Paolo Pandolfo is one of Europe's leading exponents of the viola da gamba. In 1979, after studies at the Rome Conservatory, he co-founded (with Rinaldo Alessandrini and Enrico Gatti) la Stravaganza. In 1981, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he began collaborating with gambist Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hespèrion XX. In 1989, Pandolfo was named professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, one of the leading centers for training early music performers. Since 1992, he has directed the viol consort Ensemble di viole Labyrinto, with which he has toured internationally. Pandolfo's recordings of Bach's music for the gamba (in 2000 on Harmonia Mundi and again in 2010 on Glossa), and the cello suites performed on the gamba, have generated interest in the role of the instrument in Bach's era. Yet, Pandolfo is also excited about creating new music for the ancient instrument, as evidenced by the 2004 recording Travel Notes, which contains his own music and some by his brother, trumpeter Andrea Pandolfo.
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Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2012 | Glossa
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2021 | Glossa
During his lifetime, Carl Friedrich Abel was fêted all over Europe both for his supreme skills as a performer of the viola da gamba as well as for the quality of his compositions, and was responsible (along with J.C. Bach) for setting up arguably the first series of subscription concerts in the history of Western music, the “Bach-Abel-Concerts”. Even the prodigy that was Mozart benefited from Abel’s teachings (and was claimed as the composer of one of Abel’s own symphonies). Twelve years after his recording of pieces from the Drexel Manuscript (for solo viola da gamba), Paolo Pandolfo teams up with an exquisite ensemble to record a fine selection of Abel’s sonatas, many of them recently discovered and being recorded here for the first time. Often adding his own cadenzas and ornamentations, Pandolfo and his team offer a breathtaking and colourful display of virtuosism and sensibility. The contemporary painter Thomas Gainsborough wrote that Abel “excelled at feeling upon the instrument”, while the writer of one of his obituaries likened him to Laurence Sterne, famous as the author of Tristram Shandy: “The death of Abel occasions a great loss to the musical world. Sensibility is the prevailing and beautiful characteristic of his compositions. He was the Sterne of Music.” Thus, this recording is aptly entitled “A Sentimental Journey” – an exploration of the world of feeling paralleling Sterne’s unfinished novel A Sentimental Journey though France and Italy. © Glossa