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Uccellini: Sonatas Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 11, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

One thing is for certain, every recording by baroque ensemble Romanesca is a revelation. The trio--led by violinist Andrew Manze, keyboardist John Toll, and lute player Nigel North--breathe new life into 17th- and 18th-century chamber music like no other group playing today. This recording focuses on 17th-century Italian composer Marco Uccellini's numerous violin sonatas. Though his work is shrouded in mystery (manuscripts have been lost, directions are cloudy), Uccellini's legacy pours forth from what little has remained: he wrote some truly cutting-edge violin works filled with revolutionary changes of key and styles. Manze's playing shines on this disc; he executes Uccellini's odd phrases perfectly, without ever sounding too calculated. Opus IV, No. 2 shifts abruptly between slow solo passages and lively tapestries of trio playing. Opus IX, No. 1 is a virtual dialogue between instruments. Romanesca's take on Biber is a classic: spirited, well-played, and almost jazzy; this recording is less fun, but no less enlightening. Before Biber, Uccellini was at the vanguard of baroque composing. Thanks to Romanesca, it's easy to see why. --Jason Verlinde
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Product Details

  • Performer: Romanesca, Andrew Manze, Nigel North, John Toll
  • Composer: Marco Uccellini
  • Audio CD (May 11, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00000IXTQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,185 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Janet C. Whitchurch on September 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This CD was a wonderful surprise! It is very beautiful, a kind of delicate beauty as opposed to a more romantic beauty. The most surprising aspect of the music for me is the way it sounds like some of the music written in the early 20th century with its dissonance and strange transitional rhythmns. I like 16th century, Italian violin and chamber music and this composer compliments the music of Corelli and Vivaldi in interesting ways.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The sonatas of Uccellini are well known to beginning students of the Baroque violin, as they epitomize the extravangantly rhetorical, passionate, even proto-Romantic qualities of the early Baroque. Some of them have mysterious titles and may have originally had a programmatic subtext; certainly they often suggest "wordless rhetoric" (Andrew Manze's apt term). They are innovative structurally as well, being extended, almost free-form rhapsodies. Manze made a name for himself reviving this sort of eccentric early violin repertoire during the 1990s, often (as here) in conjunction with his group Romanesca. Of course he understands the idiom completely, and his interpretations are every bit as well thought out as they are spontaneous and communicative. His malleable tone brings a wealth of colors to the music, and his nimble technique assures that the technical challenges never get in the way of an enjoyment of Uccellini's rhetoric. The disc offers a generous selection of Uccellini's solo sonatas along with some correntes and other shorter pieces to make a satisfying and varied program. The continuo alternates between harpsichord, organ, and theorbo. For a look into an early high water mark in the history of violin music, I recommend this disc highly.
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Just purchased this recording and have listened to Manze & his colleagues perform these somewhat 'obscure' Baroque works - the playing and sound quality are excellent; others have already made positive extensive comments, which I can only add support. Plus, Manze's liner notes are quite instructive (could have been longer!). Please ignore that 1* review - just cannot understand the rating?

For another 'professional' review, checkout David Vernier on ClassicsToday:

[...]
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Format: Audio CD
Marco Uccellini (1603-1680) is much less known and popular than other composers of Baroque era. Records of Baroque music itself differs - the success of it depends on performer: you could get either a kind of hard-rock style classical music or romantic poetical opuses which would express delicatest feelings and emotions.
Trio ROMANESCA "always produce revitalizing, edge-of-your-chair music". With the sounds of violin, harpischord, organ, theorbo, Baroque guitar ROMANESCA created live, luminious, emotional, relaxing sound world. It is a pleasure to return there.
There is St.Petersburg Baroque Trio by V.Shulyakovsky. I heard their CD "Italian Violin Music of the 17th Century" with the music by Uccellini and I was sure that they are the best performers of his music.
Now I`m not so sure...

So if you like light sentimental romantic Baroque music for relaxation - this CD by ROMANESCA is your choice!

And don`t pay much attention to guy above me who recommends you to buy CD by his favourite performer and avoid ROMANESCA.
His likes or dislikes - are his own problems. Make your own choice!!! We are simple listeners and when we are listening to CD - the music is interesting for us, not discussions of musicologists...
By the way, why not to buy both CDs and compare the quality of playing?
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