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Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Platti, Nicola Porpora, Giuseppe Maria Jacchini

Lucia Swarts

Italian Cello Concertos

  • Type CD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917202120
  • Catalog number CC 72021
  • Release date 01 January 1998
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About the album

The Cello’s March of Conquest during the Baroque Period
At the beginning of the seventeenth century the violin set out on its march of conquest as a solo instrument. Before then the violin was not thought highly of, but the French theorist Martin Mersenne (1588-1648) called it the king of instruments and praised it for its versatility. It lasted almost a half century before the expressive potential of the (violon)cello, the lyrical tenor and sonorous bass of the same family of instruments, was discovered.

The earliest important solo literature for the cello originated in Bologna in the last decades of the seventeenth century. This northern Italian town was the birth place of and centre of activity for Petronio Franceschini (1651-80), Domenico Gabrielli (1659- 90) and Giuseppe Jacchini (1667-1727), all three of whom were renowned composers and cello virtuosos. Jacchini, Gabrielli’s star pupil, applied himself so well to the cello that he soon was the equal of his teacher. His popularity was increased by his affable personality, described in one eighteenth-century source as “upright” and “straightforward”. In 1689 he was admitted to the orchestra of the municipal church of San Petronio in Bologna. Jacchini was recommended for this position by Count Pirro Albergati, to whom he was to dedicate his opus 4, the Concerti per camera à 3 e 4, twelve years later. This work, which appeared under the imprint of the Bolognese publisher Marino Silvani, is made up of ten short concertos, of which six contain an important solo part for the cello. The ninth concerto of the collection is particularly distinguished for its virtuoso solo part and some attractive dialogues between the cello and the first violin. Jacchini’s harmonic vocabulary is somewhat limited and this is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the three movements are rather loosely constructed. 

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