Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tessarini: Trio Sonatas Op.12 · Sonatas for Flute and Continuo

Carlo Tessarini da Rimini (c.1690–c.1767) is one of the ‘forgotten generation’ of Italian Baroque masters who made their name and sometimes their fortune outside their native land. Tessarini was popular in England and the Netherlands, where both the public and publishers rated him on a par with Vivaldi and Albinoni.

Born around 1690 into a wealthy shipping family, he soon left Rimini to study in Venice, leaving the city in the early 1730s for Urbino. The Op.12 set on this disc were dedicated to the powerful Cardinale Annibale Albani of Urbino, the eldest son of Pope Clement XI.

After a long period as leader of the opera orchestra at the Teatro Valle in Rome, he managed (with his generous family helping out – they owned a publishingcompany!) to enter into a type of co-publishing deal with a leading French publisher who distributed and sold his music. And so his reputation spread across Europe.

There followed long spells of living and working in London, Nijmegen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Groningen, and finally Arnhem, where he appears to have died in around 1767 at the age of 76. At the time of his death he was still an active composer, working and performing to his adoring public. He produced 19 collections of sonatas, concertos, symphonies and capriccios.

There is also a sizeable body of work of uncertain provenance attributed to him. Stylistically, he is somewhere between Vivaldi and the galant style of Locatelli. He is a remarkable figure as he was one of the first composers to realise the importance of publishing and distribution of music andteaching material – Telemann was the other contemporaneous example – without which music became lost without trace after the composer’s death.

Il bell’accordo performs on period instruments. Recording made in 2008.

A welcome recording of a fascinating and somewhat overlooked composer that will be of interest to Baroque enthusiasts.

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