Dal Barba: Violin Sonatas
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Losito, Valerio; Leveric, Diego; Sordo, Federico del; Medi, Cecilia; Calegari, Carlo; Lattarulo, Andrea
Born in Verona in 1715, Daniel del Barba grew up, lived and worked there as a composer, violinist, singer and librettist until retiring in 1791; he died in the city a decade later. When his collection of 12 violin sonatas was composed and published isn’t certain: probably the late 1740s. By then he had become known as a composer for both the stage and the church. These sonatas remain among the few surviving examples of instrumental music in his output, but they tell us that del Barba was a master of his art in the north Italian school of violin writing. The absence of counterpoint and of brilliant virtuoso effects distinguishes these sonatas from Vivaldi and his Venetian contemporaries. The supple melodic ideas, decorative lyric lines, and late Baroque formal designs belong instead to the gentler stile galante, and in particular to the influential style of Giuseppe Tartini, who may have acted as a mentor to del Barba. Audiences at the time enjoyed the tunefulness of del Barba’s music, its harmonic clarity and sentimental charm. Almost three centuries on, contemporary listeners may readily respond likewise, thanks to the revival of interest in his music led by Brilliant Classics. An album of Dal Barba’s Requiem (96189) and other sacred music was released late in 2022; this collection of the first six violin sonatas features several distinguished interpreters of Italian early music, led by the violinist Valerio Losito, who has made several critically acclaimed albums for the label.