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Art & Music: Canaletto - Music of His Time (Naxos: 8.558177)

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Music of His Time

More than fifteen hundred years ago the ancestors of the Venetians calculated thatthe only way to avoid marauding newcomers from the east was to abandon themainland entirely and surround themselves with water. So they settled on a smallpatch of mud, which in due course they turned into one of the great miracles of theworld. In the heyday of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, as she liked to callherself, her traders were the richest, the canniest, the most enterprising in theeastern Mediterranean. Their empire came not from military prowess (though theywere never afraid to fight) but through deals, concessions and percentages, allunderpinned by a banking system of rock-like solidity.

Given all the money coming in, what were the Venetians to do with it? Theanswer was simple: glorify the republic. While the rest of Europe consumed itsenergies with local squabbles and dynastic feuding, Venice rose slowly from itsmarshes to become the most beautiful city in the world. Most of it the Venetiansbuilt themselves; some prize items came from looting, such as the four great bronzehorses that used to stand above the doorway of St Mark's. These were shipped backfrom Constantinople in 1204, with other priceless treasures, after the FourthCrusade had veered wildly from its original objective and turned into a demolitionjob on the Byzantine Empire. (The original horses, now safely stowed inside thebasilica, have been replaced by copies.)But all of that was a long time ago. With the discovery of sea routes to the eastround Africa, Venice had become an irrelevance in trading terms. In the age ofBach and Handel, rather than supplying the rest of Europe with goods, her functionwas to entertain it. The city became an irresistible lure for rich travellers wantingnew and exotic experiences. Like any successful prostitute, Venice was ready to beall things to all men - a work of art to the connoisseur, a stage set for trysting lovers,a sensuous paradise for the aficionado of pleasure. Romantic intrigue was at itsheight in winter, at Carnival time, 'in which masks, banquets, festive assemblies,plays, and musical dramas are conjoined, so that entire nights are consumed in anecstasy of delicious entertainments,' as one visitor wrote in 1681.

Music was everywhere. Charles Burney, in 1770, was astonished at what he heardgoing on around him:

If two of the common people walk together arm in arm, they are always singing,and seem to converse in song; if there is company on the water, in a gondola, it isthe same; a mere melody, unaccompanied with a second part, is not to be heard inthis city.

Item number 8558177
Barcode 636943817728
Release date 29/08/2005
Category Vocal
Label Naxos Educational
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Niklas Eklund
Joanna Graham
Jozsef Kiss
Anthony Camden
Christopher Hooker
Maria Keohane
Susanne Ryden
Andrew Watkinson
Christian Hommel
Teresa Ringholz
Composers Alessandro Marcello
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni
Arcangelo Corelli
George Frideric Handel
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Antonio Vivaldi
Conductors Charles Medlam
Jaroslav Krecek
Barry Wordsworth
Edward H. Tarr
Arnold Ostman
Nicholas Kraemer
John Georgiadis
Helmut Muller-Bruhl
Orchestras City of London Sinfonia
London Baroque
Wasa Baroque Ensemble
Capella Istropolitana
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra
London Virtuosi
Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra
Disc: 1
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 6, No. 2
1 I. Vivace - Allegro - Adagio - Vivace - Allegro -
2 II. Allegro
3 III. Grave - Andante largo -
4 IV. Allegro
Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Op. 9, No. 2: II. A
5 Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Op. 9, No. 2: II. A
La Stravaganza: Violin Concerto in B flat major, O
6 I. Allegro
7 II. Largo
8 III. Allegro
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74: Eterna
9 Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74: Eterna
Tito Manlio, RV 778: Combatta un gentil cor
10 Tito Manlio, RV 778: Combatta un gentil cor
Rinaldo, HWV 7a: Lasci ch'io pianga
11 Lascia ch’io pianga
Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 (extra
12 I. Ouverture
13 V. Gigue
Oboe Concerto in D minor: II. Adagio
14 Oboe Concerto in D minor: II. Adagio
Concerto in G major for oboe and bassoon, RV 545
15 I. Andante molto
16 II. Largo
17 III. Allegro molto
Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Wq. 164, H. 466: II
18 Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Wq. 164, H. 466: II
Alceste, Act I, Scene 5: Recit.: Ove son che ascol
19 Act I, Scene 5: Recitative: Ove son che ascoltai?
20 Act I, Scene 5: Aria: Ombre, larve, compagne di mo
Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87: Overture
21 Allegro
22 Andante grazioso
23 Presto
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