Benedetto Marcello, Sonatas for recorder & bc Op. 2 – Harpsichord sonatas

…And it is the creative or perhaps hermeneutical aspect of early music that we treasure most: we were given the gift of being able to perform and revive wonderful music, and reciprocate with the emotional “reactions” of musicians who are given the opportunity to interpret it, respecting the indications stipulated in the written music, or sometimes simply experiencing its allure and listen, adoringly, in absolute silence.

A relationship results that is almost a dialogue with the music that the past has handed down to us: the music speaks to us and we respond with today’s sensitivity and liveliness. The times we live in call for vital and harmonious evidence of age-old and ancestral sentiments, that more strongly fuse today’s passion with past love for beauty, in sweet nostalgia that knows no longing. The modern era craves these pure gestures to enrich and complete our daily life.

Martino Noferi


Sonata I in Fa maggiore
Toccata in la maggiore per il cembalo
Sonata II in Re minore
Fuga in sol minore per il cembalo
Sonata III in Sol minore
Fuga in mi minore per il cembalo
Sonata IV in Mi minore
Sonata in Sol maggiore per il cembalo
Sonata V in Sol maggiore
Sonata in Do minore per il cembalo
Sonata VI in Do maggiore


IL ROSSIGNOLO, on period instruments

Martino Noferi, recorder
Raffaele Sorrentino, violoncello
Gian Luca Lastraioli, archlute & guitar
Ottaviano Tenerani, harpsichord


Marcello Sonata re min adagio

Marcello Sonata re min allegro

Marcello Toccata LA



…The poetical character of Marcello’s style doesn’t mean that the music lacks contrast and drama. That is most impressively demonstrated in this recording, where Il Rossignol and its recorder player, Martino Noferi, give very dramatic and gestural accounts of the first six sonatas. These are certainly not without twists and turns, and the players don’t hesitate to explore them. Noferi often goes to the limits of the dynamic possibilities of the recorder. And his colleagues give excellent support with an imaginative realisation of the basso continuo part, and also show a very good sense of rhythm. It is in particular in the slow movements where we meet the poet Marcello. Here Noferi excels in the abundant addition of ornaments.
The recorder sonatas are interspersed with pieces for keyboard, which come from a manuscript in the library of the Naples conservatory. The fugues are rather old-fashioned, and it is interesting to note that the subject and countersubject of the Fugue in e minor appear almost unchanged in Bach’s Toccata in e minor (BWV 914). The sonatas show some affinity with those of Domenico Scarlatti. The keyboard works get excellent performances from Ottaviano Tenerani on a beautiful Italian harpsichord.
This disc offers an enthralling interpretation of these sonatas by Marcello. This is what I expect from an Italian performance of Italian music, underlining the theatrical character of Italian music. In the booklet the release of the other sonatas from this opus is announced. I can hardly wait.
 Johan van Veen – Musicweb International – September 2006

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