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Marcello Concerto in D minor: Adagio (American Society of Ancient Instruments, 1934)

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Published on Jul 10, 2015

Marcello: Concerto in D Minor - Adagio
The American Society of Ancient Instruments:
Ben Stad, viola d'amore and director
Flora Stad, harpsichord
Maurice Stad, basse de viole
Josef Smit, viola da gamba
Jo Brodo, quinton (pardessus de viole)

Recorded May 3, 1934, in RCA Victor's Studio No. 2, Camden, New Jersey, on 78-rpm matrix CS-83116. Issued as 8286-B, Side 4 of Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-215, the other items of which have been uploaded separately.

This Marcello Adagio is misattributed on the label to Benedetto Marcello; it is actually by Benedetto's brother Alessandro (1673-1747). It is the second movement of his Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor, his most famous work and one of the best-known works in the oboe repertory. At the time this recording was made, however, the work was better known in Bach's keyboard transcription (BWV 974). This arrangement, presumably by Stad (the arranger is uncredited), adds counterpoints in the lower instruments not found in Marcello's original or in Bach's arrangement.

One of the most prominent of the advocates in the USA for early music in the first half of the twentieth century was the Dutch-born violinist Ben Stad (1885-1946), who, with other members of his family, founded the Philadelphia-based American Society of the Ancient Instruments in 1929. The group consisted of Stad, playing viola d'amore; his wife, Flora, at the harpsichord; their son, Maurice, playing bass viol; Flora's brother, Josef Smit, playing viola da gamba, and a family friend, Jo Brodo, playing "quinton" (what we would now call pardessus de viole). The ensemble was modelled after the famous Société des Instruments Ancienes in France, founded in 1901 by the Casadesus family. The French ensemble made a fair number of recordings - most of them devoted to pastiche pieces written by Henri or Marius Casadesus and attributed to older composers. On the other hand, the Stad ensemble, although they surely had some of these Casadesus pastiches in their repertoire, recorded mostly genuine works.

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