Stefano Montanari, Ensemble Barocco “Carlo Antonio Marino”, Natale Arnoldi
Marino’s most likely claim to fame is that he was probably Locatelli’s violin teacher; a proclaimed virtuoso, sometimes based at Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, Marino published at least eight volumes of music, including a set of cantatas for solo voice, but primarily sonatas and concertos for strings, including three that survive in Manchester. As galant an effort this is to promote Marino’s output, I am afraid to say that neither the performances nor the recorded sound are quite up to the highest levels – some of the (undoubtedly challenging) solo music is fudged and there are some awkward moments of ensemble that really ought either to have been edited out or re-recorded. I am sorry to be so unkind to a world premiere recording, but I am compelled to give my honest opinion. Without doubt, Marino deserves to be heard and I hope that the fact that the performers have name their group after him means they will continue to explore it and bring it to a wider audience.