Silvia Rambaldi

Antonio Ferradini: Sei Sonate per Clavicembalo

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Italy's Tactus label has issued a large number of semi-specialist recordings uncovering forgotten and in many cases still unpublished works by composers from the Renaissance to the early Romantic periods. Just a few masterpieces have come to light, which vindicates the judgment of the early editors who formed the canon of early music, but listeners interested in broad reconstruction of a particular scene will find many of these recordings useful. Consider the case of Antonio Ferradini, who died in an indigents' hospital in Prague in 1779. He was born in Naples and worked for a time in Madrid, which naturally leads one to expect keyboard works falling into Domenico Scarlatti's wide stylistic orbit. The six sonatas presented here are nothing of the sort, however. Certainly they're in transitional styles between Baroque and Classical (the seven-movement Sonata No. 6 is the most Baroque in style, with a large set of variations in the middle), and occasionally there are concerto-like effects using the two manuals of the harpsichord that remind one of Scarlatti, whose music Ferradini must have known. But for the most part their emphasis is melodic; they are keyboard counterparts to the limpid vocal melodies that were coming into vogue in southern Italy during Ferradini's youth, and indeed he was primarily a vocal composer. All except the sixth sonata have four movements; the movement sequence is irregular, but three of the sonatas end with minuets or other moderate-tempo pieces, a common pattern in the German-speaking lands where Ferradini spent his later years. The booklet (in Italian, English, and French) includes an overview of Ferradini's life and works by Alberto Iesué as well as performance notes by harpsichordist Silvia Rambaldi, who explains the differing ornamentation procedures she applies to the various kinds of movements represented in the set. It is that mixture of movement types that is of the most interest here for pre-Classical enthusiasts.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata for harpsichord No. 1
1
3:57
2
3:24
3
4:57
4
2:33
Sonata for harpsichord No. 2
5
3:10
6
1:21
7
3:24
8
3:14
Sonata for harpsichord No. 3
9
1:40
10
3:21
11
2:47
12
2:16
Sonata for harpsichord No. 4
13
2:14
14
2:08
15
2:46
16
2:05
Sonata for harpsichord No. 5
17
2:22
18
2:41
19
3:06
20
2:34
Sonata for harpsichord No. 6
21
2:51
22
2:33
23
3:22
24
1:37
25
9:06
26
1:22
27
1:32
blue highlight denotes track pick