Review of De Fossa Trois Quatuors op.19 by Lorenzo Micheli, Stradivarius, 2009
Singular character, Francois de Fossa (Perpignan 1775 – Paris 1849), son of a noted historian and lawyer, a professional soldier for the Spanish first then in French army under the command of Joseph Bonaparte, guitarist, composer and friend of Dionisio Aguado for whom he transcribed the “Escuela de Guitarra” in French version. De Fossa is characterized by a parallel if not alternative career in music and in military, and for the appreciation received from the public who caled him the “Haydn on guitar.” The Guitar Collection Volume 8 of the Stradivarius exits from the chamber of time, the three Quartet op. 19, published in 1825 and dedicated to Count Montboissier, which I am not aware there are other recorde interpretations, certainly not as comprehensive as so far the attention of guitar players seem to have more resting on Trios Op 18 and the Grand Duo op 2. Particular feature of this music is the unusual quartet: two guitars, cello and violin, a combination that is new even for the wide chamber music literature of the period. Called to deal with these four works are solid professionists like Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela on guitars, Enrico Bronzi, known for being from many years the cellist of the Trio di Parma, formation of considerable depth and skill, and Ivan Rabaglia, also a founding member of Trio Parma and internationally known concertist. With four performers of this caliber is almost superfluous to say that “we like to win easy.” The music flows calm, mild and without any stretch, we’re talking about four virtuosos who are able to make everything looking easy and smooth while we know that it requires considerable talent and dedication. It’s a leap forward what these 62 minutes of great music make for us, the quartet opens for us a window into the ‘800 musical history and for that we can not but be grateful. Registration excellent and balanced, clean and dynamic, very nice booklet with notes by Lorenzo Micheli, a real mini-essay on De Fossa and his music.