attr. Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1715)
in fact Remo GIAZOTTO (1910-1998): Adagio in G minor (1958)
If asked to name a composition by Tomaso Albinoni, most music-lovers would choose the Adagio in G minor for strings and organ; ironic, given that its style is so distantly unlike Albinoni’s, and its actual author, the twentieth-century scholar Remo Giazotto, never claimed that it was based on more than a tiny original fragment of a church sonata. What is more, doubts about the existence of that fragment are growing, since all efforts to trace it have failed, and Giazotto never produced his source material.
The Adagio is unashamedly lachrymose, copying from Bach's Air on a G-string the idea of a bass line striding in octaves which generates the harmony by falling in stepwise motion. The upper strings pass a rich contrapuntal texture between them, and the momentum is occasionally broken for short violin cadenzas. Although a clear case of mistaken identity, it is a wonderful stroke of PR luck for Albinoni, most of whose (genuine) works would never have been brought to the attention of the music-loving public were it not for the worldwide fame of this Adagio.