Although he rubbed elbows with and received lessons from some of the most prominent names on the Baroque musical scene, Francesco Geminiani is not a name encountered much today. He made his career as a violinist, composer, and conductor; his compositions, which closely followed many models established by his teacher Arcangelo Corelli, were not especially extensive, with his published volumes only extending to Opus 7. Geminiani's Opus 5, published circa 1846, consists of a set of six sonatas for cello and continuo. The influence of Corelli and the pervasiveness of literature for the viola da gamba are quite clear in this set of charming sonatas. This Brilliant Classics album features cellist Jaap ter Linden performing the solo part, with Lars Ulrik Mortensen on harpsichord and Judith-Maria Becker on cello continuo. The performances of the trio are solid and reliable, but largely lacking in energy or excitement. Sound quality is a big issue; when both cellos simultaneously play in their lower registers, their recorded sound becomes excessively boomy and entirely drowns out the harpsichord. Ter Linden's intonation is also not as precise as one would hope from someone of his reputation. Overall, this album is still a sufficient introduction to these little (if ever) heard compositions and is fine for background music, but is just too bland to elicit much excitement from casual listeners.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Sonate (6) for cello & continuo, Op. 5|