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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Masterly collection of late baroque cello concerti by a minor masterJuly 6 2009
Frank T. Manheim
- Published on Amazon.com
Leonardo Leo (1694-1744)exemplifies the continuing process of discovery of and recording of rewarding music of the baroque period (a stub of a Wikipedia article on Leo mentions only the sacred music for which he was mainly known until recently). The cello concerti in this recording reflects a musical style that alternates between very late Baroque and Rococo (characterized by mannered ornamentation - sometimes called the "Zopf" or pigtail school)occasionally hinting at the preclassical style initiated by Giovanni Pergolesi.
Leo's music is well crafted for the cello and baroque orchestra and has enough unexpected twists to sustain interest. I've long thought (and classical music radio listeners apparently confirm this) that Baroque music, because of its emphasis on melody enhanced by contrapuntal devices, transparent texture and the gorgeous sonorities of the string orchestra, is nearly always enjoyable even when the composers do not reach the level of inspiration of Vivaldi, Bach, Telemann, and Handel. Because of the special quality of the cello and the relative rarity of baroque concerti for it, this comprehensive collection deserves special interest.