Friday, January 21, 2011

The Friday Phonograph

A Real Dutch Treat!
Unico Willem van Wassenaer's "Armonici" Concerto

by Anne French

The Concerti Armonici, written somewhere between 1725 and 1740, went through quite a process of parental misidentification before their proper composer was found. They were first published by an Italian violinist, to whom they were also attributed. (Wrong.) Some years later a Polish composer asserted that they were written by famed composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. (Also wrong.) But since they were stylistically of the Roman Baroque fashion, similar to Italian composer Locatelli, it must be that he wrote them, right? Wrong. Finally in 1979-1980 the original manuscripts were found, and the concerti were rightly declared to be the work of Unico Willem van Wassenaer, a Dutch nobleman who hadn't wanted them published in his own name for some reason. So it took over two hundred years to prove their authorship and settle the score forever... so to speak. I've chosen the fifth of these concerti, performed here by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra directed by Ton Koopman. Enjoy, and happy weekend to all!


Rodney Punt said...

Damn, good story of musical sleuthing, and a nice post, Anne. Thanks for sharimg this lovely work.

Anne French said...

Thanks Rod. I had a lot of fun doing it.