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The Avison Ensemble & Pavlo Beznosiuk - Avison-Scarlatti: 12 Concerti Grossi (2008)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 25-06-2019, 14:24
The Avison Ensemble & Pavlo Beznosiuk - Avison-Scarlatti: 12 Concerti Grossi (2008)
Artist: The Avison Ensemble & Pavlo Beznosiuk
Title Of Album: Avison-Scarlatti: 12 Concerti Grossi
Year Of Release: 2008
Label: Divine Art
Country: UK
Genre: Classical
Quality: APE (*image + .cue, log)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 02:34:52
Full Size: 802 MB


CD 1
01 - 04] Concerto No. 1 in A Major
05 - 08] Concerto No. 2 in G Major
09 - 12] Concerto No. 3 in d Minor
13 - 16] Concerto No. 4 in a Minor
17 - 20] Concerto No. 5 in d Minor
21 - 24] Concerto No. 6 in D Major

CD 2
01 - 04] Concerto No. 7 in g Minor
05 - 08] Concerto No. 8 in e Minor
09 - 12] Concerto No. 9 in C Major
13 - 16] Concerto No. 10 in D Major
17 - 20] Concerto No. 11 in G Major
21 - 26] Concerto No. 12 in D Major

This release, helmed by prolific Ukrainian-British violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, might better be titled Scarlatti-Avison; the original music is by Domenico Scarlatti, as arranged by British composer Charles Avison just a few years after the fact. The eighteenth century was a time in which musical recycling, either by an original composer or by others, was an entirely acceptable practice, and the beginnings of the practice of reducing orchestral works for keyboard date from this period also. Going from keyboard music to an orchestral version, however, was much more unusual at this time (a century later it too would be common enough), especially in the case of music so thoroughly conceived for the keyboard as Scarlatti's. Avison wrote, perhaps defensively, that in Scarlatti's original sonatas, "many delightful Passages...[have been] entirely disguised, either with capricious Diversions, or an unnecessary Repetition in many Places...." He goes on to claim that he has succeeded in "taking off the Mask which concealed their natural Beauty and Excellency." The listener by this time will be ready to object that it is the capricious diversions and unnecessary repetitions that make Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas so much fun, but the word "natural" is key here; Avison, although he sticks generally closely to the source material, tries to purge it of its Baroque traits. The result, perhaps more interesting for those immersed in the eighteenth century than for general listeners, is a little snapshot of changing tastes at a time when naturalness was emerging as the aesthetic value to be cherished most. Avison's shoehorning of Scarlatti's keyboard textures into the concerto grosso format (a concerto grosso is a concerto for a small group, known as a concertino, with a larger string orchestra) is ingenious, but he opts for simplicity and homogeneity over dramatic contrast wherever possible, and Beznosiuk's interpretations, with the handpicked Avison Ensemble, emphasize sweetness and smoothness. Recommended for British music lovers and serious fans of the period, and nowhere less than pleasant for anyone else. -- James Manheim

The Avison Ensemble & Pavlo Beznosiuk - Avison-Scarlatti: 12 Concerti Grossi (2008)

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