F for Fake – Copyleft in 18th Century Music

I suspect the ubiquity of the term “fake news” inspired this compilation. But it does raise an interesting point. How much does authorship influence our assessment of a work? The Trio Glie Speziali present a variety of Baroque compositions that were attributed to others — some famous, and some not.

Misattribution could be accidental. The Johann Sebastian Bach 1770 Sonata in G major, BWV 1021 (included here) was most likely composed by his son, Johann Christian.

Some misattributions were deliberate. Copyright was almost non-existent in the 18th Century. Music was sometimes published under a name guaranteed to boost sales (rather than the actual composer). Vivaldi’s “Pastor Fido” sonatas were actually written by Nicolas Chédeville, one of which is included here.

Sometimes it went the other way. Georg Friedrich Händel’s Sonata in D Major, HWV 378 was originally published as a work by Johann Sigismund Weisse. Francesco Geminiani appears in both roles. The album included a Geminiani Sonata in G Major attributed to someone else, and two sonatas by Pietro Castrucci presented as Geminiani’s.

The Trio Gli Speziali performs these works with enthusiasm. And they play in a straight-forward manner. The music lightly trips along, seeking to do nothing more than entertain.

The review copy I received had no liner notes. I hope that Urania provided information about all of these pieces. Each one has its own interesting history. But at the end of the day, it’s the sound that matters. And in that sense, this collection of fake music is authentically entertaining.

F for Fake – Copyleft in 18th Century Music
Trio Gli Speziali

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