Ariadne Daskalakis / Paolo Giacometti

Franz Schubert: Music for Violin I

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Historical performances of Schubert's music remain less common than those for Baroque composers or even Mozart or Beethoven, but this release by violinist Ariadne Daskalakis shows the possibilities. Playing a 1754 Guadagnini instrument with gut strings, Baroque bows, and a period bridge, she offers a reading that's delicate even without the benefit of vibrato. "[The strings'] color underscores the fragility and vulnerability of Schubert's creative voice," she writes. In this first volume of Schubert's violin music, she offers three little-played works for violin and orchestra, the first two of them are ambitious works that deserve wider exposure. Better still, however, are the two violin-and-piano pieces. These are more common, but fortepianist Paolo Giacometti and his Salvatore Lagrassa instrument of 1815, bring new breezes to the music. This maker is not one of the famous ones, but sample the first movement of the Fantasy in C major for violin and piano. D. 934, where the fortepiano produces a kind of murky rumbling. You can sense the excitement Schubert's contemporaries would have found from the instrumental sound alone in a performance that likely sounded much like this, and one awaits with similar excitement future releases from these musicians in the same vein.

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