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Sonatas by Nardini -
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'... a delightful recording ...'

Nardini: Six Sonatas. © 2007 La Bottega Discantica

This is a delightful recording -- and perhaps something of a collectors' piece -- from an interesting Italian label.

La Bottega Discantica, whose online shop offers a very handsome collection of 'special offer' discounted discs from many of the other main labels, also has a label of its own, Discantica. In some ways eclectic, in others steadfastly reflecting its desire to offer a conspectus of the music of Italy from the Renaissance (more especially the early 17th century) to the present day, the label embraces a wide range of Baroque and Classical figures: Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Corelli, Pergolesi, Paisiello, G-B Martini, Galuppi, Piatti, Salieri, Stradella, Frescobaldi and Ferdinando Paer, as well as paying quiet homage to intriguing lesser-known composers such as Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710) and Luigi Vecchiotti (1804-63).

Bach, Pachelbel, Hasse, Haydn and Mozart are also embraced on the label (alongside Rossini); and from the padre Vecchiotti's period, Liszt, Brahms and Schumann. Wolf-Ferrari features, then Respighi, and from nearer today, Nino Rota rubs shoulders with Argentina's tango-king, Astor Piazzolla. Bottega Distantica's label seems especially robust and versatile in the fields of chamber music, instrumental sonatas with continuo and organ music.

The music on this disc is what Telemann might have termed Tafelmusik, though it focused on the Trio-Sonata -- here two flutes plus cello and harpsichord accompaniment, rather than the fuller orchestral and quasi-orchestral pieces Telemann also included under that title. Not that the continuo doesn't reveal a mind of its own: here in Nardini, it occasionally does. Gabriele Toia's clavicembalo (a French harpsichord being chosen in place of the more usual fortepiano, as the group's leader, Gabriele Formenti, explains in a compact sleevenote) has a slightly greater security and individual touch than Gioele Gusberti's period-feel cello, yet both escort the flautists handsomely and attentively, and Toia's occasional flights -- a cadenza-like linking passage in Sonata No 5, for instance -- add colour and flair.

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Copyright © 11 May 2008 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry UK


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