Europa Galante record early-Italian string music. While the Italians had the solo sonata, I believe, perhaps the Austrian-Germans had the upper-hand on string ensemble music? I find the likes of Falconieri, Legrenzi, Uccellini, and Marini interesting, but ultimately not as satisfying as Schmelzer, Biber, and Muffat. What we do get in this recording is a lively account of some famous and not-so-famous works by early Italian masters. Take for instance, the Uccellini "Gran Battalia," which is chock-full of texture, but lacking in serious variation with harmony. Or, the Mazzaferrata work, full of invention, but lacking a greater vision for the entire work. Vitali's work on the disc is full of drama, but as we listen on, I'm bothered by Europa Galante's sound on this recording. In other words, stylish playing, but a poor recorded sound. It's a bit too distant, yet dry. They also perform Marini's famous Passacaglio, op. 22. While this piece can be drawn-out, I felt Biondi and company perhaps rushed the beginning section. I think it has been better-done elsewhere. Yet, while this criticism is small, praise is due by bringing such a diverse set of work together and recording it with as much care as EG do. Not Biondi's strongest release, for sure, but a valuable collection of early works.