All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Partimenti Napoletani

Katharina Heutjer & Nicoleta Paraschivescu (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Partimenti Napoletani
Dol Partimento in C minor; Durante Partimenti; Intavolatura in A minor; Fugue in G minor; Fuga in E minor; Paisiello Partimenti; Rondo in C minor
Katharina Heutjer (violin), Nicoleta Paraschivescu (harpsichord, organ)
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 19075896222    49:26 mins


A musicology degree in 18th-century Neapolitan pedagogic practice might help in penetrating some points in Nicoleta Paraschivescu’s liner notes for this new disc. Happily no such qualification is needed to savour her playing which is agreeably feisty, forthright and conspicuously vibrant, as she approaches the music with the unstoppable assuredness of a local Vespa afficionado negotiating the bustling alleys of Naples.

In realising the ‘partimento’ bass lines bequeathed for elaboration by Paisiello and his teacher Durante she has the idiom in her blood. She plays by turns a magnificent copy of a 1735 harpsichord by Blanchet and the grandeur of the Silbermann organ in Arlesheim Cathedral – the latter not exclusively ‘grand’: it bedecks Durante’s Intavolatura in A minor with a beguiling flutey flightiness. Ringing the changes further, Paraschivescu also calls on Katharina Heutjer when Paisiello demands ‘harpsichord with the accompaniment of a violin’. In championing the nearly-lost art of the partimento – a training method that stood composers from Bellini to Verdi in good stead – Paraschivescu throws open a fascinating window on a method that’s been making something of a comeback. The result, dashingly executed, vividly imagined, is a breath of fresh air.


Paul Riley