Gian Francesco Eterardi (18h Century, Italian)

Eterardi is such an obscure and forgotten composer that when Bonifaccio Bianchi recorded his Mandolin Concerto, from the manuscript kept at Bibiothèque Nationale de France, with Claudio Scimone and I Solisti Veneti in 1971 for Erato, even his first name was unknown. It’s been retrieved since and he’s now Gian Francesco Eterardi, but other than that his biographic details are still as unknown as before. Apparently, the manuscript is titled “Concerto for two violins, bass and mandolin obliggato by il Signor Eterardi echo”, as if the echo referred to the composer rather than the work. The first movement is written less “in echo” (which implies responses from a distance) than in imitation, with the mandolin repeating the phrases tossed by the violins. It’s a lovely concerto in post-Vivaldian style, and it’s been reissued to CD in 2009 with its three original LP companions, more lovely Mandolin Concertos by equally obscure 18th-century Italian composers, on Erato 5050466-5691-2-7.