own use, depending on the instruments that were
at hand. In his liner-notes Mario Folena mentions that several sets
of such adaptations are known from Albinoni's time. In this recording
he didn't make use of any of these editions. Rather he constructed his
own arrangements. Such arrangements sometimes require transpositions
to another key. In this recording all but one sonata are played in the
original keys. The exception is the Sonata No. 2 which is in
G minor, but originally in D major. I am a bit surprised by that, since
there was apparently no need to transpose the Sonata No. 7 which
is also in D major.
Obviously some of the effects Albinoni included in his sonatas are lost
in these arrangements. That particularly concerns Albinoni's use of
double-stopping. That is, for instance, the case in the fast movements
from the Sonata No. 9. In his liner-notes to The Locatelli Trio's
recording of the complete set (Hyperion, 1992) Michael Talbot writes
about the Sonata No. 8: "[The] rasping violin chords in its second
movement convey a mood of desperate urgency." That can't be conveyed
in a performance with transverse flute. The passages of a contrapuntal
character remain fully intact, though.
However, in these new clothes, as it were, these sonatas make a very
good impression as well. Some of the features of the original scoring
may have gone lost, the natural sensitivity and differentiation in colour
and dynamics of the transverse flute fit them very well. Mario Folena
is an excellent performer who plays with intelligence and stylistic
awareness. He is supported by a strong basso continuo group which shows
a good sense of the rhythmic pulse of these sonatas. The first allegro
from the Sonata No. 6 is a particularly good example.
Even if you have a performance with violin in your collection, for instance
the recording by The Locatelli Trio, this disc has much to offer and
will give you a new and different look at these beautiful sonatas.
Johan van Veen