Friday, October 15, 2010

Francesco Geminiani: Concerti Grossi - Chiara Banchini, Ensemble 415 (2004) 2CD


    EAC-RIP | FLAC, IMG+CUE, LOG | 670MB
    MP3 LAME VBR-245 V0 | 199MB | COMPLETE SCANS | 73MB
    Classical | Label: Zig-Zag Territoires | Catalog Number: ZZT 040301
    RAR 3% Rec. | FS.com, FF.com



    The first six sonatas, or the sonate da chiesa as they are commonly referred to, were published in Geminiani’s arrangements in 1726 and met with immediate success. Not only were the sonorities amplified by the instrumental expansion, but Corelli’s difficult-to-play sonatas were now within reach of violinists with more modest abilities. The skill with which Geminiani embellished Corelli’s music while remaining true to Corelli is immediately evident when Corelli and Geminiani are played back-to-back. It is roughly the aural equivalent of a black and white photo now viewed in color. Geminiani’s arrangements of the second set of six sonatas, the sonate da camera, were soon completed but did not meet with the same immediate popularity. The last sonata/concerto, No. 12 in D Minor, the Follia, is structurally different from the others. It is a theme with 25 variations and has taken on a life of its own separate from the other 11 concertos...



    CD1:
    01. Concerto no.1 in D major - 1. Adagio 03:18
    02. Concerto no.1 in D major - 2. Allegro 02:17
    03. Concerto no.1 in D major - 3. Largo 02:30
    04. Concerto no.1 in D major - 4. Allegro 01:31
    05. Concerto no.2 in B-flat major - 1. Grave 02:25
    06. Concerto no.2 in B-flat major - 2. Allegro 02:07
    07. Concerto no.2 in B-flat major - 3. Vivace 01:21
    08. Concerto no.2 in B-flat major - 4. Adagio 02:33
    09. Concerto no.2 in B-flat major - 5. Allegro 01:13
    10. Concerto no.3 in C major - 1. Adagio 02:36
    11. Concerto no.3 in C major - 2. Allegro 01:56
    12. Concerto no.3 in C major - 3. Adagio 02:55
    13. Concerto no.3 in C major - 4. Allegro 02:09
    14. Concerto no.4 in F major - 1. Adagio 02:25
    15. Concerto no.4 in F major - 2. Allegro 02:12
    16. Concerto no.4 in F major - 3. Vivace 01:06
    17. Concerto no.4 in F major - 4. Adagio 02:27
    18. Concerto no.4 in F major - 5. Allegro 02:15
    19. Concerto no.5 in G minor - 1. Adagio 03:06
    20. Concerto no.5 in G minor - 2. Vivace 01:48
    21. Concerto no.5 in G minor - 3. Adagio 02:20
    22. Concerto no.5 in G minor - 4. Allegro 01:31
    23. Concerto no.6 in A major - 1. Adagio 02:35
    24. Concerto no.6 in A major - 2. Allegro 02:00
    25. Concerto no.6 in A major - 3. Adagio 02:14
    26. Concerto no.6 in A major - 4. Allegro 02:04

    CD2:
    01. Concerto no.7 in D minor - 1. Preludio 02:00
    02. Concerto no.7 in D minor - 2. Corrente, allegro 02:20
    03. Concerto no.7 in D minor - 3. Sarabanda, largo 02:03
    04. Concerto no.7 in D minor - 4. Giga, allegro 02:14
    05. Concerto no.8 in E minor - 1. Preludio, largo 03:59
    06. Concerto no.8 in E minor - 2. Allemande, allegro 01:53
    07. Concerto no.8 in E minor - 3. Sarabanda, largo 02:47
    08. Concerto no.8 in E minor - 4. Giga, allegro 02:00
    09. Concerto no.9 in A major - 1. Preludio, largo 04:11
    10. Concerto no.9 in A major - 2. Giga, allegro 02:49
    11. Concerto no.9 in A major - 3. Adagio 00:37
    12. Concerto no.9 in A major - 4. Gavotta, allegro 02:26
    13. Concerto no.10 in F major - 1. Preludio, adagio 02:24
    14. Concerto no.10 in F major - 2. Allemanda, allegro 02:10
    15. Concerto no.10 in F major - 3. Sarabanda, largo 02:33
    16. Concerto no.10 in F major - 4. Gavotta, allegro 00:34
    17. Concerto no.10 in F major - 5. Giga, allegro 02:20
    18. Concerto no.11 in E major - 1. Preludio 01:57
    19. Concerto no.11 in E major - 2. Allegro 02:31
    20. Concerto no.11 in E major - 3. Adagio 00:37
    21. Concerto no.11 in E major - 4. Vivace 02:04
    22. Concerto no.11 in E major - 5. Gavotta, allegro 00:42
    23. Concerto no.12 in D minor "Follia" 11:55

    ...For people familiar with the works in their sonata form, Corelli’s composition remains evident and Geminiani’s contribution is a brilliant embellishment. For the past few years, a recording of Geminiani’s complete op. 5 by Andrew Manze with the Academy of Ancient Music on Hyperion has garnered high praise, not only in Fanfare, but other publications as well. This new recording with Chiara Banchini and a group known as Ensemble 415 (also a period-instrument group) on the Zig Zag label is a formidable competitor. Ms. Banchini expresses her love for Corelli’s sonatas in the liner notes; she views these Geminiani inflations as another way of experiencing Corelli. Ms. Banchini’s love for the material is evident throughout. She caresses the music; she fills her playing with passion. Both Banchini and Manze base their ornamentations on Geminiani’s style as espoused in Geminiani’s volume The Art of Playing on the Violin, one of several musical treatises Geminiani penned in his later years. The biggest difference I noticed between these recordings was the sound. Hyperion’s sound is warmer and mellower; the Zig Zag recording has more immediacy and presence. As for the performances, individual tastes may vary and prefer one to the other, but I liked both. With two CD players plugged into the same receiver, I was able to play the recordings simultaneously, switching between them at will. Some parts were nearly identical; in some details, one performance was more muscular; in other details, one was more suave; all in all, I found both performances very satisfying.



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