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Gnocchi: Sonate a tre

By Brixia Musicalis

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By Brixia Musicalis. By Don Pietro Gnocchi. Classical, Baroque Era. Classical. Listening CD. Naxos #MVC005017. Published by Naxos (NX.MVC005017).

Item Number: NX.MVC005017

The long life of Don Pietro Gnocchi remains largely a mystery. We know the precise periods during which he worked at the Cathedral in Brescia, first as Maestro di Cappella, from 16th June 1723, and then as organist, from 10th April 1762 until his death; but apart from this, biographers seem to have simply passed back and forth what little information they possessed without reference to its source. As such, may aspects of his musical life are still to be determined: his early musical education in Alfianello and Bresica, the subsequent move to Venice and the Basilica of St. Marks, pupil of a Maestro di Cappella, and the exhausting travelling to the courts of Europe where he was very highly acclaimed, together with his ""trusty companion, excellent player upon the violin." It is, then, the music that reveals the man, and Gnocchi has left us with a considerable musical output, music for the most part intended for the church, as one would expect of a capable musician, careful of providing the Cappella with the compositions required to accompany the various functions. The Archive of the Brescia cathedral in particular overflows with the manuscripts of masses, psalms and antiphonies that allow us to testify to the talent and creative fervor of Gnocchi, a composer consciously tied to a contrapuntal style a cappella, but one who nevertheless did not disdain from making frequent musical forays of a less austere manner with the help of instruments and solo voices. The present release features his Sonate a tre, performed by the capable musicians of Brixia Musicalis.

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