” (…) Europa Galante was founded by Fabio Biondi in 1990, now regarded as the pre-eminent period instrument ensemble playing 17th and 18th century Italian music.
Although the resident orchestra at Fondazione Teatro Due parma, Biondi regularly leads smaller sections of the whole in various international performances.
In Edinburgh this year, he led a string quartet to the Queen’s all – himself and Andrea Rognoni on violin, Stefano Marcocchi on viola and Alessandro Andriani on cello. Biondi’s choice of music was masterful; Mozart is always a crowd-puller, while Monza is a much more obscure but an interesting composer.
The young Wolfgang was in this mid-teens when he visited Milan in the early 1770s and began composing chamber pieces in the current North Italian Style. Carlo Monza was approaching 40 and probably at the eight of his creative powers.
In the string quartets K80, K156 and K157, the ensemble captured the unmistakeable spirit, even then, of the boy genius before the towering majesty of the works of his all too brief musical maturity.
The modern-day premieres of four quartets by Monza were, in some ways, even more interesting than listening to Mozart. The four pieces showcased a clear talent, especially in “Il giuocatore” (the gambler) and “Gli amanti rivali” (the rival Lovers)”.
Tom Kyle – SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL – 16th August 2019