Friday, July 14, 2006

Ooh Albinoni!

This morning I woke up, rolled over and put my Sony Walkman radio plugs in my ears. I was greeted by Albinoni's "Adagio" from his "Oboe Concerto in F Op.7 No.9." Abinoni is much appreciated for his adagios, but this particular one moved me deeply. It sounded almost modern, as if Vaughn-Williams decided to go Baroque.

Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751) resided in Venice all his life, and produced 81 operas, but is chiefly remembered for his concerti. Much of his work was lost in the senseless bombing of Dresden. Ironically, his most famous piece of music, the "Adagio Graziotto" (i.e., "Adagio in G minor for Strings and Organ"), was not written by him at all. It was rescued from the ashes of Dresden by Remo Grazziotto, who harmonized a fragment of the bass line from what was probably a trio sonata (it is currently available on 200 cds! and in the movies: "Gallipoli," "Flashdance," and last year's "Casonova"). It is now used in countless weddings, and appears in those ubiquitous "Adagio" collections which adorn a thousand bargain bins. "Adagio For Yoga." "Adagio For Contemplation." Ad nauseum.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with the real Abinoni, and I recommend his oboe concerti, which are all available on Naxos for $6.99 at Arkivmusic, or $5.99 at iTunes.


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