This CD presents recordings of five mandolin concertos written in the Neapolitan
style of the mid 18th Century. There is almost no information about these
composers and the identity of the composer of the Concerto in E flat is totally
unknown. It has been suggested that "Anonimo" might be Paisiello, and that
Gaudioso might be an alias for Cimarosa, but there is no evidence to support
these speculations. Be that as it may, these concertos are all very much
of the same school and have an underlying homogeneity.
At the same time there is much variety amongst them and one can detect the
influence of interaction of this essentially Italian music with styles
characteristic of other parts of Europe. In particular, the two G major concertos
have one or more movements constructed with repeated measures in fast-beat
2-time in the "French" style; they also end with the
subdominant-supertonic-dominant-tonic homophonic chord sequence which is
more famously known in many of Joseph Haydn's choral works. These two concertos
can be regarded as the best of the five, in both musical content and performance.
As a classical solo instrument, the mandolin has been unjustly neglected
by the 19th and 20th Centuries. Now that a re-evaluation of this instrument
is emerging, it is timely that listeners should have an opportunity to sample
the music written for it at the height of its popularity. These recordings
make a valuable contribution to the mandolin's deserved revival.
When she is not giving concerts and recitals worldwide, Dorina Frati teaches
mandolin at the Conservatorio di Napoli, and these recordings demonstrate
her world class mastery of the instrument. This CD can be heartily recommended
not only to those who love the mandolin, but also to all who would like to
know it better.
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