There are many other highly recommendable recordings by Collegium Musicum 90 under Simon Standage on the Chandos early music label, Chaconne. If you’ve heard a reasonable cross-section of the music of Vivaldi and would like to experiment with some of his near-contemporaries, their recording of Alessandro Marcello’s six Violin Concertos, Op.6, known as ‘La Cetra’, together with an extra Concerto in B-flat, would be a good place to start.
A contemporary of Tomaso Albinoni, Alessandro Marcello was the son of a senator in Venice. As such, he enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the scope to pursue his interest in music. He held concerts in his hometown and also composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas.
Andrea Bacchetti follows his album of sonatas by Baldassarre Galuppi with another little-performed 18th century Venetian, Benedetto Marcello, whose work has a surprisingly modern character. The "Sonata III", for instance, opens with a sequence in which the right hand plays the same note 48 times in rapid succession, while the left cycles quadruplets around it – the kind of gambit you'd expect from a Cage or Feldman, but hardly from a contemporary of Vivaldi. Marcello is said to have once fallen into a grave that opened beneath him, a trauma perhaps responsible for the austere, near-spiritual logic of pieces such as the "Sonata V", where the absence of frills prefigures the enigmatic miniatures of Erik Satie.
A celebration of instrumental Baroque splendour! This set present an anthology of Italian Baroque composers, featuring their instrumental output. Obviously the famous composers have their fair share: Vivaldi, Albinoni, Locatelli, Corelli, but also lesser known composers are featured: Barsanti, Bassani, Veracini, Nardini, Stradella, Vitali, Mancini, Platti, Legrenze and many more, over 30 composers! Performances by leading ensembles specialized in the Historically Informed Performance Practice: L'Arte dell'Arco/Federico Guglielmo, Ensemble Cordia/Stefano Veggetti, Violini Capricciosi/Igor Ruhadze, MusicaAmphion/Pieter Jan Belder and many more. A treasure trove of solo concertos, concerti grossi, sinfonias, overtures, trio sonatas and solo sonatas from the Golden Era of the Italian Baroque, era of joy, passion and brilliance!
This recording brings together all the arrangements for harpsichord by Bach of instrumental concertos by his Italian contemporary Antonio Vivaldi, adding those of one concerto each by the brothers Alessandro and Benedetto Marcello. They are performed by Sophie Yates who has made a series of solo CDs for Chandos, many of which have won international awards. She has been described by Gramophone as ‘hugely talented’ and by BBC Music as playing ‘with exceptional poise’.
A slightly older contemporary of Vivaldi, Alessandro Marcello is a less well-known composer of the early eighteenth century, whose home town was Venice and whose younger brother was the more prolific Benedetto. These well-crafted concerti, the most famous works among his output, are sadly infrequently performed. The six 'La Cetra' concertos are unusual for their wind solo parts, instrumental contrasts and combinations, and use of counterpoint within a broadly, Vivaldian style. They provide a cross-section of Marcello's instrumental style of composition and can be seen as a last outpost of the classic Venetian baroque concerto.
Xavier de Maistre is generally fêted as the artist who has managed to liberate the harp from its reputation for wonderful but very soft sounds, and establish it as a solo instrument in the concert hall. On his album "Notte Veneziana", the internationally successful harp virtuoso plays well-known concertos by the Venetian composers Vivaldi, Marcello and Albinoni in new arrangements, combining them with original compositions for solo harp such as the sonata by Giovanni Pescetti, Godefroid’s stunning set of variations on the popular tune “Carnaval de Venise”, and “La Mandoline” by 19th-century composer Elias Parish Alvars.