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Giorgio Gentili (1669-1731): Trio Sonatas, Op. 1 / Soavi Affetti Baroque Music Ensemble

Notes & Reviews:

This new release is the first ever recording of Giogio Gentili's 12 Trio Sonatas. A famous violinist and teacher, Giorgio Gentili taught the likes of Antonio Vivaldi. He performed in the San Marco, and his compositions were popular all across Europe during the early 18th century. The Italian Soavi Affetti Baroque Ensemble performs these works on original instruments and beautifully explores this lesser-known corner of the Baroque repertoire.


Neglected Venetian Master
Details concerning the life and career of violinist and composer, Giorgio Gentili
(1669-1737) are sketchy. We do know that he was highly regarded during his lifetime and that Vivaldi was reputedly among his students. Little is available via recordings. That is, until now. Brilliant Classics has released this 2 disc set (approximately 83 minutes) devoted to the 12 Trio Sonatas published in 1701, the composerís opus 1. Each is in a different key. The scoring consists of 2 violins, cello and basso continuo (harpsichord/organ and theorbo). They are generally 4 or 5 movements and more or less adhere to the standard slow-fast-slow, etc. paradigm. There is much to savor here. Rhythmic and textural variety are at the forefront. In addition, the composer displays a penchant for fugal writing. Distinctive thematic content is less apparent. Admittedly, this element is better served elsewhere, in the compositions of fellow countryman and contemporary, Albinoni, for example. Still, the high level of execution and the refined beauty of sound produced by Soavi Affetti, a Baroque music ensemble based in Florence, are strong incentives. The sound engineering, warmly resonant albeit slightly recessed, nicely complements the material. The scholarly and comprehensive liner notes top off a release which will undoubtedly be of interest to students of the Italian Baroque and admirers of excellent string playing.

Submitted on 09/16/16 by Allen Cohen 
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