CONCERTO ITALIANO Carmignola Marcon 4776606

These are . . . expressively engaging concertos by composers of the generation following Vivaldi, whose idiom by the way seldom comes to mind. Rather, it is that of Tartini, and never more so than in the cantabile style of the expansive and lyrical slow movements. Who better to disclose the poetic utterances of these pieces with their highly developed "esprit de fantaisie" than Giuliano Carmignola? I cannot think of any other violinist at the moment who feels this music with such depth and delicacy of expression and who can sustain the melodic line in a manner which mirrors the sustained style of an operatic aria . . . To my ears this music is every bit as rewarding as that of some better known contemporaries such as Locatelli. Transitional periods are usually fascinating and this one, bridging the Baroque and Classical is no exception. The Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon's direction offers sympathetic and crisp support, setting the seal on an excellent release.

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.

Carmignola excites the senses with his nimble fingers as they decorate the music with tight trills and arabesques . . . Carmignola makes light of the works' technical challenges, and his immaculate articulation and spotless intonation are enhanced by the silvery tone from his 1732 'Baillot' Stradivari.

Such pieces as these fare uncommonly well in the heart and hands of Giuliano Carmignola, who enlivens each melodic contour with expressive delicacy, sustaining the whole in a manner which calls to mind the vocal sostenuto of an operatic aria . . . this is a disc which deserves to be widely disseminated . . .

Carmignola brings the kind of arch brilliance to the first and third movements [of the Nardini Concerto] as he reveals in works by Vivaldi . . . Marcon and the orchestra adapt to the related yet different styles of the composers, calibrating to each their approach to dynamics and articulation. The notes suggest that Carmignola initially had reservations about the program because he takes little interest in "archaeological" projects. That he embraced it thereafter suggests how strong an impression the program can make. Strongly recommended, accordingly -- to violinists, historians, and generally.

Die Virtuosität Vivaldis ist einerseits noch gesteigert, andererseits weicht sie phasenweise einem verinnerlichten, empfindsameren Gestaltungsideal. Beides ist bei den zweien in besten Händen.

Wer Carmignola . . . kennt, weiß, dass kein Berg ihm zu hoch ist, wenn es um die Spieltechnik auf der Geige geht. Deswegen kann er sich auf den Inhalt der Musik konzentrieren. Und das führt dazu, dass hier keine leere Virtuosität zur Schau gestellt wird, sondern Musik gemacht wird. Dazu trägt auch die perfekte Zusammenarbeit mit dem Venice Baroque Orchestra bei, das eigene Akzente setzt in den Tuttiabschnitten. Eine historisch aufschlussreiche und musikalisch eindrucksvolle Produktion.

Que de surprises! . . . Inventif, délicat, précis, l'archet s'imagine funambule . . . Du grand art.