Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baron EG - The Lute at the Court of Frederick the Great - Polato

Baron EG - The Lute at the Court of Frederick the Great - Polato
Chamber | single flac, no cue | no log, cover | 1 CD, 278 MB
re-released 2000 | Dynamic | RapidShare

Among the musical luminaries at the court of Frederick the Great in the 1740s was Ernst Gottlieb Baron, who by all accounts was not only a fine composer but also a virtuoso lute player who was quite adept at manipulating the emotions of his audiences through the expressiveness of his performances. His playing and his compositions advanced the traditionally refined and formal style of music for this instrument into more overtly affective regions that began to explore the lute's farther-reaching expressive possibilities. Baron also wrote articles and an important treatise on lute history and performance practice. Few listeners will be familiar with the music on this disc, performed by Italian lutenist Pier Luigi Polato. Not only has it never previously been recorded, but most of it remains in manuscript, as only a handful of Baron's works were ever published. To my ears, these sonatas and concertos--two sonatas for lute solo, one with oboe, concertos for lute with flute traverso or recorder, and a duet for lute and flute--are pretty middle-of-the-road, standard Baroque fare, nothing either tune-it-out boring or drop-everything-and-listen interesting. Obviously, Polato is an excellent musician; he plays without a trace of hesitation or unfamiliarity. He's got these pieces under his belt and just dashes them off with a kind of charming casualness. It's not that he isn't involved, but the music just doesn't demand the kind of virtuoso flair that you assume he could deliver if asked. This is very much to his--and his very able colleagues'--credit.

CD Content
Duetto a liuto e traverso in G
Sonata a liuto solo in B flat
Sonata per oboe e Bsso Continuo in D minor
Sonata a liuto solo in G
Concerto per flauto a becco e liuto in D minor
Concerto No1 a traverso, liuto obbligato e basso in C



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