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Italian Violin Sonatas Import
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|1. I. Overtura (Largo)-Allegro-Adagio|
|2. II. Aria (Affettuoso)|
|3. III. Paesana (Allegro)|
|4. IV. Minuet (Allegro)|
|5. V. Gia Del Postiglione (Allegro)|
|6. I. Adagio|
|7. II. Allegro|
|8. III. Andante|
|9. IV. Allegro|
|10. I. Grand Air (Vivace)|
|11. II. Les Vents (Allegro)|
|12. III. Festes Galantes [Sarabanda] (Largo)|
|13. IV. Badinage (Allegro)|
|14. V. Du Sommeil (Largo E Piano)|
|15. VI. L'amour En Courroux Au Desespoir (Allegro E Staccato)|
|16. VII. Calme Amoureux (Largo)|
|17. VII. La Noce Allemande [Allemanda]|
|18. IX. Suite De La Noce [Forlana] (Allegro)|
|19. X. Derniere Suite De La Noce (Allegro)|
|20. I. Andante|
See all 25 tracks on this disc
One tends to associate the virtuoso violin repertoire with the 19th century, but in their own way these five sonatas, written between 1714 and 1743, offer an equally dazzling display of speed, facility, bow control and tonal variety. No wonder: the composers were among the foremost violin virtuosos of their time, as well as tireless innovators of technique and style; several even wrote treatises on violin playing. The earliest, and least familiar, is Michele Mascitti, a Neapolitan who moved to Paris when he was 30. His "Psyché," the program's only piece in a major key, is a divertissement in ten short "tableaux" on the theme of Cupid and Psyche, with the violin and continuo as the two protagonists. Refined and elegant, varied in texture, expression and character, it ranges from tender love songs to slow and fast dances, including a wild Badinage. Veracini's Sonata Op. 1 No. 1, a dance suite with an unusually active cello part, opens with a slow Overture and ends with a Giga del Postiglione, in which the violin imitates a posthorn's call. The other three sonatas are basically dramatic and melancholy, highly ornamented, full of double stops, running passages and cadenzas. Locatelli's is distinguished by a very elaborate keyboard part and a lot of spiky syncopation in the finale. Geminiani makes the violin sound quite luscious, almost romantic; his rhythms and phrases are startlingly irregular. He shares the exploration of the high register with Tartini, whose Sonata displays his incomparable melodic gift and trademark obsession with trills. The performances are beyond praise. Biondi, one of the deservedly most renowned baroque violinists, plays with enormous brilliance, expressiveness, and endlessly varied articulation and nuance; there is a sense of spontaneous exhilaration in his inventive, improvisatory ornamentation: he seems to be playing with the music and the violin. His partners, some manning several instruments, match him in every way. --Edith Eisler
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The lead Amazon reviewer above summarized this CD well, so no need to repeat much, other than to say that the collection of violin sonatas here are wonderfully played with the typical verve, artistry, expressivity and sensuous tone that has earned Biondi an enthusiastic following worldwide. If you like Biondi in Vivaldi, Bach or other his other Baroque music, this CD will surely not disappoint. It spotlights his lyrical talents in a more intimate way via the simpler violin sonata genre. The sound quality on Veritas/Virgin is pleasantly forward, most vivid and is very good overall (but not quite perfect). As with most of the Virgin recordings I have of the Europa Galante as compared to others, there seems to be a depth of "sound stage" somewhat lacking (to me at least), but really nothing to discourage aquiring and enjoying this CD or the others. Five stars for a most enthalling performance of these lesser-known works from Biondi and the Galante.
This disk was released in 2003; my only complaint is that it's taken four years to reach me.
I can't help but recommend this to everyone!
I rate "Italian Violin Sonatas: Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante"...Five stars!