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on 6 October 2012
This recording is a strong alternative interpretation to that of Manze. Given the scarcity of interpretative markings in parts of the original manuscript either approach is equally valid - both are breathtaking after their manner. The present offering takes things at a more meditative pace it is true. A case in point is the third sonata (La Monella Romanesca) which for the first 122 bars of the urtext is marked simply 'Adagio'. Including the short 'Presto' segment this takes Manze only 6:33, but is rendered at a much more stately 14:11 by Letzbor. However, this is not to say that Letzbor is without fire, when the situation requires he and his continuo ensemble can become quite aggressive (see especially the Allegro of La Strella which quite literally 'rocks'). I strongly recommend the ownership of both recordings, which inhabit two quite different sound worlds. Personally, perhaps simply because it is newer, I prefer Letzbor's rendering. I am eagerly awaiting his recording of Opera Terza.
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