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In Rome between the late seventeenth century and the early eighteenth, academies and ‘conversazioni’ (artistic gatherings) organised by aristocrats and cardinals attracted the leading writers and musicians. The names of Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and the young G. F. Handel stand out among many others. Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier (Rome, c.1660-1700), a cellist and composer known as ‘Giovanni del Violone’, participated in this intensive musical activity. [...] When he entered the entourage of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, in 1690, Lulier already had a decade of compositional activity behind him in the genres of oratorio, opera and above all the chamber cantata. Originally consisting of a succession of strophic arias, the cantata gradually established itself as a poetic and musical genre characterised by alternating recitatives and arias. [...] As is well known, the conversazioni of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also included the performance of instrumental music.

"In their own right they are little gems and they receive persuasive performances from Francesca Boncompagni, whose role in the Boccherini Stabat Mater(Brilliant Classics) impressed Michael Cookson – review. As in the sonatas, the cello is prominent in the accompaniment, with Ceccato doing his stuff to fine effect."
MusicWeb International
"This revelatory CD emphasizes the point that in Italy at the turn of the 17th century, there were dozens of musical circles similar to Cardinal Ottoboni’s each boasting several fine composers contributing to a truly vast body of fine instrumental and vocal music."
Early Music Review