Tomaso Albinoni: Balletti a Quattro

Edited by Simone Laghi
Ut Orpheus ACC80A £30.95 (score, 96pp), ACC80B £29.95 (parts)

Chamber music for 2 violins, viola and continuo from the early 18th century is not that common, so this collection of 12 Balletti (four-movement “dance suites”) will be a welcome addition to any group’s repertoire or teacher’s library. Five of them are in minor keys and most give the first violin the lion’s share of the musical interest. I would call the layout “generous” – the brevity of some movements and the placement of repeat signs at the ends of systems and pages left the typesetter with few options. The four parts present each of the suites on a single opening, which is perfect. According to the introduction (in Italian and slightly odd English), notes have been beamed according to modern principles, yet groupings of matching rhythm are not consistent. Editorial changes are given in tabular form at the end of the score; this could have done with a little copy editing. These small criticisms do not detract from a beautiful presentation of Albinoni’s fine music – this repertoire is just perfect for junior orchestras as everyone plays continually. Highly recommended.

Brian Clark

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