'Galant pleasures' seems an apt description for this release, which presents a charming selection of works written for the mandolin in 18th-century Paris. Indeed, it was around this time that a number of plucked instruments came into vogue, and the mandolin in particular found great success among the nobility and middle classes, taking part in an atmosphere of intellect and refinement that prompted a new artistic direction in music of the period, revolutionising audiences' tastes and sensibilities along the way.
In Domenico Scarlatti’s vast output of 555 keyboard sonatas, there are a small number of works that are especially interesting to musicologists because of characteristics such as figured bass, three‐ or four‐movement structure, and distinctive melodic lines that are particularly appropriate for a highpitched solo instrument. Some experts believe that these works were written for the violin; on this recording, after meticulous research and the discovery of an important new manuscript at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris, the members of Artemandoline propose the fascinating theory that the sonatas may have been composed for the mandolin. Featuring works ranging from the smaller‐scale K77 to the ambitious and technically demanding K88 – which is extremely well suited to the mandolin thanks to its four‐part chords and dynamic nuances – this disc offers a radical reinterpretation of this captivating music.
András Schiff is one of the best Bach players among Gould, Rosalyn Tureck and Wanda Landowska. On Schiff's French Suites, every part from every suite has a different color and gives you different feeling. Every harmony is taken to its end with care, and dynamic balance is always delightful to listen. Articulation of the notes is excellent, full of humour, and in some places you surely start to smile and you feel very happy when you listen to Schiff. He also plays the slow parts very deeply and warmly, which is for some artists a big problem when playing Bach. There are also Italian Concerto and French Overture on the CD's, played brilliantly, so this set is really worth buying. Recommended for everyone.