Saturday, 11 March 2017


“Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine 

Andrea Teodoro Zani (11 November 1696 – 28 September 1757) was an Italian violinist and composer. Zani was born at Casalmaggiore in the Province of Cremona. He received his first instruction in playing the violin from his father, an amateur violinist. Subsequently, he received instruction in composition from Giacomo Civeri, a local musician, and studied violin in Guastalla with the court violinist Carlo Ricci.

Antonio Caldara, who was working as Capellmeister at the court of Archduke Ferdinand Charles in Mantua, not far from Casalmaggiore, heard Zani play and invited him to accompany him to Vienna. Between 1727 and 1729 Zani arrived in Vienna and was active there as a violinist in the service of the Habsburgs.

Following the death of his sponsor Caldara in 1736, he returned to Casalmaggiore where he remained for the rest of his life, except for occasional concert appearances. He died in his hometown as the result of an accident, when the carriage in which he was travelling to Mantua overturned.

Zani's works show the influence of Antonio Vivaldi, but are somewhat less sweeping. His op. 2, published in 1729, is of great historical importance because it is the earliest dated source of symphonies that present no ambiguities of genre. His late works clearly exhibit a casting off of baroque elements in favour of early classical ones.

There are numerous manuscripts of Zani’s works found in libraries scattered throughout Europe, including three concertos and one sonata for flute, at least twelve concertos for cello, six trio sonatas for two violins and continuo, as well as several violin concertos and symphonies.

Here are 12 concertos of his Opus 4, played by Capella Palatina and Giovanni Battista Columbro. These are engaging works with sonorous violin soli, playful flute soli and some wonderful passages for the ensemble, a colourful palette and some lovely melodies to enjoy. This is a premiere recording and I much enjoyed listening to it. Hope you enjoy it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment