Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Biagio Marini, Romanesca|
Marini: Curiose & Moderne Inventioni
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Listen to Samples
Curious and Modern Inventions
M. De Sapio | Alexandria, VA | 08/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The phrase "Italian baroque violin music" no longer conjures up exclusively the music of Vivaldi, thanks to recordings such as this one by the English baroque ensemble Romanesca. As Romanesca has shown us in disc after disc of Biber, Schmelzer, and other composers, 17th-century violin music is an exciting antidote to the sewing-machine facility of the later Italian baroque. This disc takes us to the first half of the 17th century, when the violin had recently acquired its modern form with the Amatis and other makers, and composers were starting to develop a distinctive idiom for the new instrument. Perhaps the most outstanding of these early violin composers was Biagio Marini (c.1587-1663) of Brescia, a violinist at San Marco in Venice who played under Monteverdi's direction.
The compositions on this disc are from three different Marini publications: opus 3, 8, and 22 (his last published collection). They fall under three types: pieces for solo violin and continuo, pieces for two violins and continuo (what would later be called trio sonatas), and dances and other short pieces for string quartet (!) with continuo. Among the highlights are the Opus 8 violin sonatas (tracks 6 and 14), attempts to translate vocal monody (the expressive recitative of early opera) to instrumental terms; ROMANESCA (track 7), based on a ground bass shared with "Greensleeves"; the 12-minute PASS'E MEZO (track 15), a masterful variations piece; and especially the poignant PASSACAGLIO (track 8), which Manze qualifies as a "masterpiece". Everywhere, Marini's harmonic boldness and a distinctive, bittersweet lyricism are in evidence.
Early baroque music often looks plain on the page but yields expressive riches through an imaginative interpretation; violinist Andrew Manze and his colleagues (including John Toll on harpsichord and Nigel North on chitarrone, a kind of baroque guitar) illustrate this beautifully. Their commitment to giving the pieces coherent shape through dynamics, articulation, pacing, and expression is clear. This is especially relevant for the solo violin sonatas, which on the page look like rhapsodic splotches of sound but emerge here as arresting, highly expressive utterances. Manze's flamboyant style is appropriate to the solo pieces, but his expressive range is wide: compare his lovely, silky tone in the beginning of the ROMANESCA with the rapid, prickly divisions at the end of the piece. I have only a few reservations. The PASSACAGLIO is performed in an appropriately grave and muted manner, but I could have wished for a little more embellishment. I regretted the absence of more selections from opus 22, perhaps the culmination of Marini's work. And I found myself hungering for one or two more longer compositions.
This disc is a fine portrait of a fascinating early baroque figure. To start exploring the instrumental side of the 17th-century STIL MODERNO, look no further."
Great Music - Great Price
J. Burton | 07/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The period-instrument ensemble Romanesca performs works from Curiose & Moderne Inventioni, Op.12, and other publications by Biagio Marini (c1587-1663).
"You won't regret ordering this cd. The sounds are light and alive, but never overwhelming. Romanesca does not try to "prove" itself with this record. The music speaks for itself, with low moods displayed as such, and as said, high moods never so high, loud and fast that you feel you must turn down your player. Now that's a rare cd!" (Anonymous, Amazon.com)
The works on this recording:
1. Sinfonia Sesto Tuono
2. Balletto Terzo
3. Corrente Seconda
4. Zarabanda Terza
5. Balletto Quarto Allemano
6. Sonata for violin solo "Per sonare con due corde"
7. Romanesca per violin solo & basso se piace, Op 3
9. Sinfonia Primo Tuono
10. Zarabanda Quarta
11. Sonata Basso e Violino
12. Sinfonia Terzo Tuono
13. Sonata Prima A doi Violino, Op 8
14. Sonata Terza, Variata for violin solo, Op 8
15. Pass'e mezo in 10 Parti Doi Violini e chitarone, Op 8
16. Balletto secundo