Giovanni Benedetto Platti: Cello Concertos


Baroque cellist Stefano Veggetti performs with members of the early music band Ensemble Cordia on this Brilliant Classics release of cello concertos by Giovanni Benedetto Platti (c.1697-1763). In all, there are five concertos on this recording made in 2011; three of them are appearing on CD for the first time. Born in Italy and initially trained in Venice, Platti's teachers included Albinoni, the Marcello brothers and, in all likelihood, Vivaldi and Lotti. When he was in his early 20's, Platti moved to Germany where he lived out the remainder of his life - a fact that is not lost in the music itself.

Although he didn't play the cello with any mastery - his instruments were oboe, violin and the then emerging fortepiano - Platti was for a long time in the employ of the cello-loving Count of Wiesentheid. Consequently, he produced many works featuring the instrument, including 28 Concerti con Violoncello obligato, three of which are included here. The other two pieces are Platti's adaptations of violin sonatas by Corelli, having transformed them into concerti grossi with the concertino groups made up of either one or two violins and cello.

The music itself is quite delightful. Platti's youthful works are in a Baroque style that reflects his early teachers' influences. By the time of these cello concertos, he had transitioned to a manner more typical of the Rococo period, with pre-classical characteristics of Haydn and C.P.E. Bach evident. Platti's music is marked by flowing melodies, buoyant rhythms, a sure command of contrapuntal techniques and interesting harmonic progressions and colorations.

Performances are excellent and Brilliant Classics provides sonics that can rival recordings costing two or three times the money. To sum up, this is a very enjoyable album revealing a composer whose lively, elegant music will appeal to practically any listener.

Baroque cellist Stefano Veggetti performs one of the slow middle movements from a Platti concerto.