Durante’s eight Concerti per quartetto probably date from the 1730s or 1740s but, though copied, they were never printed. In several of them Durante uses the four-movement sonata da chiesa pattern as a framework to underpin expansive and progressive ideas that extend beyond older conventional limitations. This is very much the case with the Concerto No 2 in G minor whose suave, graceful and serious opening ‘Affettuoso’, with some unexpected harmonic shifts, leads to an unconventionally constructed fugal ‘Presto’. This is thematically linked to the introductory movement and contains extended virtuoso passages for a solo violin. The third movement, ‘Largo affettuoso’ in the key of B flat, is in an expressively lighter vein, though not without a hint of melancholy, offering a contrast with the greater severity of the preceding movements.
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 2001