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.
Giovanni Benedetto Platti is no household name, but in his day he was lauded as an exceptionally fine singer, oboist and composer, leaving his native country Italy in 1722 to take up a position at the court of Würzburg, Germany, where he served Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn until the nobleman’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1724.
Dedicated to all matters Baroque and Classical, Ensemble Cordia – which uses period instruments to combine ‘authentic sound’ with youthful, fresh performances – is at the helm to perform these little-known but highly elegant works. The group has recorded widely for Brilliant Classics – its 2011 recording of Platti’s Oboe Concertos (94007) earned the following review from Fanfare: “seldom have I heard Baroque instrumental playing so heartfelt and impassioned”. The soloist for the cello concertos is Stefano Veggetti, whose assured playing can only serve to deepen our appreciation for a composer whose music is at last being fitfully rediscovered.
Giovanni Benedetto Platti
Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697-1763) was an Italian oboist and composer.
Platti studied music in Italy (mostly singing, the oboe and the violin). While he was still in Italy (until 1722), he also learned to play the recently invented fortepiano and composed sonatas specially dedicated to it.
The Ensemble Cordia specializes in the performance of works from the Baroque and Classical period and uses period instruments, making their own idea of an “authentic sound”.
Founder and artistic director of the ensemble is Stefano Veggetti (and featured cellist on this album).
The wide range of repertoire includes concert by well known composers such as Bach, Telemann or Vivaldi also newly discovered works, including by Platti. Already commercially available are bass cantatas by Telemann and chamber music by Platti.