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Marcello: Complete Sonatas for Organ and Harpsichord - Minali, Chiara; Farabollini, Laura (3 CDS)

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Marcello, B: Ciaccona, Op. 2
Marcello, B: Fuga in E minor
Marcello, B: Fuga per organo del signor Benedetto Marcello Nobile Veneto in G minor
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 11 in D
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 12 in C minor
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 2 in G
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 3 in C
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 5 in F
Marcello, B: Harpsichord Sonata No. 7 in A minor
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 1 in D minor
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 10 in G minor
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 4 in G minor
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 6 in D minor
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 8 in B flat major
Marcello, B: Organ Sonata No. 9 in A
Marcello, B: Sonata del signor Benedetto Marcello in C minor
Marcello, B: Sonata del Signor Benedetto Marcello in G
Marcello, B: Sonata di organo del sig. Benedetto Marcello in C
Marcello, B: Sonata di Sua Eccellenza Benedetto Marcello
Marcello, B: Variationi, o Partite

The epitome of a Renaissance man, Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) won success and acclaim as a poet, writer, musician, lawyer, judge, administrator and philologist.

Though his keyboard sonatas have appeared on several recorded collections of the Italian Baroque, they have rarely been presented in a comprehensive manner. In doing so, this album celebrates the personal even idiosyncratic style of a composer whose technical accomplishment facilitates rather than stifling his creative voice.

The 12 Sonatas were later published as Op.3. They date from early in Marcello’s career, and are mostly cast in three and four brief movements, though the first and last of them, in D minor and C minor respectively, feature more extended forms. The minor-key sonatas are generally more dramatic and varied in mood; two complementary performances of the G minor Sonata afford the opportunity to compare the tone-colours of the different instruments used on the recording. There are several sonatas not belonging to the Op.3 collection which are less often heard, and their inclusion here is valuable, alongside Marcello’s magnificent chaconne, subtitled ‘La stravaganza’: a 15-minute tour-de-force of keyboard invention.

The album is enhanced by a vivid account of Marcello’s music, life and career, written by the harpsichordist Laura Farabollini. On this recording she plays a modern Italian copy of a late-18th century French instrument by Taskin, with two manuals and four registers. Chiara Minali plays an organ built by Gio’ Batta Sona in 1812, in the Cornu Evangelii choir of the parish church of San Pietro in Cattedra at Valeggio sul Mincio near Verona.


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