Platti Trios for Violin, Cello and Basso continuo – uplifting music from the late baroque

This disc of trio sonatas and duos for cello and violin has been in my CD player many times since I first listened to it several weeks ago. With the sheer joie de vivre of both the performances and the music itself, it’s one of those discs that you can always count on to lift your spirits. The music is by Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697? – 1763), an Italian born composer and oboe virtuoso who spent his student days in Rome, and his professional years in Würzburg, in the geographical center of Germany.

The four trio sonatas form the heart of the program. They are written for an equal partnership of violin and cello over the fortepiano continuo. Each is in four brief movements following the same slow-fast-slow-fast pattern. The slow movements are beautifully lyrical, and the quick ones are buoyant, bubbly, and exhilarating! Platti will sometimes conclude his slow movements in a state of harmonic irresolution, which these players further accentuate with a long expecting pause, heightening the excitement before launching into the vigorous movement that follows.

The recording was made in a space that is “live”, but not so much so that any of the detail is lost. The superb performances are by Florian Birsak, basso continuo, Rüdiger Lotter, violin and Sebastian Hess, violoncello. Oehms Classics provides excellent sonics. I can’t imagine any music lover not enjoying this CD.

Album Overview

Giovanni Benedetto Platti, a previously lesser known musician from the first half of the eighteenth century, was an “oboista”, an oboe virtuoso at the Court of the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. He came from Northern Italy, lived in Venice during his youth, and in 1722 – together with a number of his fellow Italians – responded to the call of the Würzburg regent, who wished to lend his royal chapel the brilliance that only Italian music could provide. Platti came to the city on the Main River; after his employer’s death only two years later, he continued to remain under his successors.

Oehms Classics is happy to now be publishing Volume 2 of the Platti sonatas (after release of the highly acclaimed Volume 1 with Sebastian Hess and Axel Wolf ). This time, Sebastian Hess invited Rüdiger Lotter and Florian Birsak to accompany him in the recording studio.


Composer: Giovanni Benedetto Platti

Giovanni Benedetto Platti (born possibly 9 July 1697 (according to other sources 1690, 1692, 1700) in Padua, belonging to Venice at the time; died 11 January 1763 in Wurzburg) was an Italian oboist and composer. … read more

Sebastian Hess, cello – read more

Rüdiger Lotter, violin – read more

Florian Birsak, basso continuo – read more


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