The sonatas by Legrenzi and Scarlatti are densely contrapuntal, though they are quite different in style. Legrenzi was working in Venice in 1673, when he published his Op 10, and dedicated the collection to the Austrian emperor Leopold I, which is presumably why it includes two sonatas for four viols and continuo. Viols were largely obsolete in Italy at the time, but were still cultivated a good deal in Austria. This is probably why the sonata recorded here was printed in a double-clef format, allowing it to be played in C minor on viols and in E minor by a string quartet. In the work Legrenzi achieves a remarkable synthesis between the contrapuntal idiom of the Renaissance and the chromatic harmony of his own time.
from notes by Peter Holman © 2003