With his long, dark
locks, dramatic stage presence and devil‑may‑care virtuosity, Russian violinist
DmitrySinkovsky is a latter‑day Paganini, who brings to this programme
of Baroque pyrotechnics the perfect balance of fire (‘pyr”) and art ('tekhnikos').
He breezes through the salvo of technical challenges: multiple stoppings,
bariolage, vertiginous leaps, embellishments, flashing scales and arpeggios ‑
all are parried with brazen abandon. Yet he also brings a refined musicality and
a sense of period style to these concertos, so alongside the fireworks there's
playing of exquisite delicacy and tenderness. In the first movement of
Locatelli's D major Concerto, for instance, Sinkovsky scampers through the
fiendish, cadenza‑like capriccio with a gossamer touch; there's wistful intimacy
to the lovely Andante cantabile of Tartiini's A minor work, while a
spectral quality haunts the Sempre piano from Telemann's B flat Concerto
‑ a hypnotic movement redolent of the Largo from Vivaldi's ‘Winter'.
Above all, though, a
quasi‑operatic quality pervades. Sinkovsky (who is also an outstandingly gifted
countertenor) brings a vocalists sense of lyricism and articulation to these
readings: the violin sings Tartini's bel canto melodies, theatrical
pathos infuses to the third movement Adagio of Leclair's D major Concerto, while
the second Largo from Pisendel's G minor work is so pleadingly uttered
that even the hardest heart would dissolve.
Il Porno d'Oro is proving to be
one of the most brilliant ensembles on the early music stage today, and the
players respond to Sinkovsky's direction with blazing energy. Ifs only February,
but this could well en dup being my disc of the year.
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