Marcello: Complete Sonatas for Organ and Harpsichord (3CD)

Brilliant Classics
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Chiara Minali, Laura Farabollini

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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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