Saturday, 13 May 2017


“Music is the poor man’s Parnassus.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Agostino Guerrieri (most probably born in Milan circa 1630 -  died, circa 1684) was an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque period. Guerrieri was born around 1630 into a wealthy Milanese family. Before 1650 he was singer at the chapel of the Cathedral of Milan and a pupil of Antonio Maria Turati, director of the same chapel. Later he worked for a long time in Genoa, where he also served as a Master of Music at the Cathedral there. In 1673 he published the Opus 1 Sonatas in Genoa for the church and also for lay uses. In 1676 instead published the Partite sopra Ruggiero. Guerrieri died after 1684 and remarkably little is known of his life.

Here are the Opus 1 sonatas, played by the period instrument ensemble Parnassi Musici, whose origins are in the 2nd violin section of the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Freiburg. This group confronts its listeners time and time again with the unexpected, both in terms of its superb musical standards as well as its highly imaginative programming. The members of the ensemble (as of 2008) are Margaret MacDuffie (Violin), Matthias Fischer (Violin), Stephan Schrader (Cello), and Martin Lutz (Harpsichord & Organ). This kernel is augmented from time to time by guest musicians according to the needs of the performed works.

1. Sonata a 4, "La Sevesca" 0:00
2. Sonata a 2, "La Galeazza" 3:03
3. Sonata a 1, "La Sevaschina" 6:09
4. Sonata a 2, "La Brignoli" 9:51
5. Sonata a 1, "La Tita" 13:02
6. Sonata a 3, "La Viviani" 18:31
7. Balletto primo per camera 22:35
8. Sonata a 2, "La Lucina" 25:58
9. Balletto secondo 32:14
10. Sonata a 1, "Malincolica" 35:43
11. Sonata a 2, "La Marchetta" 39:29
12. Sonata a 2, "La Benedetta" 41:24
13. Sonata a 1, "La Rotini" 44:11
14. Sonata a 2, "La Rosciana" 49:57
15. Sonata a 3, "La Pietra" 52:37
16. Sonata a 4, "La Rovetta" 57:20

The painting at the top of the page is a ‘Vanitas’ Still Life by N.L. Peschier (1660).

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