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Castello & Fontana: Sonate Concertate in Stil Moderno / John, Holloway, violin; Mortensen, Gower

Audio Samples

>Castello, Dario : Sonata settima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 7 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/7)
>Castello, Dario : Sonata prima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 1 in C major (Sonata Concertate I/1)
>Castello, Dario : Sonata ottava, for 2 instruments & continuo no 8 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/8)
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata seconda a violino solo
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Nona
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Terza (from Sonata a 1, 2, 3)
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Decima
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Quinta
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Duodecima
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Sesta
>Castello, Dario : Sonata seconda, for 2 instruments & continuo no 2 in F major (Sonata Concertate I/2)

Album Summary

>Castello, Dario : Sonata settima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 7 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/7)
>Castello, Dario : Sonata prima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 1 in C major (Sonata Concertate I/1)
>Castello, Dario : Sonata ottava, for 2 instruments & continuo no 8 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/8)
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata seconda a violino solo
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Nona
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Terza (from Sonata a 1, 2, 3)
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Decima
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Quinta
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Duodecima
>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Sesta
>Castello, Dario : Sonata seconda, for 2 instruments & continuo no 2 in F major (Sonata Concertate I/2)
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Musical scholarship hasn't much to tell us about Dario Castello and Giovanni Battista Fontana, the two Italian composers from the turn of the 17th century whose works are featured on this album. We know as little about Castello, who was leading an ensemble at St. Mark's around 1629, as we do about the exact birth and death dates of Fontana, who came from Brescia and probably perished during the 1630 outbreak of plague in Padua. Yet there are a number of surviving works by both men that reveal them to have been remarkable composers for the violin. Two books by Castello of sonate cocertate in one to four parts, in still modern with continuo, were printed during the composer's lifetime. In his new recording violinist John Holloway has selected a number of sonatas from this collection to couple with similar works by Fontana, some originally for violin as well as some conceived for other string or wind instruments. Along with solo violin sonatas, Holloway has chosen six of these sonatas for violin and basso continuo that can be regarded as precursors of the later trio sonata or even as early examples of that genre. They also serve as proof that there is still undiscovered territory on the early music map.

Sunday Times
They typify the early-baroque tendency to explore contrasts, of instrumental colour as much as of any other parameter, and are scored for violin and dulcian. The latter instrument is assigned an independent, often highly energetic line, and Gower plays it with beguiling brilliance, graceful phrasing and artful ease.

Gramophone Magazine
Just hearing the music itself, regardless of this infectious, quick-witted performance, is a revelation. Although the Castello feels like the most important work on this disc, the sonatas of Giovanni Battista Fontana with which it is juxtaposed are just plain beautiful, and played so. And that the trio sonatas are among the earliest examples of that genre.

The Observer
Their serious eloquence is beautifully captured in John Holloway's incisive playing, but what is equally remarkable here is the virtuosity of the lower parts for the dulcian, an early bassoon. Jane Gower commands their flights of fancy with such skill that the violin is sometimes overwhelmed, but in Castello's Sonata Decima they achieve a perfect match. Lars Ulrik Mortensen's gentle harpsichord complements discreetly.

Fanfare Magazine - Christopher Brodersen
The group consisted of violin, cello, cornetto, tenor trombone, and basso continuo, and exemplified, to my way of thinking, the perfect instrumentarium for this music. Ultra realistic sound, extensive liner notes, and ample timing combine to produce a first-class release.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
John Holloway and harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen are both very well known, and I am glad to hear the Australian dulcian player Jane Gower for the first time. There are no bios with the CD, but from online research I found that she studied at the Canberra School of Music, then at the Royal Conservatory at The Hague, and since 2007 she has taught at the Royal College of Music in London. She plays with a sweetness and beauty that is remarkable, both in the highest and lowest registers, with a rich singing tone that is a delight to hear.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Propstei St. Gerold (06/2008).



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Works Details

>Castello, Dario : Sonata settima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 7 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/7)
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621

>Castello, Dario : Sonata prima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 1 in C major (Sonata Concertate I/1)
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621

>Castello, Dario : Sonata ottava, for 2 instruments & continuo no 8 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/8)
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata seconda a violino solo
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Nona
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Terza (from Sonata à 1, 2, 3)
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Decima
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Quinta
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Duodecima
  • Performers: Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord); Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Fontana, Giovanni Battista : Sonata Sesta
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Castello, Dario : Sonata settima, for 2 instruments & continuo no 7 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/7)
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621

>Castello, Dario : Sonata seconda, for 2 instruments & continuo no 2 in F major (Sonata Concertate I/2)
  • Performers: John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621

>Castello, Dario : Sonata ottava, for 2 instruments & continuo no 8 in G major (Sonata Concertate I/8)
  • Performers: Jane Gower (Dulcian); John Holloway (Violin); Lars Mortensen (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1621