Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Concerto for mandolin in C major RV 425. Baldassarre Galuppi (1706-1785): Sinfonia from “Il mondo alla roversa”. Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816): Concerto for mandolin in E flat major; Sinfonia from “La serva padrona” R 1.63. Francesco Lecce (1750-1806): Concerto for mandolin in G major. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Sinfonia in D major Hob.l106 from “Le Pescatrici”. Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837): Mandolin Concerto in G major. Raffaele La Ragione, mandolin; Il Pomo d’Oro, director: Francesco Corti. 1 CD Arcana. Recorded on February 27 and 28, March 1 and 2, 2021 at Villa San Fermo in Lonigo (Italy). Presentation leaflet in French, English and Italian. Duration: 66:56
After a convincing dialogue between the keyboard and the plucked strings in 2020, Raffaele’s new album La Ragione brings together four concertos which, according to the interpreter, best represent the mandolin in its golden age, as well as a reference repertoire for any mandolinist such as Vivaldi, Paisiello, Lecce and Hummel.
the Concerto in C major RV 425 by Antonio Vivaldi marks the beginning, historically and in this disc, of the consecration of the mandolin as a solo instrument. The work offers a subtle balance between the instrument and the orchestra, particularly well transcribed by an appropriate sound recording, the mandolin being able to deploy a brilliant line with regard to the lightness of the accompaniments chosen elegantly executed by the Il Pomo ensemble. d’Oro under the direction of Francesco Corti.
At Baldassarre Galuppi, it is with excerpts from his opéra-bouffe Il mondo alla roversa that the mandolin emancipates itself from the orchestra by reversing its role of accompaniment to that of leading protagonist, a role reversal dear to 18th century satiree century as the musicologist Guido Olivieri reminds us in the presentation note. We naturally find Giovanni Paisiello in the same type of repertoire with extracts from his opera-bouffe Serva padronathe composer having been one of the actors of the Neapolitan school of opera, while the paw of Joseph Haydn in the Sinfonia in D major excerpt from his first opera The pescatrici concludes the lyrical repertoire of this recording.
Of them concertos in G major finally rub shoulders in this program: that of Francesco Lecce where the gallant style particularly marks theAllegro Balletto end; and that of Johann Nepomuk Hummel where the presence of two flutes and two horns, in addition to the strings, surprisingly colors the elegant expressiveness of the score. This disc materializes the first recording on period instruments of these two works.
Throughout these musical pages of pleasant elegance and a well-calibrated diversity of sonorities and intentions, Raffaele La Ragione characterizes his playing by a clear sound and a limpid line, virtuosity full of brilliance and verve. of the instrumentalist seeming obvious with regard to the serenity of his interpretation and the mastery of style as well as the instruments used.
Because indeed, it is also the “informed” approach of the musicians which gives a lot of interest to this disc and to the interpretation which results from it. It is therefore not one, but three mandolins that sound according to the models of the time, in accordance with the organology of the time when the term “mandolin” designated very different instruments, the chosen repertoire being influenced by their playing technique and the sound of these instruments characterized. Thus, a double mandolin with six rows of gut strings by Tiziano Rizzi after an original instrument by Antonio Monzino kept at the Museo Teatrale alla Scla in Milan, tuned in thirds and fourths, is used for the Concerto in C major by Vivaldi. A double mandolin with four rows of metal strings, described as “Neapolitan”, plays a Concerto in E flat major attributed – perhaps wrongly – to Giovanni Paisiello and the Concerto in G major by Francesco Lecce. A simple gut mandolin with four strings by Lorenzo Lippi after an original instrument by Carlo Bergonzi preserved in the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Rome, tuned in fifth, finally resounds for the Concerto in G major by Johann Nepomuk Hummel.
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