About this Recording
8.550645 - Two Violins and One Guitar, Vol. 2

2 Violins and 1 Guitar, Vol. 2

The Trio Sonata, an instrumental composition generally demanding the services of four players reading from three part-books, assumed enormous importance in Baroque music, developing from its earlier beginnings at the start of the seventeenth century to a later flowering in the work of Handel, Vivaldi and Bach, after the achievements of Arcangelo Corelli in the form. Instrumentation of the trio sonata, possibly for commercial reasons, allowed some freedom of choice. Nevertheless the most frequently found arrangement became that for two violins and cello, with a harpsichord or other chordal instrument to fill out the harmony. Although some composers tended to compromise in matters of form, trio sonatas were more often than not either in the form of the Sonata da chiesa, or Church Sonata, with a sequence of four movements, slow, fast, slow, fast, the quicker movements fugal in character, or in the form of the Sonata da camera, or Chamber Sonata, rather resembling a suite of dance movements. The form was in many respects that of a concerto grosso in miniature, and trio sonatas could often be expanded into fuller concerto grosso form by the addition of extra instruments in contrast with passages left for the smaller concertino group. The form was adapted to the new Rococo requirements of the later eighteenth century, before being superseded by the classical duo sonata and very occasionally by sonatas that used two melody instruments and a chordal accompaniment, of which the present collection offers examples.

Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg in 1681 and studied at the University of Leipzig, where he founded a Collegium musicum later to be directed by his younger contemporary Johann Sebastian Bach. From 1721 Telemann was Kantor of the Johanneum in Hamburg and director of music in the five principal churches of the city, a position he retained until his death in 1767. He was a prolific composer, showing technical mastery and a peculiar facility that was equally pleasing to professional and amateur musicians. His Trio Sonata in E minor, which allows alternative instrumentation, is characteristic of his writing, with its happy blend of melodic invention and attractive contrapuntal felicity.

The Italian composer Giovanni Maria Capelli, born in Parma in 1648, belongs to the generation of Corelli, the greatest of all trio sonata composers. For many years he was in the service of Parma Cathedral as singer, priest and finally maestro di cappella. His F major Trio Sonata is a fine example of the form in the hands of a minor Italian master of the period.

The Trio in D major by Carulli belongs to another world. Ferdinando Carulli, born in Naples in 1770, began his career as a cellist but changed to the six-string guitar. In 1808 he settled in Paris, where he won a considerable reputation as a guitarist and as a teacher of the instrument. He died in Paris in 1841. The D major Trio naturally offers the guitarist an opportunity for display in a texture that allows a measure of equality between the three instruments in classical form.

Leonhard von Call was born in 1767 in Eppan in the Tyrol, then part of Austrian territory. In Vienna he served as a liquidator's assistant to the treasury, while providing the musical public with pleasant chamber music that found a ready enough market, making frequent use of the guitar in various small ensembles. The C major Trio, with its five movements, otters a pleasing diversion, with the two violins often moving together, while the guitar provides its own characteristic accompaniment.

The German-born composer George Frideric Handel began his career as a professional musician in Hamburg, moved for a few years to Italy, the principal source of his operatic style, and thence, by way of Hanover, to London, where he won himself a dominant position, at first in the Italian opera, and then in the creation of English oratorio, his overwhelming popularity finding a place in the pleasure-gardens as well as in the more formal requirements of the ruling House of Hanover, after the accession of King George I. As in much of his music, Handel was following an Italian example, here that of Corelli, in his twenty or so trio sonatas, the first of which, in C minor, again allows alternative instrumentation for flute or recorder instead of the first of the two violins.

The Trio of Joseph Kreutzer is typical in its operatic style of the popular chamber music of the earlier nineteenth century, in which dramatic dialogue between the violins alternates with passages in which the two voices move together, abetted by the guitar, with its arpeggiated accompaniment and occasional sorties into relative prominence. The melodies and texture are very much of the period of the more distinguished violinist and composer Rodolphe Kreutzer, and above all of Rossini.

Anna and Quido Hölbling
Anna and Quido Hölbling studied at the College of Music and Drama in Bratislava and formed a duo in 1969. Quido Hölbling won the title of laureate at the 1967 Wieniawski Competition and the couple have performed in many recitals and concerts at several of the major festivals including the Salzburg Festival. In 1983 they were founder members of the Capella Istropolitana, the chamber group of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jozef Zsapka
The outstanding Slovak guitarist Jozef Zsapka is a graduate of the College of Music and Drama in Bratislava and, as a soloist, has made many recordings of both Baroque and contemporary guitar concertos.

Ján Slávik
Jan Slávik is the cellist of the Moyzes Quartet.

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