Durante subtitled the Concerto No 8 in A major, ‘La Pazzia’ (‘Folly’). It is a curious piece which pays only token respect to the established pattern of alternating tutti and solo sections. The opening movement, ‘Allegro affettuoso’, with its brief, agitated introductory bars, followed by a short recitativo passage and longer cantabile section, has some of the improvisatory character and spontaneity of the mid-century north German Empfindsamer Stil or sensitive style. Yet the apparently strange sequence of ideas, which determines the character of the entire movement, mirrors a taste for quirky display that can also be found in some of Vivaldi’s advanced concertos. The second movement (‘Affettuoso’) provides an example of Durante’s gift at cantabile writing, bringing to mind, once again, in its initial melodic and rhythmic ideas, the ‘sensitive’ writing of C P E Bach, further north. The short Allegro finale, by contrast, approaches the mature style of Vivaldi’s ripieno (without soloists) concertos, with their frequently encountered early symphonic leanings.
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 2001