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GRAMOPHONE (02/2010)
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0028947766063 (ID9)

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Reviewer: Duncan Druce

Carmignola is an eloquent advocate of these neglected Italian violin works


The Italian violinistcomposers of the generation following Vivaldi and Tartini are little known, and this collection breaks new ground; of the four concertos only the


Lolli has previously been recorded. Apart from Michele Stratico the composers were all travelling virtuosos – Nardini and Lolli were employed at the Württemberg court, and Lolli and Dall’Oglio both spent some years in St Petersburg. The concertos aren’t all neglected masterpieces but the Nardini comes close; it’s an alert, graceful work, containing beautifully scored writing for string orchestra in alternation with lightly accompanied solos where Nardini uses doublestopping to expressive as well as virtuoso effect. Dall’Oglio, too, writes inventively for solo violin; his concerto is the most Vivaldian, though its dignified slow movement harks back to an older, more contrapuntal tradition. The Stratico has less of a virtuoso character, highlighting instead a fluent melodic style. Lolli on the other hand provides a showcase for his own virtuosity, including passages in an extreme high register rarely visited before Paganini.


Carmignola displays the qualities of all the concertos brilliantly and eloquently, sailing through all the difficulties with fine, clear tone and pure intonation, and the string-players of the Venice Baroque Orchestra show finesse and enthusiasm. I’ve a few quibbles about the performances – the Grave of the Stratico seems too languid for such an extended movement and the grace notes at the start of the Lolli should surely be played on the beat. Such details, however, aren’t significant enough to spoil enjoyment of this engaging, unfamiliar music.

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