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This review is from: Pandolfi: Violin Sonatas Op.3-4 (Manze/Egarr) (Audio CD)
This is a cd of beautiful music performed brilliantly, as always, by Andrew Manze on violin and Richard Egarr on harpsichord.
Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli, who flourished from around 1660 to 1669, was probably born around 1630, and died in 1669 or 1670. Little is known about him, although he may have been involved in a murder and ensuing scandal, after which he fled to Spain. Of his works, only the Opus 3 and Opus 4 works remain, and it is these that are presented on this cd. These are virtuosi violin sonatas, and the performers on this cd are the ideal people to present these works.
According to Andrew Manze, "Pandolfi is like a grandmaster of chess who chooses a conventional opening and then varies it ingeniously". It's a pity that no more of his works appear to survive (although there's always hope they may turn up, I suppose), as his work appears to be important enough for Pandolfi to be considered a composer of importance sufficient to have been noticed by Purcell, and possibly even Schmelzer. And from Schmelzer, it's a short hop to the likes of Biber.
So, important works by an important composer about whom we know so very little. A pity, but then we are lucky to have these works presented to us in such a beautiful format with such great performers. Although these are works scored for just the violin and the harpsichord, don't for one minute think they are lightweight or tinkly pieces of no depth. They are highly musical, highly melodic and have a depth of character and tone that belies their slight instrumentation. At 80 minutes, you can't go wrong with this cd. Highly recommended.