Costanzi’s place in the history of the cello has all but slipped from view and yet his solo cello sonatas display a remarkable freshness in handling the late Baroque sonata genre as instigated by Arcangelo Corelli. They also impose substantial technical demands upon the soloist – including playing in the instrument’s highest register – making powerful use of the cello’s expressive capabilities. Five sonatas scored for cello and continuo have been selected by Giovanni Sollima for this recording, the first to assess this aspect of the Roman composer’s output.
Not content with attending to Costanzi’s works Giovanni Sollima composes one of his own – Il mandataro – which reflects the labours of an apparently marginal member of the Roman court in the time of Costanzi’s patron, Cardinal Ottoboni: a courier or messenger charged with keeping the musicians informed of their duties. Sollima, who has previously recorded Neapolitan cello concertos for Glossa (backed by Antonio Florio and I Turchini), is joined for this new recording by fellow cellist Monika Leskovar (a pair of the sonatas are for two cellos) and the Arianna Art Ensemble. Scholar Imma Battista supplies pertinent biographical information for this overlooked Baroque composer. (GLOSSA)