I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Roman Sonatas

Alte Musik Koeln

The re-invented Musica Antiqua Köln has released an album entitled Roma, featuring Italian works by Lonati, Mannelli, Lulier, Ravenscroft, Bonporti, et al. The new ensemble is called Alte Musik Köln. The sound quality, first, is excellent. Live, for sure, but each instrument is carefully and beautifully rendered. I lack liner notes to say anything much about the music. It's all of a pretty high quality, despite being obscure. The Caldara sonata in D minor features the cello, and presents enough virtuosity between the bass instrument and the two violinists. Energy abounds in this work like many others presented here. Slow movements can be sparse in terms of drama, but the fast movements allow these technical musicians to show off their abilities. La Panuzzi's second track is plenty showy, simply marked "3/4 time." The ultimate track, 6/8, offers a counterpoint exercise in a light canon. The work is emblematic of many of the works on this recording: it glimmers in spots (3/4) but in others, simply plods along (6/8). The final work on disc is a concerto da camera by Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier, which follows a Corellian-style format, but with a lighter, almost galante air. It gives far more gas to the bass line here with cello lines that emerge. You might think this work is a lightweight extra, but listen carefully, and little gems present themselves in the busy passagework. What's missing from the recording? I'm happy to hear that Goebel's later creep of vibrato into his style is missing here from these violinists. But what they may have borrowed from Goebel is his verve and energy. In all, this recording presents a nice variety of largely unknown, some quirky, and many energetic works that are nice additions to the canon. What's most expressive is the sheer virtuosity captured in this one recording. I hope it's a sign of more to come. The work by Stradella (Sinfonia no. 22 in D minor) is a favorite, and the performance of the entire CD is of high enough quality to be considered "son of MAK."

Spring at Lewis Ginter

Bartók String Quartets