BBC Music Magazine - - Chamber Reviews -

Sonate Op. 1; Sonate Pic­cole

Evgeny Sviri­dov (vi­o­lin),

Davit Melkonyan (cello),

Stanislav Gres (harp­si­chord)

Ricer­car RIC 391 65:01 mins

The Pa­ganini of the Baroque, Giuseppe Tar­tini com­posed and played with such fiendish vir­tu­os­ity as to in­spire leg­ends of a swag­ger­ing swords­man-cumvi­o­lin­ist in league with Satan

(who breathed fire into his mu­sic), and whose sin­is­ter left hand had six fin­gers, en­abling him to play like the devil. No less colour­ful are Tar­tini’s vi­o­lin sonatas which range from the im­pas­sioned

Di­dona aban­do­nata – in­spired by the tragic Queen Dido of Carthage – where ex­plo­sive out­bursts in­ter­rupt yearn­ing rhap­sodies, to the faux-rus­tic Pas­torale with its im­i­ta­tions of dron­ing bag­pipes, hurdy-gur­dies and gypsy fid­dlers. The G ma­jor and D ma­jor sonatas, based on the po­etry of Tasso, have a quasi-op­er­atic lyri­cism, while the F ma­jor work is a daz­zling dis­play of vi­o­lin py­rotech­nics, with its trills, rapid scales, mul­ti­ple-stop­pings, ver­tig­i­nous leaps, con­trasted legato and stac­cato bow­ings.

Evgeny Sviri­dov per­forms with the fire­brand vir­tu­os­ity of his Rus­sian-school train­ing and a fine-tuned aware­ness of Baroque style, thanks to his im­mer­sion in his­tor­i­cally-in­formed per­for­mance prac­tice (he’s con­cert­mas­ter of the pe­riod ensem­ble Con­certo Köln and won the pres­ti­gious Mu­sica An­ti­qua Bruges com­pe­ti­tion in 2017). If you think the Baroque vi­o­lin sounds wiry and thin, Sviri­dov’s silky, sil­very tones will make you think again. Finger­work and bow­ings are sup­ple, light-weight and ag­ile, pro­duc­ing ef­fects by turns bal­letic, po­etic, rhetor­i­cal and lyri­cal. Harp­si­chordist Stanislav Gres (play­ing copies of in­stru­ments by Ruck­ers and Mi­etke) and cel­list Davit Melkonyan pro­vide stylish sup­port – though both sound a shade re­cessed in the boomy church acous­tic. Kate Bolton-por­ci­atti



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