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American Record Guide: (11/2017) 
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Code-barres / Barcode : 5425004160263


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Reviewer: David W. Moore


This is a curious release to write about, but here goes. Angelo Maria Fiore (1660-1723) is one of the least known of early cello composers. He played the instrument and worked in various places in Italy. He published a collection of Trattenimenti in 1698, four of which are played here. These are relatively short sonata-like works. Four other works are included also, two sonatas and two sinfonias. All but one of these pieces are in three or four movements. Most are played from manuscripts. All are enjoyable to listen to and played with evident enthusiasm.

To fill out the program, Carlo Ignazio Monza (1680-1739) graces us with two Allemandes played mainly on the harpsichord. Then there are operatic excerpts with cello, sung by LeBlanc, a lively soprano. Some of the faster arias are a bit vague in pitch sometimes, but the feeling remains mainly positive. The arias are from Il Gran Tamerlano by Marc’Antonio Ziani, Elvira Regnante by Anonymous, Il Radamisto by Paolo Magni, Ottaviano in Sicilia by Francesco Ballarotti, La Forza della Virtu by Carlo Francesco Pollarolo, and Hierone Tiranno di Siracusa by Bernardo Sabadini. The overall effect of this program is light enjoyment. Frey is a competent cellist who plays this music with involvement and the keyboard players are good. The only criticism I have is of the last two rapid-fire arias, where LeBlanc seems less than polished. This is an unusual collection that adds to our knowledge of early cello music. It is recorded with good balances.

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