Giovanni Battista Bassani, born c.1650 in Padua, Italy, was one of the representative composers of Bolognese music; during his lifetime he stood alongside the likes of Torelli and Corelli, but the popularity of his music declined rapidly after his death. This new recording of his Sinfonie Op.5 is an opportunity for listeners to become acquainted with his music, which thoroughly deserves to be rediscovered.
Not only was Bassani one of the most celebrated musicians of his era, held in high esteem by Bach and Handel, his Sinfonie Op.5 proved extremely popular with audiences and performers: four reprints were made and a number of handwritten copies spread throughout the world. Somewhat confusingly, the work is actually a set of 12 sonatas for strings and basso continuo, possibly written with church use in mind. Stylistically, these sonatas demonstrate Bassani’s versatility and ability to draw together different styles and techniques; movements range from solemn toccatas to quick dances, and, in many cases, music of great contrast is created through building upon the same musical materials.
Displaying Bassani’s skill as a composer, violinist and organist, the sonatas that make up the Sinfonie Op.5 are some of the most accomplished and forward-looking works of the late 17th century, foreshadowing sonata form in their structures. This new recording is an exciting chance to discover Bassani’s previously overlooked music, played by Baroque-performance specialists Ensemble Stil Moderno.
- New recording made in November 2011.
- Includes booklet notes, written by specialists in this field.
- Ensemble StilModerno adheres to the Historically Informed Performance Practice, and plays these original and skilfully written works with passion and virtuosity.