When considering the first set of compositions designed to truly extend and test the technical limits of the violin, most would first consider the 24 Caprices of Paganini. However, more than a century before Paganini was even thought of, Italian composer Pietro Locatelli was pushing the violin to its limits with his four concertos of Opus 3, subtitled the "Art of the Violin." These works were innovative in nearly every way conceivable. Even the form of the concertos was atypical; Locatelli abandoned the traditional three-movement format and included two caprices. From a technical standpoint, the concertos stretch the range of the violin to its limit and demand bow techniques and finger dexterity simply unheard of. Of course, all of these challenges mean nothing if the works are not given musically fulfilling performances. Giuliano Carmignola provides listeners with flawless technical mastery, unblemished intonation, astonishing amounts of energy, and musically informed performances throughout this CD. Listening to the feats he pulls off on his violin is all the more amazing when considering he performs on a period Baroque instrument -- flattened fingerboard and bridge, gut strings, shortened fingerboard, and a bow that curves outward rather than inward. His sound, as well as that of the Venice Baroque Orchestra, is pristinely clear while maintaining an inviting and rich warmth. Fans of Carmignola as well as those who may be unfamiliar with him should absolutely purchase this album, sit back, and prepare to be astonished at what the violin is capable of.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Violin Concerto in F major, Op. 3/10|
|Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 3/11|
|Violin Concerto in C minor, Op. 3/2|
|Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 3/1|