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The Venetian-born Antonio Caldara was the son of Giuseppe Caldara, a violinist and,allegedly, a youthful pupil of Giovanni Legrenzi. For more than thirty-five of the forty years of his creative life, vocal music – whether in the shape of cantatas, operas, oratorios or liturgical settings – dominated his output. Yet Caldara began his career by the late 1680s as cellist at the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, and returned to his instrument, if briefly, within eighteen months of his death.
Composed five years before the publication of the famous cello sonatas of the most famous Venetian, Antonio Vivaldi, the collection of sixteen sonatas by Antonio Caldara represent a substantial contribution to the late Baroque repertoire of sonatas for solo cello. Those selected for this recording reveal that they come from a collection enriched by experience and maturity, warmed by a fluid and flexible melodic style, enlivened by chromatically enriched harmony, sophisticated in craftsmanship, and imbued with a spirit of confident independence.