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CD Cover

Rarita', Price: 9.29 Euros
Each additional coverpak (single CD) is only 8.29 Euros and each additional coverbook (double CD) is only 14.49 Euros.

We present here some true gems - pieces by Vivaldo, Tartini and Mercadante beautiful and yet not often recorded


Rare pieces by Vivaldi, Tartini and Mercadante

Excerpts from the original booklet:

...There is so much gossip in Venice about that Red Priest who doesn't celebrate Mass, the brother of two law offenders, with too many theatre actresses around him… and that Annina, a mezzo-soprano who he obstinately forces to sing as a contralto! Antonio Vivaldi, teacher, concert artist, composer, enjoys a certain degree of notoriety in that period. He is considered an excellent teacher. Those who listen to "his" little orphans of the Santa Maria della Pietà, say that they have heard the voices of angels.

He even writes original music for them. Vivaldi as a concert artist? His violin performances are very much appreciated. A tourist guide writes in 1713: "…among the best players of Violin". The musicologist, Baron Von Uffemback, at the end of one of his concerts declares: "…I do not believe that anyone has ever played, or will ever be able to play, in that manner!" Vivaldi is appreciated as a composer, but he is not greatly in demand. The mass movements he writes are considered respectfully, up to his task, but nothing more. He does not have positive relationships with his contemporaries: Goldoni, Tartini, Benedetto Marcello do not understand him. But Johann Sebastian Bach studies him carefully and transcribes a good number of his Concertos, employing them as formal models. After his death, far away from Venice, he is immediately forgotten, his face is forgotten, and so is his music. Vivaldi is only rediscovered during the initial decades of the 1900s. Step by step, discovery after discovery, the vastness of his production, that includes all musical genres, is perceived: from the more than 460 Concertos, to the approx. 90 Sonatas, the 21 Symphonies, 50 theatre pieces, secular Cantatas, single Arias, Sacred vocal compositions. Today he is one of the most popular, most performed and most recorded composers. We wish to pay homage to him with this compact disc, proposing a piece that has been oddly neglected by the recording industry: "Il Piccolino", about three minutes of enthralling music that remains engraved in the memory. The fulminating opening of the Allegro is a whiplash of vitality, a succession of notes, with the orchestra performing nearly holding its breath. There follows, to regain breath, a brief moment of dreamy attendance, Largo, and therefore once again with a vibrant Allegro that brings to the conclusion.

The other great violinist and composer who illuminates that musical period is Giuseppe Tartini, who is born about ten years after Vivaldi and about one-hundred kilometres away. A musician of "transition", he will be the one to mark the passage from the late-Baroque period to Classicism. A lively and restless man, he is a great theoretician and technician. For a certain period he seems set on dedicating himself to the ecclesiastical career and then, suddenly, he abandons his cassock and marries a young violinist who is a student of his, Elisabetta Premazore, unleashing the Bishop of Padua's fury. Tartini does not agree with the choices of the "opera composer" Vivaldi since "…I have been urgently requested to compose for the Venetian theatres, but I have always refused, being fully aware that a throat is not a violin handle." The musician he prefers referring to is Arcangelo Corelli, accepting his influence as a model for instrumental techniques and composition forms. For the public, Tartini is immediately associated to the violin, with which he is capable of extraordinary virtuosity. But it would be reductive to only consider him in this light: he also qualifies as a "theoretician" of the highest level. He conducts in-depth studies of the instrument, renews its executing techniques, modifies its structure. Scholars from all over Eurospe flock to learn as much as possible directly from him. The "theory of the third sound"(or resultant tone) arises thanks to his studies. He will also leave behind a great amount of compositions and important works of musical theory. We recall him with three unusual pieces: the Concerto in D major for Viola and Strings, the Concerto in D minor D.45 for Violin and String Orchestra and the Symphony in A major for Strings. Originally, the Concerto in D major was composed for "Viola da gamba"; then, with this instrument's falling into disuse, the solo part is assigned to the cello. The Viola version that we are presenting may be considered a musical rarity.

Twenty-five years go by from the Tartini's death and, this time in the deepest south of Italy, another talented musician is born who makes his first steps holding a violin and then lands, as a composer, in the world of opera: Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante. Another period in time, other musical demands, other expectations. He is born in Altamura, and to be able to enrol in the Real Collegio di Musica S. Sebastiano he has to pretend to be from Naples and to be two years younger than what he actually is. He is accepted and also manages to attend the school without paying a tuition. He studies violin and, at the same time, harmony and composition. Nicola Zingarelli, the skilful director of the Conservatory, where composers such as Vicenzo Bellini and Errico Petrella have studied, takes Mercadante under his wing and soon the young man becomes his favourite disciple. It does not take him long to emerge: at twenty years of age he is already conductor of the Conservatory's orchestra, attracting the attention of Rossini and then obtaining the assignment of writing some ballets for the S. Carlo Theatre of Naples. His choice is made from this moment on, his attention will principally be turned to music dramas and, like the most part of musicians of his generation, he will be following Rossini's footsteps. His operas, and he composes over fifty of them, are successful and go beyond the national boundaries. He travels all over Eurospe and stages his operas in Paris, London, Vienna, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon. But his authoritative creative personality is not only confined to the music drama sphere: his works, vast and worthy of attention, also turn to the composition of Oratories, sacred music, Symphonies, Concertos and Variations. The recording of Variazioni for Horn and Strings has been a moment of particular importance. It must be stated in advance that even their concert performance is a rare event: after the "debut" of 16 September 1825 in Palermo, with the horn player Felice Sgroppo, it has only been possible to hear it once again in L'Aquila in 1995, during the bicentennial ceremonies of Mercadante's birth, proposed by Luciano Giuliani with "I Solisti Aquilani". The recording therefore represents another rarity since, to our knowledge, there are no other such recordings in existence. The Variazioni for Horn and Strings open with an introduction entrusted to the Strings alone, followed by a Largo with Horn and a modified Andante, therefore five Variazioni alternated with the introductory theme for Strings. The Prima Variazione presents the theme with tied staccato triplets, the Seconda and the Terza propose an andante with technically intense wide phrasing. A very expressive and sung Largo distinguishes the Quarta Variazione. In the Quinta, where the introduction of Strings is not foreseen, the horn player has the possibility of developing and putting into light the best of his virtuoso potentialities.

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