With one disc of cello sonatas by Giovanni Battista Costanzi behind him, Giovanni Sollima has decided to provide further proof of how Costanzi has hitherto been a woefully neglected but exciting compositional voice from that nebulous period between Baroque and Classical. With this new disc of Sinfonie per violoncello from Glossa, Sollima demonstrates once more the melodic inventiveness and harmonic liberty to which Costanzi was given together with a virtuoso’s capacity to relish the technical demands imposed by a Roman musician who was clearly also a star player on the instrument himself.
Together with the Arianna Art Ensemble Sollima has recorded five sinfonias for cello and continuo, and a sonata for two cellos by Costanzi where he is joined once again by Monika Leskovar. If the four movement sonata da chiesa structure favoured by Corelli is still apparent in some of these sinfonias, there is a greater openness to the galante style and influences coming from elsewhere in Europe and from across Italy, for all that Costanzi may have not ventured far outside the Eternal City (it is likely also that he taught the young Boccherini, who had made the considerable journey from Lucca for lessons with “Giovannino del Violoncelo”).
A new composition (The Hunting Sonata) by Sollima himself – another cellist-composer – takes off from Costanzi’s almost programmatic Sonata for two cellos, “ad uso di corni da caccia”.
photos © Francesco Ferla