Bologna 1666

Kammerorchester Basel, Julia Schröder
66:35
deutsche harmonia mundi 889853155927
Music by Alberti, Colonna, Laurenti, Perti, Torelli, Zavateri & anon

It has to be said that the title of this CD is slightly misleading. 1666 is the date of the foundation of the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna but, as only the oldest of the composers represented was an adult at the time and two of them weren’t even born yet, the date is something of a red herring. The CD explores the music of a group of ground-breaking Bolognese composers, who – with a couple of exceptions – have sunk completely into obscurity. Giuseppe Torelli is perhaps the only one of them more generally known today, and that largely for his music with trumpets. This selection of sinfonias and violin concertos certainly demonstrates how radically original and ahead of their time the composers of the Accademia were, and Julia Schröder’s beautiful violin playing in the latter brings this obscure bygone age to vibrant life. Giovanni Colonna, Giuseppe Alberti (not he of the bass), Giacomo Perti, Girolama Laurenti and Lorenzo Zavateri deserve to be more than names in an archive register, and it is indeed surprising, and a sign of the embarrassment of riches available in Baroque Italy, that their instantly attractive music has been so comprehensively forgotten. The dynamic, precise and idiomatic playing of the Basel musicians on their baroque instruments is a major factor in the attraction of this disc.

D. James Ross