Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giovanni Battista Viotti, Luciano Borin, Franco Mezzena|
Viotti: Complete Violin Concertos [Box Set]
11+ Hours of Charming Music at a Great Price
Kenneth Gilman | Miami Fla | 04/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a violin fan. I never buy or listen to String Quartets, Serenades for Strings & rarely Violin Concertos. Something about Viotti & this set though caught my attention & so I made the plunge & bought it. Also, never having heard any other performances of these concertos I can't judge the quality of this performance and on a negative note, the Symphonia Perusina sounds a little amaturish at times. All that said, it's Viotti's music that's important here. It's a delight, filled with wonderful, charming melodies & violin virtuoso effects . These are not the huge, crashing, bombastic concertos of the Romantic era, but rather the perfect music to accompany a Fragonard painting."
Richard Bowden | UK | 07/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For too long seen as a one trick pony - that being his concerto 22 in a, which still clings to the repertoire and which was apparently Brahms' favourite violin concerto - all of Viotti's 29 works in the form are here useful gathered together in one volume, the only complete survey to date. Divided by musical historians into the `Parisian' concertos (1 - 19) and then the `London' works (20-29) Viotti is, I think, the best writer of violin concertos, if one temporarily forgets Beethoven's single, Olympian effort - between Mozart and Paganini. Although it has to be said up front that, when listened to in totem, Viotti's concertante oeuvre contains a few uninspired pieces, the composer's characteristic warmth and melodiousness is never far away. And, at his best, Viotti's concertos make an attractive and viable alternative to Mozart's, even if never superseding the wit and élan of the Austrian's last 3.
Mozart's inspiration sometimes shines out in Viotti's own instrumental writing. The delightful concerto number 11 in A for instance, where the influence is especially strong, can still hold its head up high against it's illustrious forbears; or witness the scoring of the finale of concerto 2 where one might for moment confuse the composer, so strong is the impression. Mozart actually added a drum part to the fine, dramatic concerto 16 and the players in the present edition make a good job of it, even if they never quite make me forget the outstanding DGG Archiv issue of years ago, with the English Baroque Soloists - still the best Viotti Concerto record ever for my money, if you can ever find it. Other highlights include the minor key works 19 and 23 - as well, of course, as the famous number 22. None of the three orchestras who share the honours here are in the first rank, although they do well enough; accompaniments are sometimes a little stodgy and unimaginative for my liking, on occasion reducing the elegant, quicksilver feel of Viotti's writing while faster tempos would have brought a greater sense of spontonaeity in the passage work. But soloist Mezzena does a good job, bringing out the natural warmth of the writing and he communicates a likeable personality. In short, until a dramatically good original-instrument version comes along which can truly represent this underrated concerto writer in the very best light, this set will do adequately enough as a sizeable chuck of an enjoyable corner of musical history.