EDGAR MOREA UGIOVIN CELLO Luigi Boccherini1743-1805 Cello concerto G479 in D major . en...
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CELLO CONCERTOS Haydn - Vivaldi - platti - boccherini - graziani Il Pomo d’Oro - Riccardo Minasi
Joseph Haydn 1732-1809 Cello concerto Hob. VIIb.1 in C major . en ut majeur . C-dur 1. I Moderato 09:07 2. II Adagio 08:03 3. III Allegro Molto 05:56
Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 Cello concerto RV 419 in A minor . en la mineur . a-moll 4. I Allegro 03:12 5. II Andante 03:21 6. III Allegro 01:30
Giovanni Platti 1697-1763 Cello concerto in D major . en ré majeur . D-dur 7. I Allegro 03:31 8. II Adagio 03:34 9. III Allegro 04:48
Luigi Boccherini 1743-1805 Cello concerto G479 in D major . en ré majeur . D-dur 10. I Allegro 06:36 11. II Adagio 04:37 12. III Allegro 04:19
Carlo Graziani ? – 1787 Cello concerto in C major . en ut majeur . C-dur 13. I Allegro moderato 10:01 14. II Larghetto grazioso con portamento 04:45 15. III Rondeau. Allegretto 06:27
Edgar Moreau cello Il Pomo d'Oro Riccardo Minasi conductor
Recording : 11 – 15. I. 2015 - Lonigo, Italy
Executive producer: Alain Lanceron Producer : Giulio D’Alessio Recording Producer & editing: Florent Ollivier Recording engineer & mixing: Florent Ollivier Recording assistant: Ignace Hauville Recording and Editing Facilities: www.littletribeca.com
Photos: � Julien Mignot Design: William Yonner
� & � 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company
“This new album gives me a chance to engage with Baroque repertoire, which is quite different from the lighter items that featured on Play, my first recording for Warner Classics. Working on this music with Riccardo Minasi and Il Pomo d'Oro has been a very rewarding experience. Two different worlds came together: I’m a young cellist who is keen to break down certain stylistic barriers, and they are an orchestra with a special knowledge of period style and a belief in the letter of the text and its ornamentation. The environment could hardly have been conducive: the magnificent monastery of Lonigo, between Venice and Verona, where we spent a week working in the greatest detail, and sometimes through the night, on this recording.”
This CD traces the evolution and development of the expressive range of the cello in some of the most significant 18th century concertos for the instrument. The early decades of the 18th century saw rapid developments in cello technique and repertoire. It was during this period that the cello, which in its early stages had fulfilled only an accompanying function, gradually assumed a more independent solo role. This development was in part influenced by the almost simultaneous rise in the importance and progress of the new solo concerto genre. It was at around the same time that the solo concerto standardized a formal ritornello structure with close dialogue and contrast between the virtuoso soloist and the orchestra.
The career and works of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) lie at the centre of these two parallel developments. While Vivaldi is generally credited as a key innovator in the concerto genre, he was also, perhaps not surprisingly, one of the earliest composers of cello concertos. Most of his 27 cello concertos were written around the 1720s when Vivaldi was producing two concertos a month for talented female students at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice where the cello tutors at the time included Antonio Vandini and Bernardo Aliprandi. The cello concerto RV 419 contains all the elements that would later become typical of the structure and essence of the solo concerto: division into three movements and consolidation of the ritornello form with the string orchestra introducing clear thematic material – in the first Allegro marked by a descending chromatic scale – which alternates with virtuoso solo passages. In this concerto, the use of the minor key enhances the cello's elegiac and expressive qualities which are particularly evident in the central lyrical Andante where the soloist is accompanied by the continuo alone. The short final movement is an unusual mixture of rondo and variation form, with both the orchestral ritornello and solo passages based on a repeated eight-bar ostinato figure.
In the wake of the Vivaldian revolution, composers and virtuosi expanded the cello concerto repertoire with masterpieces providing scope to display the instrument’s full potential. The cello concertos of the 18th century were generally dedicated to aristocratic amateurs and professional virtuosi or written by performers, often for their own use. The concertos composed by the Venetian Giovanni Benedetto Platti (before 1692-1763) certainly belong in the former category. The son of a viola player in the orchestra of the Basilica of S. Marco, Platti was already an admired oboe virtuoso when, in 1722, he entered the service of Prince-Archbishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn. Platti was employed at the residence of von Schönborn in Würzburg not only as an oboist, but also as a singer and performer on the violin, harpsichord, cello and flute, as well as as a composer. The prince’s brother, Count Rudolph Franz Erwein von Schönborn, was a passionate amateur cellist who had assembled a vast collection of cello sonatas and concertos at his castle in Wiesentheid. Indeed, it was for him that Vivaldi wrote his earliest cello concertos. Most of Platti’s 22 cello concertos, whose autographs are still preserved at Wiesentheid, were commissioned by Count Rudolph, probably around 1740. Platti’s writing, conforming in part to the count’s preference for an older style, falls clearly within Vivaldian conventions. This is especially apparent in the D major concerto's first Allegro which is introduced by three “hammer chords” in the orchestra and characterized by a rhythmically animated ritornello and brilliant solo passages. However, this style is also blended with a simpler, more galant melodic style, particularly in the graceful cello phrases of the central Adagio.
The concerto was certainly not one of the genres most closely associated with Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). A certain disinterest for the showy concerto genre, which was far from the more balanced structure typical of Haydn’s symphonic writing, perhaps coupled with
the preference of his patrons, the Esterhazy family, for the symphonic and chamber repertoire allowed the composer few opportunities to cultivate the solo concerto. Only two cello concertos are at present attributed to Haydn. The C major concerto was considered lost until 1961 when it was rediscovered in the National Museum in Prague. However, it was included in the Haydn catalogue of 1765 and was probably written for Joseph Franz Weigl, a cellist employed in the orchestra of the Esterhazy family. The virtuoso abilities of this cello player are indicated by the sparkling last movement, in which the instrument is given the opportunity fully to demonstrate its expressive range in dazzling virtuoso passage work, with lyrical interludes in the minor key, and through exploration of contrasting low and high registers. The opening Moderato has a ritornello which might easily be mistaken for the beginning of one of Haydn’s early symphonies. The distinctive thematic material and close dialogue between soloist and orchestra are highlighted by the oboes and horns. Haydn shows his familiarity with the Italian cantabile style in the Adagio and gives the cello a beautiful aria whose lyrical quality is introduced by a long "messa di voce" style note in the solo instrument.
One of the greatest virtuosi of the second half of the 18th century, Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), made a crucial contribution to the advancement of cello technique and repertoire. Born in Lucca into a family of musicians, Boccherini appeared as a soloist in Venice, Vienna and Paris before moving to Spain where he became the king's favourite chamber musician. The cello is on a par with the violin in all his output, but especially in his string quartets and quintets. The concerto G 479 belongs to a group of four works published in Paris in 1770 but composed a few years earlier, probably during Boccherini’s time as a soloist in Vienna. A clue to these Viennese origins lies in the final Allegro, a typical Viennese-style rustic dance in 3/8, almost Haydnesque
in character. The cello engages in elegant duets with the first violin in both the first and second movements. While the exploration of the cello's highest register was typical of Boccherini’s writing, it is worth recalling that the cello virtuoso travelled and performed in the 1770s with his friend and fellow-countryman, the violinist Filippo Manfredi. It is not difficult to imagine the two virtuoso players performing this concerto's refined galant Adagio in public.
The fame of the great musical contributors to the development of the cello concerto has in part overshadowed the input of several other cello virtuosi whose significant role in the instrument’s history is barely remembered today. The career of the Italian cellist Carlo Graziani (d. 1787) is a case in point. Still very little is known of Graziani’s early life. That he was probably born in Asti, near Turin, can be inferred only from the frontispiece of his compositions, where he calls himself “Astigiano”. The earliest records place him in Paris in 1747. He gave concerts there at the prestigious Concert Spirituel and was later hired to play in the orchestra of the wealthy financier Alexandre de La Poupliniere. He was granted royal privilege in 1758 and the same year published two collections of cello sonatas. Six years later Graziani was in London working as a performer and impresario, often playing with the Turinese violinist