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In recognition of the 250th anniversary of the death of Pescetti (1704-66), Paolo Bottini has recorded all his extant music: Sonate per gravicembalo (London, 1739), Sei sonate per il cembalo (Dresden manuscript, before 1756), and the four early organ sonatas (Venice manuscript, no date). However, only Sonata no.10 is recorded on the harpsichord; all other sonatas are recorded on two fine historic Italian organs, restored and tuned in Vallotti temperament and dating from Pescetti’s lifetime. The transition is most effective, and because his organ and harpsichord idioms are so similar, the varied sounds of these Italian organs give the music real interest and vitality. Each sonata, of between two and four movements, contains a mixture of da chiesa and da camera movements: allegros, adagios and fugues alternate with minuets, gigues and variations in a variety of genres and textures. Real imagination and insight are required to play this music effectively, and Bottini’s playing is completely convincing, with well-varied articulation and lively tempi that bring out the character to best advantage. His choice of registrations brings all the colour of the Italian baroque organ vividly to life. It is hard to imagine a more persuasive advocate of Pescetti’s music.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica

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