Tuma: Partitas, Sonatas and Sinfoniasv

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COMPOSERS: Tuma
LABELS: NAIVE
ALBUM TITLE: Tuma
WORKS: Partitas, Sonatas and Sinfoniasv
PERFORMER: Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
CATALOGUE NO: OP 30436

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Notwithstanding a fine education gleaned in the provincial school-rooms of Bohemia and Moravia and later refined in the Jesuit seminaries, many a talented Czech musician found themselves with little to do by the time they reached 18th-century Prague with its fairly limited opportunities for employment. Such was the case of Frantisek Tuma (1704-74) who duly followed the increasingly well-worn path to Vienna. Here he was variously employed by the Kinsky family and the dowager Empress. Having arrived in Vienna at the age of 18 he continued to study composition with that great contrapuntist Fux. The results as shown by this delightful collection are far from being furrow-browed counterpoint as the winningly galant Second Sinfonia in B flat shows in abundance. Tuma can revert to a more severe vein as in the fugues of the E minor Sonata, but he is never less than engaging. These fairly closely recorded performances are full of enthusiasm and everywhere show a close engagement with a style that falls between the Baroque and the Classical. After a slightly alarming opening in which the ensemble seems rather unsettled, the players reveal a great deal of refinement, particularly enjoyable in the more contrapuntal movements.