Dario Castello – Sonate Concertate In Stil Moderno, Libro Primo – Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:44:36 minutes | 1,31 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © AAM Records
Recorded: St George’s Church, Cambridge on 25-28 January 2016
The Academy of Ancient Music explores a revolutionary period of Italian music through the work of Venetian man of mystery Dario Castello.
Working at the same time as Claudio Monteverdi, Dario Castello wrote innovative and ground-breaking sonatas that had a profound effect on generations of Italian composers. Very little is known about him today, but in the 17th century he was actually more widely published than Shakespeare.
AAM Music Director Richard Egarr is a lifelong advocate of Castello, and on this recording directs the composer’s first book of sonatas from the harpsichord and organ.Taking the form of a small chamber group, the AAM finds itself at its most adventurous and expressive, performing twelve fiercely virtuosic sonatas for violin, cornetto and dulcian that are full of imagination and colour.
This release – the fifth on AAM Records – follows the AAM’s critically-acclaimed series of JS Bach recordings. Their 2015 release of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion (AAM004) was praised by BBC Music Magazine for Richard Egarr’s “compellingly original vision”, and was awarded BBC Radio 3’s Disc of the Week. JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites (AAM003) was awarded five stars by Fine Music Magazine and was described as “a feast of meaningfully understated musicianship” in an Editor’s Choice review in Gramophone magazine.
Dario Castello has in recent years turned into one of the stars of 17th-century instrumental music, a thoroughly deserved status that has been achieved despite the fact that we know next to nothing about his life other than that he was a wind player at St Mark’s in Venice at the time Monteverdi was in charge of the music there. Instead it is the quality and white-heat fantasy of his two published books of ensemble sonatas that have done all the talking.
Although Castello has appeared on numerous anthologies, this is, I think, the first time all the sonatas from his first book, first published in 1621, have been presented together. It is a rich treat, possibly (as the Academy of Ancient Music’s theorbo-player William Carter suggests in a readable booklet-note) more than is good for you in one sitting. Yet so eventful are these 12 trio- and quartet-sonatas that you can indeed find yourself gorging greedily. Castello described them as ‘in stil moderno’, and he wasn’t just boasting; cast in the single-movement but multi-sectional manner of the stylus phantasticus, they tumble excitedly through a variety of moods, tempi and textures, leaving you eager to find out what comes next, and often being delighted by it.
The AAM deploy eight musicians over the course of the disc, ranging according to Castello’s suggestions through delicious combinations of airy violin, eloquent cornett, sonorous trombone, fruity dulcian and tautly buzzing violetta, an unusual kind of high cello. The sound of the continuo organ, a splendid thing with real eight-foot pipes, is also not to be missed. The difficulty of these sonatas was acknowledged by Castello but the AAM’s expert players are gleefully equal to the job, and, in music which must sometimes feel rather like a bucking bronco, know when to rein it in and when to give it its head. A joy for ear and spirit. -Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone
Dario Castello (c.1590-c.1658)
Sonata Concertate In Stil Moderno, Libro Primo
1. Sonata prima for two violins 05’01
2. Sonata seconda for two violins 05’38
3. Sonata terza for violin I and cornetto 04’47
4. Sonata quarta for violin I and violetta 04’18
5. Sonata quinta for violin II and trombone 05’22
6. Sonata sesta for cornetto and violetta 04’51
7. Sonata settima for violin I and dulcian 05’19
8. Sonata ottava for violin II and dulcian 05’20
9. Sonata nona for cornetto, violin I and dulcian 06’40
10. Sonata decima for two violins and dulcian 04’43
11. Sonata undecima for two violins and dulcian 07’27
12. Sonata duodecima for two violins and trombone 07’44
Pavlo Beznosiuk – violin I
Bojan Čičić – violin II
Josué Meléndez – cornetto
Joseph Crouch – violetta
Benny Aghassi – dulcian
Susan Addison – trombone
William Carter – theorbo
Richard Egarr – director, harpsichord & organ