Pietro & Prospero Castrucci: Sonatas for Violin & B.C. / Pedrona, Merello
Elegant Baroque sonatas for violin and basso continuo by a pair of little-known brothers, Pietro and Prospero, who belonged to Handel’s circle of talents in 18th-century London. Pietro (1679-1752) and Prospero (1690-1760) Castrucci belong to the generation of virtuosos who connected the development of violin playing from Corelli to Tartini, and took the Italian style abroad, combining it with the latest musical fashions of the time. Born in Rome, they studied with Corelli, but moved to London in 1715, which had become a European capital for music primarily thanks to the patronage of the English aristocracy and the celebrity figure of Handel. The Castrucci brothers played in Handel’s orchestra at the Royal Academy for the next 20 years, and Handel wrote obbligato parts for them in his operas. Prospero published only one collection, of six sonatas, in 1739; he seems to have been the more conservative of the two brothers, writing in a style reminiscent of his teacher Corelli, albeit decorated with bold flourishes characteristic of Veracini and Locatelli. The more innovative of the two was Pietro, who became more famous, wrote more prolifically and was published well beyond London. His violin writing is a crucible of invention, featuring bold strokes such as multi-tempo movements, arpeggiated chords on three strings, unisons with basso continuo, inverted mordents, and the kind of ‘arco battuto’ writing that Beethoven would later emulate. A pupil of Giuliano Carmignola, Marco Pedrona founded Ensemble Guidantus in 1995, specialising in music of the Italian Baroque. With them he has performed across Italy and further afield, giving highly praised performances of the canonic repertoire from Corelli to Pergolesi but also reviving many figures such as the Castrucci brothers.
Release Date: July 28, 2023
Catalog Number: BRI96945
Label: Brilliant Classics
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Pietro Castrucci, Prospero Castrucci
Performer: Marco Pedrona, Davide Merello