It was a balmy 67 degrees on March 30, 2019, and the Publick Musick was celebrating spring in the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word with a musical tour of Naples, Italy. Among the destinations: a Recorder Concerto by Neapolitan Nicola Fiorenza. A man of mystery, Fiorenza's bio is remarkably thin--his birth date can only be pegged at sometime after 1700. He began as a cellist, switching to the violin after a stint in the Royal Chapel Court Orchestra. Fiorenza's claim to fame was winning a teaching position by lottery when he and four other equally qualified candidates were vying for the job. But not all stories have a happy ending; Fiorenza was dismissed 21 years later after charges arose that he beat his students.
There aren't many manuscripts of Fiorenza's music--only around 30--so hearing the Publick Musick perform this recorder concerto is a real treat. Eloy Cortinez is the soloist, joined by violinist Boel Gidholm and Mary Riccardi, cellist Christopher Haritatos, and Leon Schelhase with the harpsichord.