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Sonate Veneziane del '700 Stefano Bet (flute) Francesco Cera (harpsichord)  Tactus TC 700002,[73'11'] (Distributor Chandos)
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This is a pleasant collection of sonatas by Marcello, Fernandini, Pescetti, Vivaldi, Bon & Platti, well played, with tasteful decoration of the solo lines, on a sweet-toned flute, presumably of the period, or a modern copy. Francesco Cera, recently reviewed by S&H in a London recital, was a pupil of Luigi Tagliavini and Gustav Leonhardt. This CD, to my disappointment, does not include any solo harpsichord items.

Cera's accompaniments show that he is an imaginative continuo player, elaborating the often bare figured bass to good effect. This is undemanding Baroque music and the individual composers, of whom Marcello & Vivaldi are the best known, are less differentiated in performance than one might hope. Vivaldi wrote numerous works for the "flauto traversiere", these requiring great agility and a new type of expressivity in cantabile writing.

The notes are not divided into paragraphs, which does not make for easy reading, and there are no details of the instruments used. One for the specialist.


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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