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Eighteenth-century London was an extraordinary musical centre, not least for the small army of Italian composers, virtuosi and connoisseurs who had flocked to the city. Little-known among them was ‘John Stephen Carbonell’, as Giovanni Stefano styled himself after he was naturalised in 1735. He was leader at the Drury Lane Theatre and worked occasionally for Handel, although the composer he most resembled was probably Corelli, as these inventive sonatas show. More complex structurally than works by many of his contemporaries, they give Cicic and his ensemble every opportunity to shine. In fact the playing of Susanne Heinrich, David Miller and Steven Devine is so noteworthy, it’s a shame one has to dig into the (otherwise excellent) booklet to find their names. Splendid sound.

GUY WEATHERALL Read the full review on Agora Classica


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