Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Notturni a 4, flutta traversiere, 2 violins & bc

Giovanni Battista Sammartini is still almost unknown to the wider public. After a lifetime of recognition and esteem nearly everywhere in Europe, he was subsequently “forgotten” by critics and history.
Only after the Twentieth century did interest in Sammartini return, in relation especially to his contribution to the Milan school of symphony and instrumental music..[…]

These nocturnes for four instruments were written towards the end of the ‘fifties when the flute had become established. They show an idiomatic grasp of the instrument and its tones, which for the most part are suitable for playing techniques. Sammartini was an expert on the instrument and its brilliance and singing qualities. In the same way he introduces a “choral” conversational style between the flute itself and the first violin, although he also includes virtuoso passages for each instrument. This style was to characterise many contemporary works and culminated in Sammartini’s own later concertini, and chamber music by J. Ch. Bach, Haydn and Mozart.

Marica Testi


Notturno I in sol maggiore
Notturno IV in re maggiore
Notturno VI in la maggiore
Notturno V in do maggiore
Notturno III in sol maggiore
Notturno II in re maggiore
Notturno VII in la maggiore

IL ROSSIGNOLO, su strumenti originali

Marica Testi, transverse flute
Maria Paola Cavallini, violin
Raffaele Tiseo, violin
Raffaele Sorrentino, violoncello
Ottaviano Tenerani, direction & harpsichord

luogo di registrazione: Pieve di S. Maria a Petroio – Sovigliana, Vinci
periodo di registrazione:  17/20 Luglio  2001
Diapason:  LA = 415 Hz

Notturno III Minuetto

Notturno VI Spiritoso


[…] A very pleasing record which enriches the repertoire and constitutes an addition to the catalogue of works by Sammartini. 
Marc Vignal – Le Monde de la Musique – September 2002

Notturni a 4 per flutta traversiere, due violini e basso […] resolves the issue of Baroque language with grace, elegance and the capacity to move over ground. All these are qualities in Il Rossignolo’s interpretation, with Marica Testi’s flute in a dialogue with two violins, supported by the cello and harpsichord as though in a refined conversation “. 
Nicoletta Sguben –  Amadeus – October 2002

[…] hearing this CD for the first time, we follow the interlinking themes and the interchange between the instrumental voices in this lively spirited music. […] Listening again, the “capricious Milanese” composer sounds imaginative and strong. Perhaps more imaginative and stronger than we thought previously. And this is mainly thanks to the performers, […] the talented musicians of Il Rossignolo Ensemble. 
Gian Carlo Bernacchi – MUSICA – October 2002

[…] In outstanding virtuoso passages […] the precision of sound and the openings of flautist Marica Testi are well accompanied by other group members, Maria Paola Cavallini and Raffaele Tiseo (violins), Raffaele Sorrentino (cello) Ottaviano Tenerani (harpsichord and conductor). Their interpretation renders the brilliant song-like quality of this music and interprets the themes and rhythms with verve and precision. 
Giovanni Toffano – CD Classics  – October 2002

The Italian ensemble Il Rossignolo conducted by Ottaviano Tenerani […after the dramatic and brilliant performance of the Sinfonie a quattro da camera by Giovanni Battista Martini on a Cactus CD…] now destroys another widely held belief, that the Milanese composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini is one of the fathers of the new symphonic style. More generous critics refer to him as “Haydn’s teacher”, and the less generous […] refer to him as a mere “scribbler.” Il Rossignolo wisely focuses on seven Notturni for flute, two violins and basso continuo. In music, a “nocturne” is the heart of Romantic sensibility. This is not the case here, but the virtuoso flute playing of Marica Testi gives a hint of future developments. 
Sandro Cappelletto – La Stampa – 8 March 2003

Sammartini’s symphonies have not yet been recorded, although they are important for the history of the form. But we have at least one success by the composer thanks to the Italian label Tactus and the ensemble Il Rossignolo. These nocturnes date from around 1750 and are in a courtly style, with a touch of lyricism and drama in the manner of Neapolitan opera. 
Records International Catalogue

Those who are serious about collecting classical music will not be disappointed by this collection of nocturnes by Sammartini. Performed by top players, this is a marvellous disc to add to your collection, and listen to again and again. 
Classical Music