Degli Antoni: 12 Sonatas Op.4

Degli Antoni: 12 Sonatas Op.4
Composer Pietro Degli Antoni
Artist Il Coro D'Arcadia
Alessandro Ciccolini violin
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95118
EAN code 5028421951188
Release January 2016

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About this release

Here’s another composer plucked from the dusty libraries of obscurity by Brilliant Classics, so the music can be heard on its own merits, in new, well-researched editions and up-to-date, historically informed performances. Pietro degli Antoni (1639-1720) was born, died and made his career in Bologna, where he was maestro di capella in three of the city’s churches.

His activity as a composer embraced a wide range of genres, from instrumental music to vocal works for chamber performance, for church services and for the opera stage. Apart from a collection of sonatas and versetti for the organ (including a pastorale), his instrumental output comprises two collections of dances for the violin, and two sonata sets for solo violin and basso continuo that reveal a highly individual style which anticipates the brilliant style of Arcangelo Corelli, another Bolognan.

There are 12 sonatas in Op.4, all four-, five- and six-movement works – there are 58 tracks on the disc – which present vividly coloured snapshots of the Italian Baroque. Even most of the slow movements last barely a minute, enough to spin a melody over some figured bass chords, with titles such as affettuoso, aria posata, aria grave, and posato, revealing their debt to the vocal style. This adoption of recitative and aria is a distinctive trait typical of Degli Antoni’s work, one rarely found in his contemporaries, that justifies defining the works as cantate strumentali, or instrumental cantatas.

Il coro d’Arcadia is a Baroque group of musicians named after an 18th century ensemble in Rome, and led by the violinist Alessandro Ciccolini, who has also edited and reconstructed rare works by Vivaldi to be performed by the late Alan Curtis and his Complesso Barocco ensemble.

Pietro degli Antoni (1639-1720) was a founding member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica in his native Bologna, an institution bringing together professional musicians “so well united that they always play together, creating fine sound”. Many famous composers were member: Vitali, Tosi, Colonna, and later Corelli, Bononcini, Torelli and Bassani. Even Mozart, when visiting Bologna, became a member, being highly impressed by the sheer size and quality of the Accademia (..”the music was grave and majestic..” he wrote home).
Antoni was a prominent member of the Accademia, and was active as composer and chapel master in various churches, writing sacred vocal works, but also opera and chamber music.
This new recording presents Antoni’s “12 Sonatas Op. 4” for violin and basso continuo, multi-movement works, alternating allegros with rapid brilliant passage work with adagios full of “affects” and arioso style melodies.
Alessandro Ciccolini is one of Italy’s foremost baroque violinists. A composer and editor as well, he reconstructed Vivaldi’s opera Montezuma, as recorded by Alan Curtis for DG. He successfully recorded Albinoni’s Opus 4 for Brilliant Classics.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sonata No. 1: I. Grave
  2. Sonata No. 1: II. Aria posata
  3. Sonata No. 1: III. Allegro
  4. Sonata No. 1: IV. Adagio
  5. Sonata No. 2: I. Adagio
  6. Sonata No. 2: II. Presto, presto
  7. Sonata No. 2: III. Adagio
  8. Sonata No. 2: IV. Presto
  9. Sonata No. 2: V. Aria grave
  10. Sonata No. 2: VI. Posato
  11. Sonata No. 2: VII. Prestissimo
  12. Sonata No. 3: I. Allegro
  13. Sonata No. 3: II. Aria grave
  14. Sonata No. 3: III. Grave
  15. Sonata No. 3: IV. Allegro
  16. Sonata No. 4: I. Adagio
  17. Sonata No. 4: II. Vivace
  18. Sonata No. 4: III. Grave
  19. Sonata No. 4: IV. Allegro
  20. Sonata No. 4: V. (senza indicazione di tempo)
  21. Sonata No. 5: I. Vivace
  22. Sonata No. 5: II. Adagio
  23. Sonata No. 5: III. Allegro
  24. Sonata No. 5: IV. Lento
  25. Sonata No. 5: V. Allegro, prestissimo
  26. Sonata No. 6: I. Adagio
  27. Sonata No. 6: II. Grave
  28. Sonata No. 6: III. Vivace
  29. Sonata No. 6: IV. Largo
  30. Sonata No. 7: I. Lento
  31. Sonata No. 7: II. Adagio
  32. Sonata No. 7: III. Largo
  33. Sonata No. 7: IV. Presto
  34. Sonata No. 7: V. Adagio
  35. Sonata No. 7: VI. Allegro
  36. Sonata No. 8: I. Grave
  37. Sonata No. 8: II. Largo
  38. Sonata No. 8: III. Adagio
  39. Sonata No. 8: IV. Presto, allegro
  40. Sonata No. 9: I. Largo
  41. Sonata No. 9: II. Posato
  42. Sonata No. 9: III. Adagio
  43. Sonata No. 9: IV. (senza indicazione di tempo)
  44. Sonata No. 9: V. Vivace
  45. Sonata No. 10: I. Lento
  46. Sonata No. 10: II. Allegro
  47. Sonata No. 10: III. Adagio
  48. Sonata No. 10: IV. Vivace
  49. Sonata No. 11: I. Largo
  50. Sonata No. 11: II. Adagio
  51. Sonata No. 11: III. Vivace
  52. Sonata No. 11: IV. (senza indicazione di tempo)
  53. Sonata No. 11: V. Vivace
  54. Sonata No. 12: I. Posato
  55. Sonata No. 12: II. Largo
  56. Sonata No. 12: III. Allegro
  57. Sonata No. 12: IV. Grave
  58. Sonata No. 12: V. Presto