Francesco Veracini Italian 1690 -1768
Veracini Sonate accademiche. Op. 2 - No. 7 in D minor; No. 8 in E minor; No. 9 in A major; No. 12 in D minor. Capriccio sesto con due soggetti in G minor. Fabio Biondi (vn); Maurizio Naddeo (vc); Rinaldo Alessandrini (hpd); Pascal Monteilhet (theorbo). Opus 111 © OPS30-138 (61 minutes: DDD: 9/95). Recorded 1995.
Despite the continuing re-discovery of so much of the Italian baroque, Veracini's music remains comparatively unknown both in the concert-hall and on record. This neglect is as unjustified as the traditional unfavourable comparison of his music with that of Vivaldi. He was a performer whose curious style was already noticed during his lifetime by the English writer Charles Bumey, who once said that by travelling and playing all over Europe Veracini had formed a "style of playing peculiar to himself". The same might be said of his composing, which far from being simply an assimilation of contemporary modes, speaks with a sharply individual voice that constantly surprises with its freshness and riginality. This almost kaleidoscopic shifting of moods and manners is fully evident in the Sonate accademiche, a collection of pieces published in 1744, but the fruits of a lifetime's experience playing in Dresden, London and Venice. As such they are shot through with virtuoso passagework, double-stopping and other technical features characteristic of Veracini's performances. These are here negotiated by Fabio Biondi with an easy brilliance that nevertheless does not sacrifice poetry for mere outward display. His approach is vigorous, with plenty of tone when required, and attractively alive. The overall sound is sharp and clean. Both he and the other performers use either period instruments or modem copies, and Rinaldo Alessandrini's informed and committed direction, and support, brings out all the delicacy of Veracini's rich and varied textures. There is much to savour on this record - no connoisseur of the period can afford to be without it.