This is a terrific CD of Albinoni's Op.2 sonatas. It's very good and in my view underrated music, and Chiara Banchini and her ensemble do it proud.
Albinoni is an easy composer to get wrong. He doesn't go in for quite the same virtuosic pyrotechnics as Vivaldi and there have been quite a lot of recordings which simply coast through his music in pleasant but uninspired performances which create little more than Baroque wallpaper. Here, we get a proper, inspiring and in places extremely beautiful performance. I knew I was in good hands the moment the disc started with the opening Largo of the C major Sonata. It is played beautifully and given real feeling and meaning without resorting to any over-sentimental Romantic gestures. It's a very difficult trick to pull off but Ensemble 415 do it brilliantly and much if the rest of the disc is just as good. With a chamber ensemble of 8 players they bring out the variety of sense and emotion in the music throughout and even the continuo on theorbo and organ or harpsichord has real colour to it. The recorded sound is excellent and makes these fine performances really shine.
I am very pleased to have found this disc. Banchini has been making very good discs for many years and I think this is another gem. Very warmly recommended.