Ensemble Marsyas - Edinburgh 1742, Parte seconda - The Scotsman

Francesco Barsanti was born in Lucca, spent the majority of his life in London, but made his mark in Scotland as master of the Edinburgh Musical Society from 1735 to 1743, where his ten Op 3 Concerti Grossi were published in 1742. To witness the Scots musical connection, skip to the Old Scots Songs centrally positioned in this soothing appreciation of Barsanti’s music by Peter Whelan and his Ensemble Marsyas. With Colin Scobie on violin and Elizabeth Kenny on baroque guitar, the gentility of the initial songs is finally cast aside by a boisterous “Cornriggs are bonnie” (though never so eccentric as Concerto Caledonia’s Baroque’n’roll account some years ago). Otherwise, besides a workaday Handel overture, Whelan’s focus is on the Op 3 concertos not included in his earlier Barsanti disc. Their craftsmanship is unarguable, their character unsurprising and predictable, but the animated refinement of these performances provide the justice they deserve. 

The Scotsman
24 October 2020