Music by Califano, Fasch, Heinichen, Lotti, Quantz, Telemann and Vivaldi
Zefiro, Alfredo Bernardini
Arcana A438

A few years ago I reviewed an intriguing recording of the Corelli op. 6 Concerti Grossi with added parts for wind instruments ‘as they might have been performed at the 18th-century Court of Dresden’, and this present CD further explores the rich context of the ‘Churfürstliche Sächsische Cammer-Musique’ in a series of chamber works for two oboes, bassoon and continuo. The music played in Dresden in the first half of the 18th century did much to shape the playing techniques and repertoire for these recently invented wind-instruments. Heinichen, Quantz and Arcangelo Califano all worked at the Saxon Court at some point, while Vivaldi and Lotti encountered musicians on tour from Dresden and were persuaded to compose for them. Telemann’s music, ubiquitous throughout the German lands, is extensively recorded in the Dresden Court archives. These are charming and very accessible pieces, played with complete technical assurance and considerable musicality by Zefiro, providing a window on an otherwise under-explored area of chamber music, a period of particular magnificence at the Court of Dresden, and a crucial stage in the development of the oboe and bassoon.

D. James Ross

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