Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Avison: 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti

“…substantial pieces, earning lively and sensitive playing from the Ensemble's 11 strings and continuo. …the poignant opening of No. 3, the Con furia in No. 6 elicits some powerful playing especially from leader Pavlo Beznosiuk.” --BBC Music Magazine, January 2009 ****

“The Avison Ensemble continue where they left off in their excellent series, with finely presented performances led with natural violinistic flair by Pavlo Beznosiuk.” --Gramophone Magazine, April 2009

In these concertos Avison took the keyboard music of Scarlatti, and successfully transplanted it into the genre of the concerto grosso. These pieces fuse together the originality and creativity of Scarlatti with the musical abilities of Avison so successfully, that unless previously informed, one would never have realised that these pieces were not originally conceived as concertos. Avison put a tremendous amount of effort into their composition, going out of his way to acquire the necessary music to enable their completion. They are rare gems from the eighteenth-century and firmly reinforce the notion that Avison was one of the most important concerto composers in Britain during that century.

2009 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Charles Avison, and The Avison Ensemble plan to record and release all of the remaining orchestral works of Charles Avison, and those of some of his associates and contemporaries, such as John Garth, whose disc of Cello Concertos is our biggest selling title on catalogue (DDA25059).

Comprised of some of Europe's leading musicians and soloists, the Avison Ensemble performs works from the baroque and early classical periods.

The Ensemble is unique in having its own composer, along with a substantial repertoire of his music, as yet unperformed in modern times. Miraculously they have added to this repertoire with the recent acquisition of two of Avison’s original workbooks, which contain many unpublished works by Avison and other 18th century composers.

The Ensemble have chosen to perform on period instruments in order to recreate as closely as possible the distinctive 'sound world' that Charles Avison would have known.

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