Federico Guglielmo / L'Arte dell'Arco

Haydn: Violin Concertos

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Like many of his most memorable works, the three extant violin concertos of Joseph Haydn stem from the composer's lengthy time in the employ in the Esterházy court. While Haydn himself was somewhat isolated from other composers by his position, many superb musicians came to play as soloists and in the court orchestra. One of these musicians, violinist Luigi Tomasini, himself a composer, made a significant impact on Haydn and was the impetus for the composition of at least one (C major) of the concertos. The sometimes lofty technical challenges throughout all three concertos points to Haydn having written them for someone with exceptional gifts. Performing these three vivacious concertos is Frederico Guglielmo, who also directs his orchestra of his own creation, L'Arte dell'Arco. Both soloist and orchestra perform on period instruments; keeping with the forces that Haydn would have had available to him at the time, the ensemble performs with a small but dynamic set of musicians. Throughout the three concertos, Guglielmo's playing is technically nimble and precise and musically playful and thoughtful. His leadership of his orchestra produces similar results from the nicely articulate, agile group that produces an impressively full sound given its small numbers. Brilliant's overall bright, sterile sound quality may be the only detractor from this otherwise pleasing disc.

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