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Using a rare original instrument made by Giovanni Maria Anciuti (the most remarkable woodwind instrument maker active in Italy in the first half of the eighteenth century) and dated 1730, Alfredo Bernardini offers us a reference anthology of Venetian Baroque oboe concertos, ranging from favourites like Marcello’s Concerto – one of the most performed oboe concertos in the repertoire – to true rarities like Bigaglia’s, recorded here for the first time.
The new oboe invaded all European countries by the year 1700, just a few decades after its invention in France. All composers and listeners were fascinated by its flexibility, versatility and a sound that came very close to the human voice. In the same period Venetian composers developed the solo-concerto, a new musical form that would become a privileged standard until our modern times, in which one instrument is in the foreground in a larger group mostly consisting of strings and basso continuo. The two novelties were very soon associated and the amount of Venetian concerti for oboe written between 1715 and 1735 make an impressive milestone in the repertoire of this instrument.