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Record Box

Virtuosic Turns

Solo sonatas by
Benedetto Marcello,
reviewed by
GERALD FENECH


Old Dominion University    ODU 3664

Benedetto Marcello: Solo Sonatas Opus 1. Mike Hall, trombone; Rebecca Bell, harpsichord; Christopher White, double bass. © 2007 Old Dominion University

Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) was a politician by profession, but as a valid composer, he often wrote music for weekly academies. Over the course of time, his talents as a musician superseded his political acumen, and many of his works were freely transcribed and arranged by such giants as J S Bach, Rossini, Verdi and Bizet, not to mention a host of others, both during his lifetime and after his death.

His language is highly expressive and he had a natural instinct at communicating mood and emotion. The six sonatas on this disc were published late in his life but were probably written much earlier. The First Sonata is particularly expressive and interesting in its change of dynamics.

Listen -- Largo (Sonata No 1 in F)
(track 1, 2:04-2:50) © 2007 Old Dominion University

Originally conceived for cello, the sonatas translate easily to other instruments, particularly the 'low brass' genre. Sonata No 3 is also quite impressive with its beautiful melody and virtuosic turns.

Listen -- Allegro (Sonata No 3 in A minor)
(track 10, 1:46-2:40) © 2007 Old Dominion University

Mike Hall and Rebecca Bell bring their assured professionalism to the cause with sound quality that is clear and immediate. The only disappointment is that the package comes with almost no notes which is a bit of a shame.

Copyright © 14 October 2008 Gerald Fenech, Gzira, Malta

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Benedetto Marcello: Solo Sonatas Opus 1

ODU 3664 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 48'45" 2007 Old Dominion University

Mike Hall, trombone; Rebecca Bell, harpsichord; Christopher White, double bass

Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739):

Sonata No 1 in F (Largo; Allegro; Largo; Allegro)
Sonata No 2 in E minor (Adagio; Allegro; Largo; Andante)
Sonata No 3 in A minor (Adagio; Allegro; Largo; Allegro)
Sonata No 4 in G minor (Adagio; Allegro; Largo; Allegro)
Sonata No 5 in C (Adagio; Allegro; Largo; Allegro)
Sonata No 6 in G (Adagio; Allegro; Grave; Allegro)

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