The "Godfather" title of his collection by violinist/director Adrian Chandler and his historical-instrument group La Serenissima does not indicate any connection to organized crime, signifying simply that the composers represented were "movers and shakers" who traveled around Europe and exerted a good deal of influence. It's perhaps a thin concept, but the program is well-chosen, including unknown composers and works put together in a dynamic, high-contrast mix. Chandler includes Italianate concertos and big, trumpet-dominated German works by Telemann and Fasch, but his point is that the styles by the second quarter of the 18th century were mixing freely, sometimes in the same piece. An example is the Concerto movement for violin, three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo in D major, BWV 1045, a rarely played piece (probably because it's a torso) that's tremendously exciting and deftly weaves together multiple instruments and styles. There is also some not terribly common Vivaldi, a concerto by the little-known Giovanni Antonio Brescianello, and some pieces by Pisendel, an associate of Bach, who closely followed Italian trends. It all hangs together nicely, and Chandler and La Serenissima play the music with zest. The program ends with a bang in the form of a Fasch concerto for violin, two oboes, bassoon, three trumpets, timpani, strings, and continuo in D major, and it makes one want to hear these musicians in person.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Concerto for 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings & continuo in D, TWV 54 D3|
Concerto movement for violin, 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings & continuo in D, BWV 1045
|Concerto for violin, bassoon, strings & continuo in B flat|
|Concerto for strings & continuo in A, RV 158|
|Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 3 trumpets, timpani, strings & continuo in D, FaWV LD3|