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Cat. No. CHAN 0663 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0663 - Albinoni: 12 Concerti a Cinque, Op. 5
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Available From: 19 October 2000
Albinoni’s first published concertos appeared in 1700 in his Op. 2, a collection in which six sonatas alternate with six concertos. Already here we see some characteristics that were to remain part of his essential identity as a composer of concertos right up to his last set (Op. 10, published c. 1735): a strict adherence to a three-movement plan (fast-slow-fast); a highly variable, unpredictable incidence of writing for the solo violin; transparent movement-designs dominated by distinctive head-motives heard successively in different keys; a strong influence from operatic music; a generally cool emotional climate with occasional passionate irruptions; a liking for counterpoint, especially the combination of contrasting subjects and counter-subjects.

It was not long after the successful Op. 2 that Albinoni followed it with Op. 5, published in 1707 and described, like their predecessors, as concerti a cinque. Op. 5 is a synthesis of the best features of the sonatas and concertos of Op. 2. From the sonatas it borrows the idea of styling the finale as a fugue, albeit one now enriched by concertante passages for a solo violin. In fact the fugal finales of these twelve concertos are prototypes of their kind, the ancestors of such movements as those closing the second and fourth of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

In Op. 5 Albinoni employs three distinct types of slow movements in successive concertos and repeats the cycle three times through the course of the set’s published order. The slow movements of Concertos 2, 5, 8 and 11 are perhaps the first truly lyrical slow movements in the history of the concerto. Although Op. 5 has been performed, edited and recorded less often than its successors, they arguably represent Albinoni at his most natural and vital, and convey something of the freshness and excitement that the concerto genre represented in its early, pre-Vivaldian phase.

‘Collegium Musicum 90’s playing is splendid, energetic yet expansive… Crisply articulated with almost impeccable ensemble from 15 strings and continuo, finely recorded…’
BBC Music Magazine

This is a lovely recording…This would be an ideal non-christmassy Christmas present’.
Early Music Review

‘We have come to expect excellence in style and performance from Collegium Musicum 90, and the same from Chandos in terms of clarity, presence and balance: our expectations continue to be fully justified.’
Gramophone on CHAN 0602 (Double Oboe Concertos & String Concertos, Volume 1)

‘The concertos are beautifully played here, with plenty of energy. This is the obvious choice for period-instrument fans who want them. The sound is very good, both crisp and warm.’
American Record Guide

Gramophone Critic's Choice of 2001 new releases

‘An attractive successor to Vol. 1… both should be on Baroque-lovers’ shelves.’
Hi-Fi News on CHAN 0610 (Double Oboe Concertos & String Concertos, Volume 2)

‘Collegium Musicum 90 are one of the very best baroque bands to emerge in recent years and here they are in their element.’
Gramophone on CHAN 0579 (Oboe Concertos)


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