Vitali: Trio Sonatas Op. 2

Vitali: Trio Sonatas Op. 2
Composer Giovanni Battista Vitali
Artist Semperconsort
Luigi Cozzolino violin & concert master
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 94405
EAN code 5028421944050
Release October 2012

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About this release

Born in Bologna on 18 February 1632, Giovanni Battista Vitali was one of the most outstanding cellists of his generation. Rising to become sottomaestro di cappella at the court of the music-loving Duke Francesco II d’Este in 1674, the Italian’s output ranges from cantatas and oratorios to various instrumental works. His Sonatas for Violin Op.2, published in 1667, form the subject of this engaging release.

The sonatas, all in the ‘da chiesa’ style, proved to be a highly popular collection during Vitali’s time, and were reprinted no less than five times in the space of 18 years! Not only did their brevity and lack of extreme technical demands appeal to competent amateurs and small churches unable to afford costly vocal resources, but the works’ ability to reconcile the exacting style of the early Baroque ‘sonata da chiesa’ with new ‘classicizing’ was particularly attractive to connoisseurs of the time. Cast in three or four movements, the sonatas either begin with slow and majestic one, or (more often) a faster one with a highly imitative texture. A particularly striking piece is the Sonata No.8 in C minor, whose use of homophonic harmony, underpinned by sequences of unresolved sevenths, must have seemed exceptionally modern for its time.

Performing this charming collection of works are Semperconsort, a group of Renaissance and Baroque specialists who use period-style instruments to recreate how the music would have sounded. Their astute readings are headed by Luigi Cozzolino, principal violinist and founder of the group, whose absorbing playing can only increase listeners’ appreciation for this often overlooked composer.

Other information:
-Historically-informed performances, recorded in 2009, by Luigi Cozzolino from original sources.
-Includes biographies as well as informative notes on the composer and music, written by Carlo Vitali.
- Giovanni Battista Vitali, the 17th century Bolognese master, wrote these Sonate di Chiesa (Church Sonatas) for 2 violins and basso continuo (the organ). They were played between or even during several parts of the Mass Liturgy, but were equally popular for domestic use.
- The music, though still retaining some of the solemn and majestic character due to its liturgical bacground, is lively, brilliantly scored for the two violins, and foreshadowing the more concertante style of Corelli and Vivaldi.
- The Semperconsort and Luigi Cozzolino are also featured on the earlier Vitali issue of Brilliant Classics (BC 93976): “A delightful disc, played in an infectious and enthousiastic manner. Vitali’s music seems to speak with a distinctive voice, full of liveliness and charm”(Musicweb).

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sonata No. 1 in D: I. Allegro
  2. Sonata No. 1 in D: II. Grave
  3. Sonata No. 1 in D: III. Vivace
  4. Sonata No. 1 in D: IV. Grave – Allegro
  5. Sonata No. 2 in F: I. Allegro
  6. Sonata No. 2 in F: II. Grave – Presto - 9/8
  7. Sonata No. 2 in F: III. Grave
  8. Sonata No. 2 in F: IV. Allegro – Presto
  9. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: I. Grave
  10. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: II. Vivace
  11. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: III. 6/4 – 12/8
  12. Sonata No. 4 in B-Flat: I. 4/4
  13. Sonata No. 4 in B-Flat: II. Adagio – Presto
  14. Sonata No. 4 in B-Flat: III. 6/4
  15. Sonata No. 4 in B-Flat: IV. Vivace – Allegro
  16. Sonata No. 5 in E: I. Grave
  17. Sonata No. 5 in E: II. Allegro
  18. Sonata No. 5 in E: III. Largo
  19. Sonata No. 5 in E: IV. Grave – Vivace
  20. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: I. Allegro
  21. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: II. Grave – Largo – Allegro
  22. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: III. Vivace
  23. Sonata No. 7 in C: I. Allegro
  24. Sonata No. 7 in C: II. Largo
  25. Sonata No. 7 in C: III. Grave – Allegro
  26. Sonata No. 8 in C Minor: I. Grave – Allegro
  27. Sonata No. 8 in C Minor: II. Largo
  28. Sonata No. 8 in C Minor: III. Grave – Allegro
  29. Sonata No. 9 in A Minor: I. Allegro
  30. Sonata No. 9 in A Minor: II. Grave
  31. Sonata No. 9 in A Minor: III. Largo
  32. Sonata No. 9 in A Minor: IV. Grave – Allegro
  33. Sonata No. 10 in G Minor: I. Allegro
  34. Sonata No. 10 in G Minor: II. Grave
  35. Sonata No. 10 in G Minor: III. Largo – Grave – Vivace – Allegro
  36. Sonata No. 11 in G: I. 4/4
  37. Sonata No. 11 in G: II. Grave
  38. Sonata No. 11 in G: III. Largo
  39. Sonata No. 11 in G: IV. Grave – Allegro
  40. Sonata No. 12 in A: I. Grave
  41. Sonata No. 12 in A: II. Allegro
  42. Sonata No. 12 in A: III. Grave
  43. Sonata No. 12 in A: IV. Largo
  44. Sonata No. 12 in A: V. Allegro
  45. Bergamasca