Facco: Master of Kings

Floral design

Guillermo Turina cello, Eugenia Boix soprano, Tomoko Matsuoka harpsichord
[Cantatas and Sinfonie di violoncello a solo]
Cobra Records COBRA 0063

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]orn and raised in Venice, Giacomo Facco took a post with the Spanish Spinola family who rose to power in Sicily before being expelled and returning to Spain, where Facco joined them for the rest of his life. The present CD selects music from his major publications consisting of cantatas for soprano, cello and continuo, interspersed with sinfonias for cello and continuo. While the cantatas he published while working in Italy are a little pedestrian, the later Spanish-period works sound more convincing. However, none of the cantatas sound as interesting as Facco’s innovative and engaging sinfonias for cello and harpsichord. This is partly due on the present CD to Guillermo Turino’s exciting technique on the Baroque cello, which brings these latter works to life, and contrasts with Eugenia Boix’s rather swooping accounts of the cantatas, which I found a little wearing after a while. Frankly, it is hard to account for the enormous enthusiasm shown by Facco’s fans, including his first biographer Uberto Zanolli, who entitled his book ‘Giacomo Facco : Master of Kings’. To my ear, Facco’s idiom is very conventional, and it came as no surprise to read in the notes that he was sidelined from his final post at the Spanish Court in Madrid by the arrival of the great Farinelli.

D. James Ross

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