Fabio Biondi

Jean-Marie Leclair: Violin Concertos, Op. 7 Nos. 1, 3, 4 & 5

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Jean-Marie Leclair's treatment of the Baroque violin concerto was based on the virtuoso Italian concertos of Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi, but he also incorporated characteristic French airs and dance forms that had developed in the music of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Féry Rebel and influenced composers from François Couperin to Jean-Philippe Rameau. This recording by violinist Fabio Biondi and the strings of Europa Galante presents four concertos from Leclair's Op. 7, which are representative of his collection of 12 violin concertos, and show the composer's practice of using the conventional format of three movements (fast-slow-fast), though adjusted in tempo to vary the moods, and calling for refinement and precision, without excessive ornamentation or flashiness. Biondi's elegant performances combine direct expression, polished execution, and crisp articulation, and the full ensemble plays with vigor and rich string sonorities, so the final results are balanced between delicacy in the solo part and robustness in the accompaniment. Glossa's recording in the church of San Francesco Grande in Padua captures the musicians with close-up presence, and the resonant acoustics enhance the group's sound without blurring the parts.

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