Turino, Boix, Matsuoka
One of the myriad Italian composers who travelled throughout Europe in the first half of the 18th century, Giacomo Facco seems to have specialised in music for and featuring the cello. The present recording alternates cantatas for soprano and continuo from throughout his life with three of his Sinfonias for solo cello. If Eugenia Boix’s singing in the cantatas occasionally sounds a little detached emotionally, it is always technically impeccable, while cellist Guillermo Turino and harpsichordist Tomoko Matsouka provide a wonderfully imaginative continuo support. The Sinfonias for cello and continuo are to my ear more musically interesting, and are beautifully played by Turino and Matsouka. Most intriguing is the Spanish cantata Cuando en el Orient, dating from Facco’s years in Madrid, which is in a markedly more advanced melodic style than the other cantatas and which features a prominent obligato cello part throughout. It is always fascinating to see a spotlight shone on an individual composer, who represents the lives and work of so many, whose reputations and compositions have sunk into obscurity. Facco’s mature work is as good as anything being composed in Europe at the time, and it is a shame to think that it has been squeezed out of the familiar canon.
D. James Ross