Giustini / Zentilin - 12 Sonatas 1 | RECORD STORE DAY

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Following Andrea Coen's 2010 recording (94021) Brilliant Classics is the only label with two complete versions of Giustini's sonatas on the market, showing it's commitment to significant but under-recorded turning points in musical history. Lodovico Giustini (1685-1743) seldom left his native Pistoia, where he worked as organist of the Congregazione dello Spirito Santo. Published in nearby Florence in 1732, this set of 12 elegant sonatas is, in keeping with Scarlattian practice, dominated by movements in binary form, featuring dances and contrapuntal excursions, and displaying hints of the emerging galant style, which replaced busy Baroque continuo textures with a singing, more natural approach. Giustini enjoys high contrasts, soft and loud, and teases out of the new fortepiano technology everything it had to offer. However, the extant scores are not free of errors, and they leave a good deal up to the performer. Paolo Zentilin makes the most of Giustini's writing. He has corrected the obvious errors, and he exhibits taste and technical mastery in his playing of a modern, beautifully conditioned Fazioli piano. Exploiting the instrument's tonal resources while remaining respectful of a Baroque sensibility, his playing is consistently passionate but never overblown, with an attractive full-bodied tone, and an exquisite sense of dynamic control. Extremely soft passages are executed with no loss of rhythmic vitality. Ornaments are rendered with delicate crispness. The music's character - whether a regal dance or a study in tenderness-is always projected with sincerity and authenticity. No matter how intricate the counterpoint, the result remains genuinely heartfelt, never mechanical.