Hyperion Records

Dario Castello

born: fl1610
died: 1620
country: Italy

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The name Castello was, and is still, common in Venice; indeed, there appears to have been a family of musicians who served the Doge and other Venetian employers in the first half of the seventeenth century and perhaps earlier. Payment and census records, contracts and necrologies from the period refer to three Castello instrumentalists who were almost certainly related: Bartolomeo, Giovanni Francesco and Giovanni Battista. The last of these was engaged as a member of the Doge’s six-strong team of piffari, or wind players, from 27 December 1624 to 15 November 1633, noted in the San Marco archives as son of ‘Dario of Venice, musician in our aforementioned chapel’.

Other biographical references to Dario Castello appear only in the title-pages and dedications of the composer’s two volumes of ‘Sonate concertate’, published in Venice respectively in 1621 and 1629. Several editions of Castello’s popular yet technically demanding and musically adventurous sonata anthologies were made, with Book I reprinted in Venice and Antwerp as late as 1658. Two editions of Book I describe the composer as ‘Capo di Compagnia de Musichi d’Instrumenti da fiato in Venetia’, leader of a Venetian company of piffari, while the Book II dedications announce that he was also a musician at San Marco. Eleanor Selfridge-Field’s painstaking archival detective work in the 1960s and early 1970s discovered no mention of a Dario Castello, musician or otherwise, resident in Venice between 1621 and 1658. Her attempts to reconstruct a ‘non-existent’ biography include the suggestion that the composer’s sonata volumes were published under an anagram of his real name, although there appears to be no suitable candidate to satisfy the efforts even of determined problem-solvers. (Selfridge-Field, Eleanor: ‘Dario Castello: A non-existent biography’. Music and Letters, 53 (1972), 179–190)

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 1998

Albums
'Early Italian Violin Sonatas' (CDA66985)
Early Italian Violin Sonatas
'Flute Music 16th & 17th century' (CDH55096)
Flute Music 16th & 17th century
MP3 £3.75FLAC £3.75ALAC £3.75Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55096  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts Grand Tour' (CDH55344)
His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts Grand Tour
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55344  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Salve Regina' (CDA67225)
Salve Regina
'The Age of Extravagance' (CDA66977)
The Age of Extravagance
MP3 £6.00FLAC £6.00ALAC £6.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66977  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'The Floating City' (CDH55320)
The Floating City
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55320  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
On other labels
'Garden of Early Delights' (CKD291)
Garden of Early Delights
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD291  Download only  
Complete works available for download
Exultate Deo Robin Blaze (countertenor), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Quarta sonata a due, Soprano e Trombom overo violetta Convivium
Sonata duodecima His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 10 a 3 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 11 a 3 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 13 a 4 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 14 a 4 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 17 in ecco His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 5 a 2 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata No 8 a 2 His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Sonata Prima, per soprano solo Nancy Hadden (flute), Colin Tilney (harpsichord)
Sonata seconda a soprano solo Jeremy West (cornett), Timothy Roberts (harpsichord/spinet/virginals), Paula Chateauneuf (chitarrone), Frances Kelly (harp)
Sonata seconda a soprano solo Convivium
Sonata seconda a soprano solo Pamela Thorby (recorder), Andrew Lawrence-King (harp)
Sonata settima a due, sopran e bassoon Convivium
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Exultate Deo (Castello)
Quarta sonata a due, Soprano e Trombom overo violetta (Castello)
Sonata duodecima (Castello)
Sonata No 10 a 3 (Castello)
Sonata No 11 a 3 (Castello)
Sonata No 13 a 4 (Castello)
Sonata No 14 a 4 (Castello)
Sonata No 17 in ecco (Castello)
Sonata No 5 a 2 (Castello)
Sonata No 8 a 2 (Castello)
Sonata Prima, per soprano solo (Castello)
Sonata seconda a soprano solo (Castello)
Sonata settima a due, sopran e bassoon (Castello)
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