Giovanni Battista Martini, Sinfonias

Nowadays, critics and historians acknowledge Father Martini as a music scholar and theorist, but comparatively little is known of his compositions, which represented a wide range of different genres. Scholars have tended to focus on his sacred music and have been somewhat misled by a romantic image of the man as severe and academic.

[…] This image is however destined to fade, especially in view of these ten Chamber symphonies, chosen from twenty-four written between 1736 and 1777. The autographed scores are all kept at the Civic Bibliographic Museum in Bologna. This recording overcomes false prejudices and reveals a Father Martini who looked at the new language of expression with favour, rather than being a nostalgic curator of the past.

Francesco Ermini Polacci


IL ROSSIGNOLO on period instruments
direction and harpsichord

Sinfonia a 4 in re maggiore (1751)
Sinfonia a 4 in fa maggiore (1764)
Sinfonia a 4 in fa maggiore (1751)
Sinfonia a 4 in re maggiore (1749)
Sinfonia a 4 in sib maggiore (1754)
Sinfonia a 4 in fa maggiore con corni da caccia (1736)
Sinfonia a 4 in re maggiore (1751)
Sinfonia a 4 in fa maggiore (1753)
Sinfonia a 4 in re maggiore (1750)
Sinfonia a 4 in fa maggiore (1760)

Martino Noferi, recorder & oboe 
Marica Testi, recorder transverse flute 
Gabriele Alessandro Rodrigi, transverse flute 
Marta Caneva, recorder 
Paolo Faggi, Francesco Meucci, horn 
Fabio Cafaro, violin  
Diletta Meazza, violin
Laura Scipioni, violin
Fulvio Milone, alto
Raffaele Sorrentino, violoncello
Carlo Pelliccione, double bass


Luogo di registrazione: Pieve di S. Giovanni, Saturnana (PT).
Periodo di registrazione: 3/6  Ottobre  2000
Diapason: LA = 415 Hz
Sinfonia 1764 I Allegro

Sinfonia 1749 I sidt

Sinfonia 1754 III Vivace


[…] The ensemble “Il Rossignolo”, led by harpsichordist Ottaviano Tenerani, displays historical and formal understanding of Father Martini’s work. This is clear from the instrumental make up of the group which […] gives the orchestra a very compact sound, probably similar to mid-Eighteenth century Italian orchestras. […] Congratulations to Tenerani and his players.     
Carlo Fiore, “The Classic Voice” – May 2002 –  CD DEL MESE

All musical history books talk about the great Father Giovanni Battista Martini, but it has been difficult to find a CD of his works. This obvious gap has now been filled by Tactus and Il Rossignolo using period instruments […]. At last we can now appreciate why Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart travelled especially from Salzburg to meet and study the works of this master of Bologna.     
Warner- Fonit Classic, March 2002    

[…] The celebrated Father Martini was in fact an early symphony composer not averse to taking risks, on the evidence of this interesting collection. […]This selection by Il Rossignolo, clearly and accurately played, brilliantly reveals undiscovered aspects of music history. 
Angelo Foletto, “Suonare News” – May 2002

[…] In this Tactus CD, Martini comes over as perfectly in harmony with his times and its musical trends […]. This wonderful surprise is produced by the ensemble “Il Rossignolo” , a group of period instruments including strings, recorders, flutes and horns. The interpretation of Martini’s music is clear, colourful, substantial and convincing, suggesting different moods in a delicate kaleidoscope of sounds. Ottaviano Tenerani conducts, in the early manner, at the harpsichord.                  
Lorenzo Tozzi, CD Classics – May 2002

These are amongst the earliest of what can truly be called ‘symphonies’. The manuscripts carry no date and the works are still predominatly polyphonic but still, in various movements, look forward to the early symphonies of Haydn while still containing much which looks back at Pergolesi. Given the lack of recordings of symphonies from this period of transition, this is a must-have disc for all lovers of the symphony, from whatever period. Il Rossignolo; Ottaviano Tenerani (harpsichord). Tactus TC 701305 (Italy) 
Records International Catalogue

[…]The ensemble Il Rossignolo has made a number of CDs with works by Martini. The interpretation here is very enthusiastic, lively and energetic. These players really believe in the music they perform. […]It would be a shame to ignore this recording, which will change our view on good old Padre Martini. 
Johan van Veen (© 2002)