After the success of their first volume Ophélie Gaillard and Pulcinella propose a second disc devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach's most talented and surprising son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788). The Sinfonia in C major expresses multiple emotions, ranging from irrepressible suffering in the Adagio to joyous release and insouciance in the concluding Allegretto, tinged with near-Mozartian grace. The Cello Concerto in B flat reveals the influence of the waning Baroque era and Vivaldi in particular.
Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi’s reputation rests principally on his pioneering series of comic operas. But, trained by Antonio Lotti, Galuppi was also a keyboard player of distinction who served at the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg. Twelve keyboard sonatas were published during his lifetime, but Hedda Illy’s catalogue lists over 100 and reveals that Galuppi not only inherited the brilliance and panache of Domenico Scarlatti but anticipated the expressive writing of Mozart. The first volume in Matteo Napoli’s series (8.572263) was commended as “a good choice for connoisseurs of 18th century keyboard music.”
The art of Shakespeare was a recurring fascination for Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In addition to two operas and numerous settings of songs and sonnets, he wrote 11 Shakespeare Overtures which here receive their first ever complete recording. Deploying all the resources of the symphony orchestra, these are some of the twentieth century’s most dramatic and tuneful orchestral works, spectacular evocations of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
This two-cd survey of Franz Schreker's forty-eight completed songs concludes with a selection that provides a sweeping overview of his lyric accomplishment, from prize-winning early efforts as a student at the Vienna Conservatory to a crowning masterpiece, written at the height of his international fame. Although by their number Lieder do not loom large in his creative output (that place is given to his operas, and secondarily to his orchestral works) Schreker's songs nonetheless document each stage of his stylistic development and contain some of his finest music…
The first volume of Concerti per molti strumenti (called Concerti per mandolinio) was a real knock-out. This second volume will prove that there is a lot more Vivaldi to discover. The first concerto of this CD is a Concerto a 10 V in D. The recorded sound is excellent and the majestical slow opening with horns and timpani will get the hairs on your arms to stand stright up! The slow movements (an alternate second movement with solo organ is also present) are both heartrendering and conveyes the impression of entering an mini-opera without words.
Italy's Alfredo Casella has been talked up as the great unknown composer of the first half of the 20th century. He was influenced by Debussy, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky in turn, yet he mixed and matched elements of their styles with a distinctive formal imagination. Casella was largely responsible for the reintroduction of Vivaldi to the musical world, and some of the neo-classic music he composed later in his career had direct Baroque references. This album lacks that aspect of his work, but these three pieces, each made up of short chunks of music, probably offers an easier introduction to Casella than do the weightier symphonies. The Concerto for Orchestra, loosely neo-classical, appeared in 1938 and thus lay between Hindemith's and Bartók's works with the same title.Review by James Manheim
The concertos by Vivaldi featured on this recording are all classifiable by genre as concerti a Quattro : that is, concertos for the standard string orchestra of the time but without the participation of a violin or other soloist. In fact, such concertos continued the tradition of the primitive concerto as conceived in northern Italy shortly before 1700 (see, for example, the concertos of Giuseppe Torelli’s Op. 5  and Op. 6 ). Following the rise from c. 1710 of the solo concerto (for which Vivaldi was primarily responsible), concerti a Quattro became much less popular, especially since operatic overtures, which were normally scored for exactly the same forces, could be detached from their parent work and used as independent concert symphonies (sinfonie da camera ).
Domenico Cimarosa was the most famous and popular Italian opera composer of the second half of the 18th Century. In the course of a brilliantly successful career he composed more than 65 operas as well as a significant number of other works. Nothing is known about the origins of the keyboard sonatas although from their style and structure they appear to date from relatively early in his career. These attractive, small-scale works were probably intended for study purposes or for domestic performance. The crystalline brilliance of many of the fast outer movements is very appealing and the slow movements, although somewhat conservative in style, often possess a surprising expressive depth.
Once virtually forgotten, Antonio Vivaldi now enjoys a reputation that equals the international fame he enjoyed in his heyday. Born in Venice in 1678, the son of a barber who was himself to win distinction as a violinist in the service of the great basilica of San Marco, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1703. At the same time he established himself as a violinist of remarkable ability.