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Francesco Mancini (1672-1737): Solos for Flute / Gwyn Roberts, recorder; flauto traverso; Tempesta di Mare


Notes & Reviews:

Born in 1672 in Naples where he trained as an organist and composer, Francesco Mancini became one of the most prominent composers of Neapolitan opera in the eighteenth century. The Solos for a Flute, published in 1724, were a collection of Sonatas dedicated to John Fleetwood, the English consul to Naples and himself an amateur flautist. Hoping to gain himself a steady remunerative position in England, Mancini designed this flattering dedication to take advantage of the popularity of Italian music in London and the rise in prominence of wind music at the time. Fleetwood died the year after the Solos were published and Mancini never moved from his native Italy. The quality of these works was nevertheless recognized in England and the Solos for a Flute achieved great success. The Sonatas, as the individual Solos are called, follow the usual four- or five-movement structure established by Corelli, wildly popular in England at the time. Clear Neapolitan influences are present, however, in elements such as the minor tonalities and almost operatic melodies employed in the slow movements.

BBC Music Magazine, June 2014
Eight predictable sonatas elevated by characterful performance on various recorders/flute, assorted continuo adding colour. Neglected music which charms as much today as when composed in 1724.

MusicWeb International, 13th October 2014
This is first-class entertainment, and, considering the theatrical aspects of these sonatas, often more than that.


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