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Kreitner
American Record Guide, October 2006

Francesco Barsanti (1690-1772) was born in Lucca and went to England in 1714, with his fellow Lucchese Francesco Geminiani, to play recorder and oboe; he seems to have spent the rest of his career in the British isles, publishing a fair amount of instrumental music and a bit of sacred music. These are his Opus 1 recorder sonatas, first published in 1724, complete and in order, at A=415. These sonatas, like many from their era, mix structural elements of the sonata da camera and the sonata da chiesa: all but one haw four movements, all six start out with Adagios, and all basically alternate slow and fast, but three of them include movements with dance names rather than just tempos. They are relatively well known among recorder players, and it's easy to see why: they are challenging but not superhuman, virtuosic yet clearly written with an eye to what the recorder does well. The performance here is admirable: precise and heartfelt and always thoughtful. I found myself hoping for a little more spontaneous ornamentation in the slow movementi, though I admit it's difficult; the composer writes in quite a few ornaments himself, which may be a signal for restraint. And I do wish the harpsichord had been more adventurous ani that the fast movements had had more of a hell-for-leather quality. But all in all it is hard not to like Barsanti on the strength of this music and hard not to wonder what the rest of his music is like-even if you don't quite find your taste for Corelli and Handel wiped away with a stroke.



Kreitner
American Record Review, October 2006

Francesco Barsanti (1690-1772) was born in Lucca and went to England in 1714, with his fellow Lucchese Francesco Geminiani, to play recorder and oboe; he seems to have spent the rest of his career in the British isles, publishing a fair amount of instrumental music and a bit of sacred music. These are his Opus 1 recorder sonatas, first published in 1724, complete and in order, at A=415.

These sonatas, like many from their era, mix structural elements of the sonata da camera and the sonata da chiesa: all but one haw four movements, all six start out with Adagios, and all basically alternate slow and fast, but three of them include movements with dance names rather than just tempos. They are relatively well known among recorder players, and it's easy to see why: they are challenging but not superhuman, virtuosic yet clearly written with an eye to what the recorder does well.

The performance here is admirable: precise and heartfelt and always thoughtful. I found myself hoping for a little more spontaneous ornamentation in the slow movementi, though I admit it's difficult; the composer writes in quite a few ornaments himself, which may be a signal for restraint. And I do wish the harpsichord had been more adventurous ani that the fast movements had had more of a hell-for-leather quality. But all in all it is hard not to like Barsanti on the strength of this music and hard not to wonder what the rest of his music is like-even if you don't quite find your taste for Corelli and Handel wiped away with a stroke.






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10:26:49 PM, 22 December 2014
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