Pietro Migali da Lecce : Sonate a trè

Ensemble BariAntiquA
MV Cremona MVC 017/44

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Migali’s Sonatas for ‘doi violine, e violone, ò arcileuto, col basso per l’organo’ printed in Rome in 1694 are preserved in the archives of his home town Lecce in southern Italy. A professional musician, Migali’s op 1 sonatas – his only surviving printed work – appeared when he was around 60 (he lived into his 80s) so probably reflect the work of the mature composer, and indeed sound very confident in their style. This has been brought under the broad umbrella of the ‘Roman school’, later exemplified by Corelli, and indeed Migali may have been briefly resident in Rome around the time of the publication. These works have the same easy melodic flow and constant lyricism of Corelli and in these beautifully idiomatic performances their full charm is revealed. The ensemble go for the arcileuto option rather than the violone, alternating and augmenting it with a theorbo along with the stipulated organ. The light accompaniment is beautifully responsive and subtle, allowing the two solo violin parts, tastefully and expertly played by Dario Palmisano and Michele Saracino, to soar freely as intended by the composer. Intriguingly, in addition to stipulating so precisely his ideal instrumentation, Migali also seems to have added bowing marks to his scores – an unusual early example of this sort of intervention, but unfortunately not entirely clear in meaning.

D. James Ross

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