Enrico Casazza

Giuseppe Tartini: Trio and Violin Sonatas

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Much like his better-known (by today's standards) compatriot Giuseppe Verdi, Giuseppe Tartini wrote hundreds of compositions for the violin, many of which have been lost. Many of Tartini's works, particularly the concertos, constantly pushed the envelope of the technical abilities of the violin. Other genres, like the selection of trio sonatas heard on Disc 1 of this album, seem to have been created for simple listening enjoyment without the need to demonstrate a performer's technical abilities. Discs two and three contain Six Sonatas, Op. 2 (violin, cello, and harpsichord), and Six Sonatas, Op. 6 (violin and harpsichord/organ only), respectively. These two sets find a pleasing balance between technical bravura and sedate background music. Performing on all three discs are members of Magnifica Comunità, led by violinist Enrico Casazza. The quality of these performances is inconsistent from disc to disc, track to track, and sometimes even within a single track. Disc 1, featuring the more sedate trio sonatas, is the best played of the three, with solid intonation and generally appealing sound quality throughout; musically, however, Magnifica Comunità's interpretation is somewhat lackluster. Casazza's execution of the more difficult, exposed works of Discs 2 and 3 varies along with a degree of difficulty. Often, his sound is powerful, focused, and intense, with clear definition between notes and accurate intonation. In some of the more difficult passages, Casazza falls off the proverbial horse and has a difficult time getting back on; intonation suffers, notes begin to run together, and overall sound quality becomes strained and forced.

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