Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Charles Avison, Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra|
Charles Avison: Concerti Grossi
Listen to Samples
Scarlatti Sonatas Adapted to the 18th Century Concerto Gross
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 10/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Avison (1709 - 1770): Concerti Grossi Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 12 after Domenico Scarlatti. Performed by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, dir. Jean Lamon. Recorded at Grace Church-on-the-Hill, Toronto, Canada in 1987. Published in 1987 as SMCD5061 by CBC Enterprises/Les Entreprises Radio Canada. Total playing time: 53'29".
At the time of writing this CD is over 20 years old and may be rather difficult to obtain. However, after listening to it once again with great enjoyment, I wanted to sing its praises here, even if there are, in the meantime, plenty of other recordings of this repertoire on the market. [Charles Avison: 12 Concerti Grossi; Charles Avison: Concertos in Seven Parts from the Lessons of Domenico Scarlatti]. Back in 1987, Jean Lamon and Tafelmusik only recorded four of Avison's twelve "concerti grossi" which he put together from movements taken from Domenico Scarlatti's popular keyboard works. But the four concerti they did record sound really wonderful, not least because of the combination of superb playing and Radio Canada's full-range recording, which allows you to enjoy all the sonorities gathered here. At all events, I must confess to preferring this disc to Roy Goodman's complete edition on Hyperion, recently re-released as a "Dyad", which to me has always sounded a little superficial.
Avison himself was a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne in the North of England. After studying with Geminiani in London, he returned to his home town where he spent the rest of his life as an organist, but also wrote theoretical treatises and published a number of his own compositions. As a pupil of Geminiani, he was impressed by the Italian style, and wanting, presumably, to make money by riding on the wave of popularity of the Concerto Grosso, he adapted some of Scarlatti's works to this form in a way which has captured the heart and the ear of a wider public ever since. His more original works, on the other hand, have been greatly neglected, and it is only recently that Pavlo Beznosiuk and his Avison Ensemble have begun to put Avison's Concerts back on the discographical map: Charles Avison: Six Concertos, Op. 3; Eight Concertos, Op. 4; Charles Avison: Twelve Concertos, Op. 6; Sonatas For Violin And Basso Continuo, Op.1.
The music is a joy to hear and breathes the spirit of Georgian England; the fact that Avison wanted to have Vivaldi's music banned, at least for children, makes him a bit of an oddball, I suppose, from today's perspective, but anyone wanting to get a feel for his music and his age could hardly do better than dig out a copy of Tafelmusik's selection from his only well-known work."