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Fabio Biondi and Giangiacomo Pinardi : Paganini- Sonatas for violin and guitar : CD

PAGANINI : Centone di Sonate Op64 SS112 - a) Sonata No6 in A Major; b)Sonata No12 in D Major ; c)Sonata No14 in D Major; d)Sonata No2 in G Major ; e)Sonata No7 in F Major : Sonata Concertata in A Major Op61 MS2; Sonata for Violin and Guitar in A Minor Op 3 No4 MS 27.

Fabio Biondi and Giangiacomo Pinardi

Glossa : GCD923410

Fabio Biondi together with his long-term colleague, the plucked-string specialist Giangiacomo Pinardi (here playing an original romantic guitar from c1825), chooses works by the famous violinist/guitarist Paganini. Composed between 1804 and 1828, five of this recital are two-movement sonatas contained in the Centone di Sonate collection, although the album also includes the popular Sonata Concertata in A major, and the lesser – known Sonata in Am Op3 No4 .

Immediately you are aware that the violin playing of Biondi is beautiful, very detailed in its emotive qualities, and technically sounding very easy, although it most certainly isn’t at all! The guitar part in this opening Sonata No6 from the Centone di Sonate collection is definitely the accompaniment here. Indeed all the five from this collection do follow the same pattern of slow to moderate first movement, then final fast movement, with the violin getting the lion’s share of the interesting parts, and the guitar sounding a little subdued in its accompanying role, but still playing an important musical role in the sonatas.

The closing Sonata in A minor Op3 No4 is another two movement work of short duration, with the violin again dancing beautifully around, whilst the guitar keeps to its accompaniment role.

The final work is perhaps the most well – known of Paganini’s Sonatas, the Sonata Concertata in A Major Op61,and is the only one in three movements and the one in which the guitar has more of an equal role to the violin part, at times having solos of its own. After a brisk and exciting Allegro Spiritoso, the slow movement that is an Adagio Assai Espressivo, is emotive and yet warmly played by both players before the final Allegretto con Brio, Scherzando closes the work on a swift yet at times humorous note.

It is obvious that the majority of this set of Sonatas does considerably favour the violin over the guitar and , as the composer is Paganini, that might be expected , for even though he was a guitarist as well, he certainly isn’t mostly known for this guitar playing.

These Sonatas are wonderfully played, often full of twists and turns that , if you don’t know the pieces already, will be surprising and lots of fun, but be aware if you think that the guitarist’s parts are just as eventful, they are not, for as I said before, his parts are usually accompaniment, and only on a few occasions does he get a solo. Beautifully recorded and played, so if the repertoire appeals then this is a great CD to own.

Chris Dumigan

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