Andrea Zani: Six Sonatas, op. 6 for Violin and Basso continuo

Edited by Brian W. Pritchard – Jill Ward
Doblinger: Diletto Musicale DM1493
ISMN 979-0-012-20427-5
56pp (including 12 of notes and one of critical commentary, the former in English and German, the latter only in English) + two parts for Violin (24pp) & Violoncello (16pp)

Zani produced three sets of violin sonatas, of which this is the last, printed in around 1743 by Hue of Paris. The six pieces (D, e, B flat, g, E, c) are all cast in the four-movement sonata da chiesa  form; the slight majority are binary in design, though there are a reasonable number of through-composed pieces. They lack any of the virtuosity of Leclair’s sonatas from around the same time, so they are probably an excellent stepping stone for students with the Frenchman’s music in their sights. The violin part is laid out perfectly and avoids page turns, but the more compact part for the cello does not quite manage to be totally user friendly, and there are two places where the cellist will have to make a copy of a third page. That is a small quibble with an otherwise excellent production.

Brian Clark