Fontana, Frescobaldi, Rossi, Turini, Monteverdi

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Fontana,Frescobaldi,Monteverdi,Rossi,Turini
LABELS: Winter & Winter
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Anno 1630
WORKS: Works by Fontana, Frescobaldi, Rossi, Turini, Monteverdi,
PERFORMER: Enrico Onofri (violin, voice), Margret Köll (harp), Lorenzo Ghielmi (organ, harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: 910 091-2
Anno 1630 offers a snapshot of a vital and experimental time in Italian music, featuring ornate vocal works by Monteverdi interwoven with virtuoso violin sonatas by Fontana and Castello and harmonically outlandish organ solos by Frescobaldi and Michelangelo Rossi. The sound-world is characterised above all by an intricate yet intimate lyricism, brilliantly realised by these three highly accomplished musicians.

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Violinist Enrico Onofri plays with subtle bravura, his readings full of rhetorical gestures and graced with exquisite embellishments. Onofri’s approach is inherently vocal, so it comes as no surprise to learn that he is also the singer on this disc, and his smoky, sonorous tenor is certainly characterful if not always beautiful. The collection also features some elegant performances from harpist Margret Köll, and special mention should be made of keyboard player Lorenzo Ghielmi and the striking Costanzo Antegnati organ dating from 1587. Its delicate, breathy sound – enhanced by the airy church acoustic and the spacious recording – is perfect for this repertoire.

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These highly refined performances are complemented by the CD’s simple but classy packaging, and though the notes could have been more informative, the quality of the interpretations will certainly entice listeners to find out more about music in Italy c1630. Kate Bolton