Specialist performer and one of Britain's leading early keyboard players, Terence Charlston explores the works of Italian composer, Carlo Ignazio Monza (1696 – 1739)
Apart from his surviving keyboard pieces, Monza was an important composer of vocal music for the stage and church; his operas and oratorios being performed all over Italy between 1714 and 1736.
His Pièces Modernes Pour le Clavecin presents an intriguing entente between French and Italian style. They are modern in many ways with stylistic similarities to those of François Couperin, Handel, Rameau and Mattheson but Monza’s pieces are also quite unique. By choosing certain dance types and ornament signs, grouping his pieces into suites and including character pieces and doubles alongside conventional dances, Monza is clearly following French example.
By way of contrast, the disc concludes with two sonatas by Monari and a toccata in imitation of the cuckoo by Pasquini. Both represent a style of keyboard playing influential in Italy at the time of Monza’s youth but already on the wane by the time his suites were published.