Tomaso Albinoni was a contemporary of Vivaldi in Venice, and his Concerti a cinque opus 9, published in 1722, provide ample evidence of his felicity in composition. His wife was a well-known opera singer, and his oboe concertos sound like wonderfully cantabile instrumental da capo arias: first there is an energetic fast movement, then a lyrical slow movement, followed by another fast movement that once again takes up themes from the first movement. The music is contrapuntal, harmonious, balanced and, to put it blankly, full of sheer enjoyment…
During the eighteenth century music publishers, and occasionally composers themselves, adapted sonatas originally intended for string instruments, for wind instruments. The adaptation of Albinoni's violin sonatas for woodwind instruments has a historical precedent set by one of the great musicians of the French Baroque. The composer, flautist, bassoonist, gambist and instrument maker Jacques Hotteterre Le Romain (c. 1680-1761) adapted some of Albanian's violin sonatas for the flute….
I Solisti Veneti is one of the first rank of small Italian chamber orchestras with modern instruments. Founded in Padua in 1959 by Claudio Scimone, it has made a reputation especially with Italian Baroque music, recording many works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Geminiani, Benedetto Marcello and Giuseppe Tartini. Giuliano Carmignola and Piero Toso were two of the soloists in the ensemble. The group has made over 300 recordings, many on the Erato record label. A number of these were first-ever recordings of works of Vivaldi, Albinoni and Rossini.
This two-CD set was originally issued by Hyperion on CDA 66891/2 in the mid-1990s; it’s good to have the collection available like this and it can be thoroughly recommended.
The Avison Ensemble, directed by Pavlo Beznosiuk, present George Frideric Handel's complete Opus 6 Concerti Grossi on a three disc set. This work is widely regarded as the composer's greatest contribution to the Baroque period.