OUT NOW | Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante Premiere Carlo Monza's String Quartets

Released today on Naïve Classiques, the album presents six never-before recorded string quartets by 18th century Milanese composer Carlo Monza



Entitled "Opera in Musica, the new release features volinist Fabio Biondi and members of his Europa Galante ensemble — violinist Andrea Rognoni, violist Stefano Marcocchi, and cellist Alessandro Andriani.

Carlo Monza’s (1680-1739) string quartets include operatic form and evocative subtitles, and could easily be mistaken for the youthful works of Mozart. Unsurprisingly, around the time of composition, 14-year-old Mozart was in Milan, immersed in the music of Sammartini, Lampugnani, and Monza himself.

"Audiences must know that Carlo Monza is no stranger that we recovered from an obscure archive or library," Biondi told The Violin Channel. "Monza was a composer of importance, and in the Milan of the eighteenth century, he was famous, known by everyone then and in the years that followed. For us, the name has vanished because Monza has before now rarely received the attention he has deserved from musicians and historians."

Ten years ago, Biondi chanced upon a catalog of manuscripts stored in a private library, including the six string quartets of Monza.

"We have a flawed and incomplete knowledge of musical history, so we must study those composers whose names have faded over time," he added. "We have excluded many musical personalities by continuing to study and play only a few, betraying the true history of music. No longer managing to place many important composers in their rightful places in the canon."

"To truly understand the writing of even the composers we perform the most, we must also know those who have been unjustly forgotten. I think it is an absolute prerogative, a duty, to broaden the knowledge of the history of music of each era to include as many composers as possible."

A Grammy-nominated musician, Fabio Biondi worked with the Les Musiciens du Louvre and The English Concert, before founding the Italian period ensemble, Europa Galante. The group performs at international festivals and venues including the Berlin Pierre Boulez Saal, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Wiener Konzerthaus, Enescu Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival.

After listening to his new release, Biondi hopes listeners will "appreciate the universality of musical language, something that does not decay over time.

"This music describes scenes and situations of varied moods – to which we can all relate – with a completely modern immediacy."

Listen to the album, here.