The Early Music Review
October 2005, No. 109
Antonio Montanari The Three ‘Dresden’ Sonatas edited by Michael Talbot. Edition HH (20 114), 2005. (£15.00)
We reviewed Talbot’s Valentini’s sonata La Montanari from the same team in EMR 103 P.3. Now we have a group of sonatas by Montanari himself. Considering his reputation in Rome in the period after Corelli’s death, remarkably little music by him survives: a few MSS sonatas and a set of violin concertos, op. 1, which were highly praised in the two books on baroque concertos published last year. These three pieces survive in Pisendal’s collection in Dresden (the abbreviation SLUB for the Sächsischen Landesbibbothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek is mercifully now replacing the full title, whose difficulty is shown by its first word being misprinted in the English version of Talbot’s preface). The editor concludes his excellent introduction (how nice to he given an explanation of how the catalogue numbers work) with the question: ‘Is Montanari a “great discovery” - or is he just another worthy or moderately interesting Kleinmeister of the late Baroque? Time will tell, but the omens are good.’ I’m not going to predict, though perhaps the editor is being a bit optimistic. One interesting feature is the Giga senza basso which ends Sonata 2; high-class buskers who want a change from Bach might try it.
We are grateful to the editor of The Early Music Review for permission to reproduce this review.