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Bologna 1666
Kammerorchester Basel/Julia Schröder (violin)
rec. February 2016, Martinskirche, Müllheim
Track-listing at close of review
DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985 315592 [66:35]

Well, I’d heard of Torelli, but the others were new names to me, and I doubt I will be alone in that.

Bologna in the seventeenth century had a rich musical culture, and in 1666, the founding of the Accademia Filamonica in 1666 – still in existence today – cemented what became known as the “Bologna School”, a distinctive style of composition and singing that set it apart from other centres such as Rome and Venice. Despite this, many of the works written in the city have been lost or dispersed throughout Europe. The founding fathers of this school were Giovanni Colonna and Giacomo Perti, whose works were predominantly vocal in nature. They are represented in this fascinating collection by sinfonias from masses and oratorios.

Presto Classical lists no alternative performances of any of these, though there are no claims of world premiere recordings anywhere in the booklet. My personal favourites are the two concertos by Alberti, an almost exact contemporary of Bach, which have a Vivaldian feel to them. His set of concerti was published in 1713, two years after Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, and was acclaimed around Europe. The notes propose an unusually high level of technical brilliance in the solo part of the Laurenti concerto, though as a non-violinist, it doesn’t strike me as any more challenging than numerous Vivaldi works. Not surprisingly, the sinfonias of Colonna and Perti are simpler than the concerted works.

This is my first encounter with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, numbering fourteen for this recording, and I am very impressed by their vibrant playing but also by the fact that they avoid the extremes in tempos and dynamics that some period instrument ensembles display. The booklet notes do well to supply such a good amount of information on such little-known composers. The sound is excellent indeed.

While there may not be any lost masterpieces here, those interested in the outer reaches of the Baroque era will find much to interest them.

David Barker

Giovanni Paolo COLONNA (1637-1695)
La caduta di GIerusalemme sotto l’imperio di Sidecia ultimo re d’Israelle – Sinfonia [2:41]
Messa a 5 – Sinfonia Avanti la messa [2:24]
Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709)
Violin Concerto, A.2.3.10 [8:02]
Giuseppe Matteo ALBERTI (1685-1751)
Concerti per chiesa e per camera, op. 1: Concerto VII [7:39]; Concerto IX [7:33]
Giacomo Antonio PERTI (1661-1756)
San Galgano Giudotti – Sinfonia (attr. Torelli) [2:10]
Gesù al sepolcro – Sinfonia [2:45]
La lingua profetica del taumaturgo di Paolo – Sinfonia Avanti l’Oratorio (attr. Torelli) [2:36]
Lorenzo Gaetano ZAVATERI (1690-1764)
Concerti per chiesa e per camera, op. 1 - Concerto XII ‘A tempest di mare’ [13:06]
Girolamo Nicolò LAURENTI (1678-1751)
Violin Concerto, Lau6 [10:25]
Violin Concerto in honorem Divi Petronii [7:03]



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