BBC Music Magazine
Violin Concertos Nos 13-15 Bojan Čičić (violin); Illyria Consort Delphian DCD34219 65:46 mins Giovanni Giornovich – or Giornovichi, Jarnovi , Jarnovicki, Jarnovitty: he used them all – perhaps hailed from Palermo, or was born aboard a ship at Ragusa. The claimed dates of his birth extend from 1735 to 1747. What we do know is that in the early 1790s he was in London as a member of Salomon’s Hanover Square orchestra, and that he took part in Haydn’s first benefit concert there, on 16 May 1791. This was the time when Giornovich composed the concertos recorded here – though you’d hardly guess it from the music, which sounds like the galant type of pieces Haydn was writing some 30 years earlier.
There are a few attractive moments – a minor-mode episode in the first movement of the A major Concerto No. 14, or the gentle melancholy of the slow movement in the same concerto – but far too much conventional padding, and not much melodic invention of any real individuality. More interesting is the way Giornovich joins the slow movement of the Concerto No. 13 to its finale. Bojan Cicic imaginatively makes his own attacca between the end of the concerto, which leaves the soloist inconclusively on his own, and the variations for unaccompanied violin which follow it on the disc. Cicic acquits himself well in the tricky violin writing, and the lean-sounding Illyria Consort is on its toes. Misha Donat PERFORMANCE ★★★