Giuseppi Tartini was born and worked in nothern Italy for a long period ending with his death in 1770. He was a virtuoso violinist and composer for his instrument, highly regarded in his time but almost forgotten until recent times. Before this revival almost the only Tartini one heard was "The Devil's Trill", one of his very many violin sonatas. He wrote some 135 violin concertos, L'Arte Del L'Arco have undertaken the mammoth task of recording all of them on period instruments.
This CD from Ariadne Daskalakis with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra is a modern instrument performance, I usually prefer a period instrument one, but that has not inhibited my enjoyment of this recording.
Two of the concertos here are recorded for the first time, but that is no surprise when there are 135 of them and only about fifty have been recorded. Tartini's violin concertos seemingly always follow the pattern of the outer movements being lively allegros with the second slow movement being lyrical, solemn, perhaps melancholy, and usualy aria like, often almost for solo violin.
I have to admit I had never heard Ms Daskalakis before now, but I find her a very accomplished performer ; the Cologne Chamber Orchestra has been Naxos's "house orchestra" for 18th century music for years, and they have many fine CDs to their credit. Together they perform with a certain grace and professionalism, the outer movements dance along nicely framing beautiful slow movements.
A year or so back Archiv released a wonderful CD with the title "Concerto Veneziano" with Giuliano Carmignola and Venice Baroque playing two late concertos by Vivaldi, and one each by Locatelli and Tartini, the Tartini was D96, the second concerto on the CD we are discussing here. Carmignola's is easily the best Tartini I have heard, Daskalakis is not too far behind.
If Carmignola is a five star performance, then this one should get less, 4.5, but one is not allowed half stars, 4 would be mean, so 5 it is.