VENICE AND BEYOND
Concerti da camera and Sonate concertate
for woodwind instruments
Venice ca. 1700: having recently arrived from France, the instruments à la mode—the oboe, bassoon, baroque recorder, and flûte traversière—go on to conquer the musical centers of the Serenissima. The versatility of these new woodwinds inspires Vivaldi at the Ospedale della Pietà and his compatriots Caldara and Lotti at San Marco throughout their lives, whether in Venice, Rome, Vienna, or Dresden.
This interest in wind instruments also carries over to the next generation of Venetian composers such as Galuppi, whose career plays out in his hometown, or the emigrants Platti and Brescianello beyond the Alps.
For centuries, the imperial chapel in Vienna was characterized by a particular affinity for Venice—and it was with an eye to this historical connection between Vienna and Northern Italy that oboist Elisabeth Baumer founded the Austro-Italian Ensemble Affinità with musician friends in 2012.
The ensemble’s debut recording brings together imaginative interpretations of well-known works such as Vivaldi’s Concerto RV 103, exciting rediscoveries, and a world première recording of a remarkable oboe sonata by Ferrandini.
The 8 players in Affinita are adept at a wide range of expressive effects… Singing style abounds, which is not easy to achieve in a wind ensemble… it’s like hearing a group of instruments—and their players—happily relishing each other’s company.
American Records Guide 2021
Ce programme varié est servi avec beaucoup de charme et d’élégance, de finesse et de projection ciselée par Elisabeth Baumer… Pour l’ensemble Affinità, dont le lustre complice n’échappera pas aux amateurs de musique de chambre peaufinée, ce CD est une réussite qui en appelle d’autres.
La hautboïste Elisabeth Baumer et ses partenaires en délivrent une interprétation fluide et inspirée, rebondissant naturellement sur les danses, commedianti quand il y a du texte, serrant la bride sur les passaggi. Chacun incarne son per- sonnage sans jamais oublier ses comprimari, sans chercher l’arti- fice, de façon directe et simple, alla venexiana.
Affinità delivers fine performances. The expressive features of Lotti’s sonata come off to the full, as well as the many surprises in Ferrandini’s sonata.
Musicweb International 2020