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Porpora, Monn, Haydn: Cello Concertos
Adriano Maria Fazio cello, Soloists of Cappella Neapolitana
Brilliant Classics 95570

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he “invisible is the tangible sign of our emotions,” writes the cellist inside the back cover of the booklet. I’m not quite sure what to make of that, and I’m equally at a loss as to what lies behind the recording of three concertos in such minimalist circumstances. There is no denying that Adriano Maria Fazio is a gifted cellist, or that the group formerly known as the “Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini” has years of experience in HIP music-making of the highest order; so why strip away all but the bare essentials of the Haydn concerto (all three works are accompanied by only a string quartet with double bass and harpsichord)? While it may be true that dispensing with the horns and oboes is really just a simplification of the colour scheme, those were the sounds the composer chose (and surely Count Esterházy would have expected to hear from the orchestra he paid to maintain). I can’t find any reasonable explanation in the booklet and I leave it to readers to discover for themselves whether the approach works.

Brian Clark

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