We return to Heinrich Ignaz Franz. Two of his pieces for strings alone are also included. Today these are available in various recordings, but that probably wasn't the case at the time this disc was first released. The Sonata representativa is an early specimen of a piece in which the violin imitates animals, like the nightingale, the hen and the cat. This was the kind of stuff representatives of the German violin school were very fond of. Here Biber follows in the footsteps of Carlo Farina (c1604-1639), the Italian violin virtuoso who for a number of years worked in Dresden and greatly inspired German violinists. He also imitated various animals in his famous Capriccio stravagante. This piece as well as the Partia V (from Harmonia ariosa-artificiosa) are available in a number of recordings. In some of these they are definitely performed better than on this disc. The addition of percussion in the Sonata representativa doesn't make things any better - on the contrary. On the whole I am not that impressed by the string playing of the Ensemble 'Pian e Forte'. Technically it is alright, but the interpretation is rather bland and not very engaging. The playing of Gabriele Cassone is this disc's main attraction, and the reason to recommend it. One may be surprised by the technical perfection of Cassone's playing, in particular in regard to intonation. After all, the natural trumpet has the reputation of being very hard to play in tune. But it should be noted that, although this is not mentioned in the booklet, Cassone - like most modern players of the natural trumpet - uses an instrument which has fingerholes in order to improve the intonation. Even with such 'unhistorical' additions the natural trumpet is hard to play correctly, and therefore Cassone's performances deserve particular praise. The booklet contains liner-notes in English. These could have been more informative. In particular about Carl Heinrich and his sonatas we get very little. The track-list omits the keys of any of the pieces, information about scoring is inaccurate, and the first sonata should include a "clarinet". The source of Partia V is not mentioned. The fact that this disc is a reissue - probably at budget price - is no excuse for a sloppy booklet.
Johan van Veen (source/font: aquí)
Gaudiu i compartiu!