Ensemble Baroque “Carlo Antonio Marino”, Natale Arnoldi
Tactus TC 691203
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By the time Locatelli published his opus 7 set of Concerti a Quatro in 1741 he was an established musician of European status living in Amsterdam, but having travelled widely throughout the continent. What is perhaps most striking is that although now of mature years, the composer was still experimenting with style and form, combining the rigours of counterpoint with the more gentle aspects of the galant style. The resulting compositions have a delightful freshness, which both look back at the music of the first half of the 18th century, but also anticipate mid-century developments which would come into fruition with the Mannheim school. The ensemble match the freshness of Locatelli’s compositions with a lovely spontaneity of performance, and some engaging incidental ornamentation. Hearing these vibrant accounts, it is surprising that Locatelli’s opus 7 concertos weren’t more successful as a publication. Perhaps the composer had left it too long since his previous publication, and the modest number of six pieces may also have put people off. It is surprising though that Locatelli’s public seemed unable to appreciate how these pieces simultaneously acknowledged the past and pointed to the future.
D. James Ross