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Settecento (Album)

‘La Serenissima here charts the flourishing of Italian instrumental music in the early decades of the 1700s (the ‘Settecento’), with ports of call in Venice, Bologna and Naples. Alongside the familiar wizards of the Italian Baroque – Alessandro Scarlatti, Tartini and Vivaldi – are unsung names whose forgotten manuscripts have been dusted down by the ensemble’s director Adrian Chandler.

Perhaps the disc’s most interesting revelation is Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello’s Sonata for two violins and continuo – its softly whispering B minor Largo a particular delight. Here, and on their 2020 recording Extra Time, Chandler and La Serenissima unveil a composer of no mean talent.

Throughout the disc, La Serenissima’s performances are characterised by liquid melodies and supple embellishments, lithe rhythms and eloquent phrasing.’

Kate Bolton-Porciatti, BBC Music Magazine, March 2021