Saturday, 3 October 2015

Matteis - False Consonances of Melancholy - Gli Incogniti, Beyer

Rating: 5/5

Excellent Baroque playing

I think this is a cracking disc of Baroque violin music. Matteis was an Italian violinist and composer who flourished in London from around 1675 to 1700. He was chiefly known as a virtuoso on the instrument, but these pieces show that he was a very decent composer, too. They have wit, charm and genuine inventiveness as well as all the virtuosic fireworks you would expect, and they make a very enjoyable programme.

Amandine Beyer and Gli Incogniti play it superbly. They have the skill to make light of the technical challenges and play with a perfect blend of gravitas and real zing which makes the music really sing out. Beyer in particular is brilliant here, with a vigour, a lovely judgement and clarity of phrasing and an obvious enjoyment of what she is playing. It's a performance at least to match that of Rachel Podger with The Palladian Ensemble in her performances of Matteis - and that's really saying something.

The recorded sound is excellent and I think this is an all-round gem of a disc. Very warmly recommended.

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