Album: Bononcini/Castello etc, 1600: Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini (Naïve)

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The Independent Culture

If Florence gave birth to the baroque, Venice was its wet-nurse. Rinaldo Alessandrini's exploration of changing styles in 17th-century Venetian instrumental music reveals a taste for the programmatic and the descriptive.

The playing is never less than polished, though the bowing of the faster movements is routinely pithy. Concerto Italiano's personality is better expressed in the piercing suspensions of the slower pieces, such as the anonymous Fantasia on the tears of Orpheus.