Ensemble Cordia, Stefano Veggetti Cello
World premiere recordings on period instruments
Giovanni Benedetto Platti is no household name, but in his day he was lauded as an exceptionally fine singer, oboist and composer, leaving his native country Italy in 1722 to take up a position at the court of Würzburg, Germany, where he served Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn until the nobleman’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1724.
The concertos featured in this compendium can be traced as far back as this latter year, for from 1724 onwards Platti had both the time and the inclination to devote himself to the Bishop’s music-loving brother, Count Rudolf Franz Erwein. A passionate cellist, Erwein is surely the dedicatee behind the three Concerti con Violoncello obligato, works whose fast movements exhibit a characteristically nimble style and whose slow movements abound with expressive harmony. We also know that Platti prepared musical material on a regular basis for the Count, and his handwriting can indeed be found in the adaptation of Corelli’s Op.5 Violin Sonatas, which had no doubt caught Erwein’s attention when they were first published in Rome in 1700. Here Corelli’s violin part is shared between two Concertino instruments, and the alternation of larger and smaller forces – a characteristic trait of the Concerto grosso – helps accentuate the various reprises of the musical theme.
Dedicated to all matters Baroque and Classical, Ensemble Cordia – which uses period instruments to combine ‘authentic sound’ with youthful, fresh performances – is at the helm to perform these little-known but highly elegant works. The group has recorded widely for Brilliant Classics – its 2011 recording of Platti’s Oboe Concertos (94007) earned the following review from Fanfare: “seldom have I heard Baroque instrumental playing so heartfelt and impassioned”. The soloist for the cello concertos is Stefano Veggetti, whose assured playing can only serve to deepen our appreciation for a composer whose music is at last being fitfully rediscovered.