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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maurice Steger, Una Follia di Napoli

If you were a music lover in Naples in 1725, you no doubt would have been privy to the tremendous buzz created by the visit of J.J. Quantz, then the best known flute virtuoso of his time. The visit spurred on the composers in town to produce a spate of concertos and sonatas for flute, which were preserved in a Napolian collection from that date.

Maurice Steger, wonder of the recorder, directs an eminently authentic and exciting ensemble in a series of lovely compositions from that collection in Una Follia di Napoli (Harmonia Mundi) which is out this month.

There are works by Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti, Leonardo Leo, Francesco Mancini, Francesco Barbella, Nicola Fiorenza and Domenico Sarro, perhaps not all familiar to us today, but solid baroque craftsmen-artists all, writing music of great verve.

In the hands of Maurice Steger and his ensemble, there is a period authenticity and tremendous vitality to the music. Steger is a master and the ensemble is superb. This is baroque come alive with all the charm and energy it can exude. Bravo!

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