Filippo Sauli Mandolin Partitas Real Baroque Gems

Little is known about Filippo Sauli. We know he was an Italian composer and instrumentalist. And that he was employed at the Habsburg court around 1710.

Sauli’s six partitas are for solo mandolin. They explore the capabilities of the instrument and present many challenges.

The partitas use mostly single-line melodies. Double and occasionally triple notes outline the harmony, and also serve as accent points.

Davide Ferella performs this material beautifully, His runs are impeccable. He also makes the most of the mandolin’s limited dynamic range, making the music expressive and engaging.

Ferella’s instrument is well-recorded. The mic is close enough to clearly record every note. And yet it’s also far enough away to slightly soften the sound in a pleasing manner.

Also included are some short works by Niccolò Ceccherini and Pietro Cappellini. Their style is different than Sauli’s. Both were concerned with polyphony, and the texture of their music is thicker than Sauli’s. At the same time, their melodies seem a little less free.

A fascinating release, and a nice alternative to all those Vivaldi mandolin concerto recordings.

Filippo Sauli: Six Partitas and Other Works
Davide Ferella, mandolin

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