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Geminiani - Alison McGillivray - The Sunday Herald

17 July 2005
The Sunday Herald
Frank Carroll

The little-known music of Francesco Geminiani - pupil of Scarlatti and Corelli, violinist extraordinaire, colleague of Handel and Rameau, collector of fine art and composer of some distinction - is the inspired choice of baroque cellist, Alison McGillivray for this, her first recording as a solo artist. The main works on the disc are the sonatas of Geminiani's Opus 5, dating from the mid-18th century when the Italian violoncello was just beginning to nose ahead of the French viola da gamba as the favoured instrument of the lower strings. The rather specialised nature of the programming should not deter the listener. Alive and stylish, her baroque instrument sound is beautifully warm and agreeable while her instinctive musicality shines throughout. With the cello continuo of Joseph Crouch, baroque guitar of Eligio Quinteiro, and the soft-toned authoritative harpsichord of David McGuinness, these are fine, energetic performances, teeming with variety and expressive nuance. The programme also includes some of the Italian master's reworkings for solo harpsichord - movements from various of his sonatas published as Pièces de Clavecin and The Second Collection For Harpsichord - with David McGuinness a subtle and absorbing soloist.
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Geminiani: Sonatas for Violoncello & Basso Continuo, Op. 5Geminiani: Sonatas for Violoncello & Basso Continuo, Op. 5