One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review



1717: Memories of a Journey to Italy
Tomaso ALBINONI (1669-1751)
Sonata for violin and continuo in B flat major TalAl So32 [11:20]
Giuseppe Maria FANFANI (? – c.1757)
Sonata for violin and continuo in D major [9:31]
Giuseppe VALENTINI (1681-1753)
Sonata for violin and continuo in A major [13:29]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Sonata for violin and continuo in G Major, RV 25 ‘Suonata à Solo fatto per Maestro Pisendel Del Vivaldi’ [10:55]
Antonio MONTANARI (1676-1737)
Sonata for violin and continuo in E minor [8:39]
Johann Georg PISENDEL (1687-1755)/Antonio MONTANARI (1676-1737)
Sonata for violin and continuo in E major [8:23]
rec. 2018, De Oude Dorpskerk Bunnik, Netherlands

A piece of imaginative programming sees the listener embroiled in an Italian sojourn in 1717. The listener is, in effect, Johann Georg Pisendel who travelled from Dresden, where as one of the continent’s leading virtuosi he led the orchestra, to a number of Italian towns meeting the musical great and good of the time. The travels are reflected in the music enshrined in this disc and as a composer and copyist and collector of a vast number of scores, Pisendel is an excellent figure to follow.

Thus, whilst the disc is composer-led, naturally, it reflects the geography of Pisendel’s journeying, from Venice (Vivaldi and Albinoni) to Rome (Montanari and Valentini) and to Florence (Fanfani). Some composers are clearly more famous than others, but all are of interest, both historically and musicologically.

The musical travelogue cum diary memorializes Pisendel’s journey. It also reveals how bonds sprung up between the German and his Italian host composers. Vivaldi’s’ Sonata RV25, for example, carries a dedication to Pisendel from the composer and leaves him room to insert his own movement so as to form a composite sonata (the movement is the second one, a Grave). Albinoni too admired the young violinist dedicating in particular his Sonata in B flat major to him. Not only that, but it may well encode some aspects of Pisendel’s performing style, given that it reveals some unusual features for the composer.

There are also world premiere recordings to be savoured, such as the recently recognized sonata by the Florentine Giuseppe Maria Fanfani, clearly predicated on Corellian models, but sporting some illuminating idiosyncrasies such as the exotic flights of its Allegro second movement and the sophisticated and stylistically advanced series of variations. Fanfani died in 1757, but his birthdate is unknown, and it would be interesting to know how old he was when he wrote this splendid, often forward-looking work.

Pisendel isn’t the only great fiddler to be encountered here, as there is also Antonio Montanari to consider, a towering presence in Italy at the time of Pisendel’s visit and successor to Corelli. Pisendel sought the older man’s instruction and it’s fascinating to listen to a world premiere recording of the German’s Sonata in E major, authenticated as late as 2005, which contains Montanari’s corrections (the original manuscript is lost). Giuseppe Valentini’s sonata is dedicated to Montanari and it is clear from the writing that the latter must have been a player of exceptional breadth and lyricism as well as virtuosity.

These sequences of concordances, cross-references and joint-authorships cast revealing light on compositional processes at the time. The performances are consistently persuasive and full of flair and sensitivity. Javier Lupiáñez, who takes on the burden of Pisendel, plays on a Gisbert Verbreek violin of 1682, whilst cellist Inés Salinas and harpsichordist Patrícia Vintém play on copies, the former of a Francesco Ruggieri, and the latter of a copy of a double manual Mietke. They play at a=415 and have been recorded in a church acoustic that occasionally subordinates the continuo. The notes are first class and full of illuminating detail and the whole disc shows how fine musicality and investigative historical research can pay real rewards.

Jonathan Woolf

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger