by Durante, Pergolesi, Bonporti, Vivaldi, Boccherini
selection of rare and in some cases previously unrecorded pieces
of Italian Baroque music: "La Pazzia" of Durante
is performed by Giuseppe Prencipe
using the technique of that era; the dreamlike "Recitativo"
of abate Bonporti, the overwhelming
"Fandango" of Boccherini
in its unusual original version; the "Concertino n02"
of Pergolesi, the composer
who inspired Igor Stravinskij.
from the original CD booklet:
journey could not neglect certain "pearls" from the magical
period which goes under the name of the "musical Baroque". This
was an age of creative development and stylistic innovations
which in Italy produced composers of genius who uplifted and
ennobled the musical culture of the whole of Eurospe. Some of
the composers we have chosen are some of the most important
figures in the history of music, chief amongst them the great
Francesco Durante, who together with Alessandro Scarlatti was
the guiding spirit of the famous Neapolitan School. We have
also chosen his pupil Giovanni Battista Pergolesi; Francesco
Antonio Bonporti, the abbot from Trento; that other "man of
the Church", the Venetian Antonio Vivaldi; and Luigi Boccherini
was a period in the history of music when the expression of
human emotions in their purest and most limpid form became a
primary need and intention. Feeling irrupted with intense impetus
and expressive power. It engendered a vibrant dynamism and a
search for contrast, the pursuit of that which was "black and
white". Musical instruments were developed and improved upon
to achieve new forms of sound and in grand style there emerged
one instrument in particular which took wonderful steps forward
- the violin.
period was that which stretched from the seventeenth to the
eighteenth centuries. For music itself a new and unrepeatable
experience had begun - that of the Baroque. Corelli, Durante,
Bonporti, Vivaldi, Tartini, and before them Monteverdi and Frescobaldi,
were the pioneers of a new way of "making music" and of a different
style which would later culminate in the work of Bach and Handel.
forms of composition developed by these figures meant that instrumental
music - which up to that time had been of secondary importance
when compared to vocal works - took on a new role and influence.
The term "baroque" is not completely or readily accepted by
musical scholars - indeed it is very controversial. But there
again, it is by no means easy to provide an overall stylistic
definition of a period which covers a hundred and fifty years
of various forms of musical expression and different interweaving
influences which originated in Italy and then spread throughout
Eurospe. Others have coined another definition which is not
however really suitable - "the age of the basso continuo".
of the basso continuo was certainly one of the most evident
features of the transformation of the musical language of this
period. It was a kind of musical stenography, an inspired system
which involved writing the accompaniment with a base line above
which were placed written numbers. This stenographic system
was essentially a matter of improvisation because these numbers
were not always written down in complete form. Indeed, some
of the base parts were left entirely unrecorded and their performance
was left to the judgement of the player himself.
one’s point of view, the use of the term "musical Baroque" to
refer to this fruitful period is distinctly evocative and is
certainly more satisfactory to the intuitive senses. Much is
known about the composers of this tradition and about the music
which made it legendary. Baroque music has been much studied
and discussed and has been frequently performed. But there remain
unknown "pearls" of this lineage which have never been recorded.
We would like to offer this music for the appreciation and consideration
of those who love music.