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A tireless explorer of territories off the beaten track, Gaetano Nasillo has already addressed Venetian music with a memorable album devoted to composer and ‘musico di violoncello’ Antonio Caldara (A356). This new album brings us back to Venice to discover cello virtuosos and sonatas between Vivaldi and Tartini.   

‘In the late seventeenth century the bass member of the violin family underwent an evolution to become the instrument we know as the violoncello. Within a few decades, Venice and its republic became an important centre of composition for the new instrument, whose popularity steadily increased, reaching a peak in the 1730s and 1740s.  In his recorded anthology of sonatas for the instrument the cellist Gaetano Nasillo has selected eight works by eight different composers with a connection to La Serenissima. One composer, Antonio Vivaldi, is extremely well known; two, Benedetto Marcello and Giovanni Benedetto Platti, are slightly known; the remaining five – Girolamo Bassani, Diogenio Bigaglia, Antonio Martinelli, Antonio Vandini and Michele Stratico – are hardly known at all, and this premiere recording of their sonatas reveals the high quality and simple enjoyability of their music.’

– Michael Talbot