Frescobaldi: Arie, toccate e canzoni

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COMPOSERS: Frescobaldi
WORKS: Arie, toccate e canzoni
PERFORMER: Anthonello
A native of Ferrara in the service of the Duke d’Este, Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) lived at


an exciting time of change as music advanced from the elaborate polyphony of the Renaissance to

the leaner textures of the Baroque. The mainly Japanese ensemble Anthonello offers an idiomatic and evocative portrayal of Frescobaldi’s expressive sound-world, best represented by the new emotionalism of monodies for solo voice with simple harmonic accompaniments.

Midori Suzuki is an eloquent soloist in the sung items, although her embellishments occasionally

lack agility (as in ‘Se l’aura spira’), and there is a wiry edge to her tone in the more impassioned moments of ‘Aspice Domine’. Otherwise, she effectively captures the devotional mood of ‘Maddalena alla croce’ and the sensations of carnal desire in ‘La mia pallida faccia’.


The real star, though, is Yoshimichi Hamada, whose technical athleticism and poetic virtuosity on the cornet and the recorder are breathtaking throughout. He produces an astonishingly realistic vocal quality in the cornet solos in the canzonas. Meanwhile, his sparkling articulation on the recorder in the final Corrente quarta – which gives the opportunity for all the musicians to show off their considerable skills – brings this highly entertaining concert to a rousing conclusion. Nicholas Rast