Vivaldi: Cello Sonatas

Francesco Galligioni, L’Arte dell’Arco
Brilliant Classics 95346

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he programme notes for this CD are probably correct to dispel any doubts that these pieces are the work of Vivaldi – while he is not known to have played the cello, we know that he wrote idiomatically for a plethora of other instruments he probably didn’t play, and the music displays the master’s unerring sense of melody and motivic development. Galligioni’s playing is wonderfully passionate and he is ably and inventively supported by his continuo group using violone, organs, harpsichord and lute in a variety of imaginative permutations. While the fiery allegros with the soloist’s wonderfully bravura and yet gritty playing are terrifically exciting, it is in the more lyrical slow movements that the ensemble reaches considerable heights of expressiveness. I occasionally felt that the recording was a little ‘close’ for comfort, but at the same time there is a pleasant after-bloom which emphasizes the tone of the baroque cello. Fresh from recording the Vivaldi cello concertos, Galligioni is absolutely steeped in the idiom of Vivaldi’s cello writing and surmounts the technical challenges of these sonatas with consummate ease.

D. James Ross

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