Francesco Mancini Recorder Sonatas engage the ear

Francesco Mancini’s collection of XII Solos for a Violin or Flute were first published in London around 1724. They proved so popular that the music went through at least three editions.

As the title suggests, Mancini’s music was composed for either violin or flute. “Flute” was a somewhat generic term, and could apply to either a wooden transverse flute or a recorder. The latter is what Daniele Salvatore plays in this collection.

He actually uses a variety of instruments; two different alto recorders, a voice flute, a soprano recorder, and a one-keyed flute. The subtle differences in timbre between these instruments also change the character of the music. The result is an engaging program of well-crafted sonatas that show Mancini’s talent and inventiveness.

Also included are two toccatas for cembalo. These provide further variety to the program and additional interest. Mancini was skilled at counterpoint as these works demonstrate.

Salvatore has carefully researched this music, and that knowledge informs his performances. These sonatas sound fresh and spontaneous, with Salvatore expertly shaping the phrases to best effect.

A welcome addition to anyone’s collection of Italian Baroque music (and if you don’t have one, start here).

Francesco Mancini: XII Solos for a Violin or Flute
Daniele Salvatore, recorders
Armonia delle Sfere
2 CD Set

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