Two Violins and One Guitar, Vol. 1 (Anna Holbling/ Jozef Zsapka/ Quido Holbling) (Naxos: 8.550409)
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2 Violins + 1 Guitar
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)
Trio Sonata in A Minor
Johann Rosenm??ller (c.1619 - 1684)
Trio Sonata in E Minor
Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713)
Sonata da camera in D Minor
Johann Adolf Hasse (1699 - 1783)
Trio Sonata in C Major
Domenico Gabrieli (1651 - 1690)
Balletto ?á tre
Anton Diabelli (1781 - 1858)
The Trio Sonata, in its various manifestations, came to be themost popular instrumental form at the close of the seventeenth century and in the firsthalf of the following century, only superseded, in course of time, by the classical stringquartet. It represented an ideal economy of means, in that it needed minimally only threeor, more usually, four performers, while capable of expansion into a full concerto grossoby the addition of ripieno players to reinforce the louder sections. As it developed theBaroque trio sonata came to encompass two generally distinguishable categories of work,the Sonata da chiesa or Church Sonata, with its alternation of slow and fastmovements, the latter generally fugal in character, and the Sonata da camera, a suite of dance movements.
Most commonly the trio sonata demanded the services of fourplayers. Two melody instruments, normally violins, although publishers allowed somelatitude in the matter, however unrealistically, were supplemented by a bass melodyinstrument and a chordal instrument in the form of a harpsichord, organ or lute. It was,however, always possible to play trio sonatas without chordal filling from the keyboard orits equivalent. Published music sometimes described the second violin part as optional,although such an omission would normally be impossible. Generally trio sonatas would beissued with only three part-books, the third to be shared by keyboard-player and player ofthe viola da gamba, cello or violone. In texture they might differ between sonatas inwhich each melody instrument held a contrapuntal line and sonatas in which the lowestinstrument simply provided a harmonic basis for melodic interchange between the violins,or a close shadowing of the first by the second.
Georg Philipp Telemann, godfather of Johann Sebastian Bach'sson Carl Philipp Ernanuel, who succeeded him as director of music in Hamburg in 1767,enjoyed greater fame than Bach in his own life-time. It was he who, as a student,established the Leipzig University Collegium Musicum that Bach later directed in thatcity, and it was he who was a preferred candidate for the position of Thomascantor thatBach eventually took in 1723. Telemann, descended from a family with strong clericalconnections in Lutheran Germany, was prolific and versatile as a composer, providingquantities of music, both sacred and secular, for professional and amateur use alike. Incommon with most of his contemporaries he w rote trio sonatas in modest profusion, ahundred or so in all, many of them allowing some latitude in choice of instrumentation.
The Trio Sonata in A minor included in the present collection opens with a movement markedAffettuoso, a common indication in an age in which the musical interpretation of theaffetti was of supreme importance, although Telernann's affettuoso is nearer the galantthan the classical.
Johann Rosenm??ller studied in the theological faculty of theUniversity of Leipzig and in 1642 embarked on a career as teacher of music at theThomasschule, where Johann Sebastian Bach was to be employed in the following century. Ascandal prevented his appointment as Cantor in 1655 and he took refuge later in Venice,where he soon established himself as a composer of importance, being employed for a timeat the Ospedale della Pieta, where Vivaldi later made his career. He later returned toGermany as Kapellmeister at Wolfenb??ttel, where he died in 1684. He left a large quantityof church music and a smaller amount of instrumental music, including sonatas for variousnumbers of instruments.
Arcangelo Corelli was a leading figure in Italian music at theclose of the seventeenth century and in the first decade of the eighteenth. A product ofthe well known musical establishment at S. Petronio in Bologna, by 1675 he had moved toRome, where he continued to exercise a marked influence on the course of violin-playingand on the form of music for the violin and for string orchestra, at first as musician toQueen Christina of Sweden and later as master of music to Cardinal Pamphili. In 1690 PopeAlexander VIII's nephew, the young Cardinal Ottoboni, became his patron and friend, arelationship that continued until the composer's death early in 1713. His compositions,which exercised the strongest influence over his contemporaries and subsequentgenerations, include a set of twelve Concerti grossi, published posthumously, a dozen solosonatas, published in 1700, and 48 earlier trio sonatas, in two sets of which thearch-lute is specifically prescribed as a continuo instrument, an alternative, it seems,to the violone.
For many years in the mid-eighteenth century Johann Adolf Hasseoccupied an unassailable position as one of the most distinguished composers of Italianopera seria, the supreme musical and dramatic form of the Enlightenment. Born atBergedorf, near Hamburg, in 1699, he started his career at the Hamburg opera as a singer.
He later moved to Italy, becoming a Catholic and working first in Naples. He divided hislater career between Italy and Germany, employed particularly in Venice, Dresden andVienna. He died in Venice in 1783. Hasse's compositions include a considerable amount ofchurch music and some sixty operas. In addition to this he w rote a number of concertosand some two dozen trio sonatas, as well as solo sonatas for the keyboard and for otherinstruments. The C major Trio Sonata exemplifies Hasse's italianate style, with its easycommand of melody and attractively balanced textures.
Minghino dal violoncello, as Domenico Gabrielli was known tocontemporaries in Bologna, was a pupil of the composer Legrenzi in Venice and in hisnative Bologna a pupil of the cellist Franceschini at the basilica of S. Petronio, wherehe was employed as cellist from 1680, a position he held intermittently until his death in1690. As a composer he wrote a dozen operas and a variety of vocal music, sacred andsecular. His instrumental music includes a collection of Balletti, gighe, correnti,allemande e sarabande, published in 1684 as Opus 1, and notable additions to therepertoire of the solo trumpet, works in which his own instrument, the cello, oftenassumes importance.
Anton Diabelli really has no part in the history of the triosonata, a purely Baroque form, replaced in the later eighteenth century by the stringquartet. Better known as a very successful music publisher, Diabelli, a native ofSalzburg, where he was born in 1781, the year Mozart left the town for good, was trainedas a musician and later taught piano and guitar in Vienna. Employment as a publisher'sreader led him in 1817 to acquire his own share in a publishing-house, of which he latergained control. This enjoyed the greatest success, helped by Diabelli's own experience asa musician and his musical and commercial perception. His delightful Trio for two violinsand guitar is a work of great charm, firmly classical in style, from its opening March tothe final diverting Allegretto, scored, no doubt, with an eye to the current amateurmarket.
Anna and Quido Holbling
Anna and Quido Holbling studied at the College for Music andDrama