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A native of Asti (in the Piedmont region), Carlo Graziani was one of the greatest Italian cellist-composers of the seventeeth century. After years of travelling all over Europe (in Paris as first cellist in La Pouplinière’s orchestra, then in London where he is said to have appeared with the sevenyear- old Mozart), in 1770 he was invited to Potsdam to become the royal cello teacher to Friedrich Wilhelm II, then Crown Prince of Prussia. Graziani devoted himself exclusively to his student whom he taught until 1773, when he was replaced by Jean-Pierre Duport. Graziani then retired on a pension of 600 thalers per year, choosing to remain near the royal cellist rather than search for employment elsewhere. When Friedrich Wilhelm II was crowned king in 1786, Graziani followed him to Berlin where he died the following year.

Highlight of the programme, Graziani’s 1778 ‘Il viaggio da Berlino a Breslavia’ is unique in its inclusion of a descriptive title: this title refers to the year 1777 when Graziani, still in residence at the Prussian Court, travelled from Berlin to Wroclaw. 

Authoritative liner notes by Mara Parker, who has pursued research on Carlo Graziani over a long period and whose critical edition of nine of Graziani’s previously unpublished works was published by A-R Editions in 1997. Her edition of Graziani’s Opp. 1 and 2 is forthcoming. This new release comes after the much acclaimed recording devoted to Antonio Caldara.

5 Diapason award