Cirri: Sonatas & Duos for Cello / Montesinos Defez, Breaking Bass Ensemble
This world premiere recording presents four sonatas and four duos by Giovanni Battista Cirri (1724-1808), a cello virtuoso and teacher whose reputation took him across Europe – including to London, where for a time during the 1760s he was employed by members of the Royal Family, and took part in the first concert given in the English capital by the eight-year-old Mozart. By now, however, Cirri’s name has been almost forgotten, save through an edition of dubious scholarship from the 1950s of a viola concerto which is in fact an arrangement of one of his London cello sonatas. His set of six cello concertos Op 14 has been recorded before now, revealing his creative gifts to be not dazzlingly original but always pleasing, and superbly conceived for his own instrument. All cellists of an adventurous disposition will accordingly be drawn to this new collection, which contains work dating from after his return to Italy in 1780, and to his native Emilia-Romagna region. The Breaking Bass ensemble has selected four of the 12 Sonate di camera, and alternated them with four of the Eight Duets for two cellos to make a satisfying contrast of genre and texture within the album. The solo parts of the sonatas bristle with technical challenges as well as attractive melodic writing, and the duos are full of lively exchange between the two instruments, revealing a far more theatrical side to the composer, with the two instruments taking on solo roles and sharing the limelight on equal terms. They were clearly designed for pedagogical use to be performed by teacher and pupil.
March 25, 2022
Label: Brilliant Classics
Period: Classical Era
Composer: Giovanni Battista Cirri
Orchestra/Ensemble: Breaking Bass Ensemble
Performer: Carlos Montesinos Defez
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