Historically informed performances of poised and inventive keyboard music from the Golden Age of the Venetian Baroque.
The epitome of a Renaissance man, Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) won success and acclaim as a poet, writer, musician, lawyer, judge, administrator and philologist. Though his keyboard sonatas have appeared on several recorded collections of the Italian Baroque, they have rarely been presented in a comprehensive manner. In doing so, this album celebrates the personal even idiosyncratic style of a composer whose technical accomplishment facilitates rather than stifling his creative voice.
The 12 Sonatas were later published as Op.3. They date from early in Marcello’s career, and are mostly cast in three and four brief movements, though the first and last of them, in D minor and C minor respectively, feature more extended forms. The minor-key sonatas are generally more dramatic and varied in mood; two complementary performances of the G minor Sonata afford the opportunity to compare the tone-colours of the different instruments used on the recording.
There are several sonatas not belonging to the Op.3 collection which are less often heard, and their inclusion here is valuable, alongside Marcello’s magnificent chaconne, subtitled ‘La stravaganza’: a 15-minute tour-de-force of keyboard invention.
The album is enhanced by a vivid account of Marcello’s music, life and career, written by the harpsichordist Laura Farabollini. On this recording she plays a modern Italian copy of a late-18th century French instrument by Taskin, with two manuals and four registers. Chiara Minali plays an organ built by Gio’ Batta Sona in 1812, in the Cornu Evangelii choir of the parish church of San Pietro in Cattedra at Valeggio sul Mincio near Verona.
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MARCELLO Complete Sonatas for Organ and Harpsichord
Sonata I in D minor 1. Largo 2. Allegro 3. Presto
Sonata VIII in B flat 4. Adagio 5. Vivace 6. Presto 7. Allegro
Sonata IV in G minor 8. Toccata 9. Allegro 10. Vivace e Presto 11. Giga: Presto
Sonata VI in D minor 12. Allegro 13. Presto 14. Presto
Sonata IX in A 15. Largo 16. Presto 17. Presto 18. Allegro
Sonata X in G minor 19. Allegro 20. Largo ma vivace 21. Presto
Sonata II in G 1. Largo ma vivace 2. Presto 3. Allegro 4. Presto
Sonata III in C 5. Andante 6. Allegro 7. Allegro
Sonata V in F 8. Largo ma vivace 9. Allegro 10. Allegro 11. Presto
Sonata VII in A minor 12. Presto-Adagio 13. Cantabile e largo 14. Allegro 15. Presto 16. Minuetto
Sonata XI in D 17. Largo ma vivace 18. Allegro 19. Presto 20. Prestissimo
Sonata XII in C minor 21. Presto 22. Largo 23. Presto 24. Prestissimo
1. Sonata di Sua Eccellenza Benedetto Marcello in C 2. Ciaccona (La Stravaganza)
Sonata del Signor Benedetto Marcello in C minor 3. Preludio 4. Allegro
Sonata del Signor Benedetto Marcello in G 5. Allegro
Sonata del Signor Benedetto Marcello in G 6. Presto
7. Variationi, o Partite per il Cembalo ò Organo del Signor Benedetto Marcello Nobile Veneto 8. Fuga per Organo del Signor Benedetto Marcello Nobile Veneto (G minor) 9. Sonata del Sig. Benedetto Marcello (in G) 10. Fuga per Organo del Signor Benedetto Marcello (E minor) 11. Sonata di Organo del Sig. Benedetto Marcello in C