L'Arte dell'Arco

Giuseppe Tartini: The Violin Concertos, Vol. 13 (Misterio anima mia)

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The task of recording the complete violin concertos of most composers would not be a tremendous undertaking. Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky left us with only one contribution to this genre. Even Mozart and Bach contributed only a handful. But recording the complete violin concertos of Giuseppe Tartini -- there are 135 known -- is a rather remarkable endeavor, especially considering the vast majority of these concertos are unpublished. Vol. 13, a two-disc set containing eight concertos in total, demonstrates that the work is worthwhile. L'Arte dell' Arco's sound produced on period instruments is a bit cautious and thin at times, but the group plays with energy and precision. It also successfully put the majority of the attention on the soloists, where in this case it certainly belongs. The soloists -- there are three different ones on this album -- are equally gifted on their instruments and deliver in-tune, technically proficient, and musically informed performances. The only difficulty is that there's not a tremendous amount of variety to be found and by the end of two hours of listening, all of the eight concertos blend together into little more than background music.

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