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COMPOSERS: Manfredini
WORKS: 12 Concertos, Op. 3
PERFORMER: Les Amis de Philippe/Ludger Rémy
CATALOGUE NO: 999 638-2
Francesco Manfredini was born in the austerely beautiful Tuscan town of Pistoia in 1684, a year before Bach, Handel and Scarlatti; he died as maestro di capella there in 1762. In the interim, he studied at Bologna with Torelli and later worked in Ferrara. He published relatively few sets of sonatas and concertos, and six oratorios, composed between 1719 and 1728, remain in manuscript. His 12 Concertos, Op. 3, were published in Bologna, a great musical centre in those days, in 1718, and were preceded by 12 Concertini, Op. 1, and 12 Sinfonie da chiesa, Op. 2.


The Op. 3 Concertos are lively works, though less brilliant than Vivaldi’s similar pieces and lacking the nobility of Corelli’s sonatas and concertos. The final concerto of Op. 3 contains a ‘Pastorale per il Santissimo Natale’ which is Manfredini’s best-known work. These are fine, stylistically excellent performances with a dozen strings and small continuo group, Ludger Rémy directing from the harpsichord, and very well recorded by Radio Bremen. HC Robbins Landon