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ClassicsOnline Home » ALBERTI, D.: 8 Sonate per Clavicembalo, Op. 1 (Ravizza)
Beyond the "Alberti Bass"
Domenico Alberti lent his name to the famous Alberti Bass, a pattern of arpeggiated bass accompaniment that became ubiquitous in the Classical era. Though he likely did not “invent” this bass figure, Alberti was apparently the first to make such ample use of it in his compositions for harpsichord. The so-called Alberti Bass enabled composers to separate the “melody” more decisively from its bass “accompaniment,” in contrast to the greater tendency in earlier music to interweave the two contrapuntally. This resulted in a relatively uncomplicated texture that imparted primacy to the melodic line, in accordance with the then-fashionable "galant" idiom which informs the Op. 1 sonatas recorded here.
I should mention that I approached this disc with some trepidation, because Ravizza’s other recordings on the Concerto label have been marred by a sound so lacking in resonance as to impart a nasal, flat quality to the harpsichord, compromising the pleasures afforded by Ravizza’s energetic playing, and by the rarity of repertoire the performer habitually chooses to explore (such as multiple volumes of works by Platti and Paradisi). The recording on the Alberti disc is brighter and more reverberant, allowing the infectious high-spiritedness of Alberti’s sonatas to come to life, aided by a crisp, jaunty performance from Ravizza.more....
Poor Domenico Alberti (b. 1710 and the inventor of the eponymous bass line) lived to be only 23 according to the information on this album; although Wikipedia and The Oxford Dictionary of Music both say 30.
The former also adds austerely that "[t]oday, Alberti is regarded as a minor composer, and his works are played or recorded only irregularly". This is a pity, as his music (while not as complex as that of some of his contemporaries) is bouncy and joyful and a pleasure to listen to.
The performance and the recording are both excellent, and in particular the harpsichord has a rich round sound, not at all the rather nasal metallic clang sometimes encountered which led Segovia to comment (rather brutally) to Wanda Landowska that her instrument sounded like a guitar with a cold.
Each sonata has two movements, and the total time is 63'59".more....
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ALBERTI, D.: 8 Sonate per Clavicembalo, Op. 1 (Rav...