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Giulio Plotino, Clemens Hagen and Matteo Mela : Paganini, His Music , His Instruments : CD



PAGANINI: Terzetto for Violin, Cello and Guitar in D Major MS 69; Introduction and variations on ‘Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento’ by Paisiello for solo violin MS 44; Guitar Sonata in C Major MS 84 No33; Sonata Concertata for violin and guitar in A Major Op61 MS2; Cantabile in D Major Op17 MS 109 (version for violin and guitar).

Giulio Plotino (violin), Clemens Hagen (Cello), Matteo Mela (Guitar)

Dynamic: CDS 7795

This recording was made using three original instruments that Paganini owned: a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin; a six-string guitar by Ory, Paris, dated 1797; and a 1736 Stradivari cello. The three instruments are played together here for the first time. All three are together only in the first piece, the Terzetto set in four movements, beginning with Allegro Con Brio, which certainly describes how the piece sets out. It is very lively with lots of the main interest lying with the violin, although the guitar and cello do have some involving parts too, with the guitar taking the main second theme in particular. Everything closes in optimistic fashion .A Minuetto marked Allegro Vivace then enters, equally optimistic and quick- moving at the opening indeed more a Scherzo than a Minuetto, in my estimation. The Andante Larghetto – Cavate that follows is an emotive and slow melody on violin and cello with the guitar providing the accompaniment. The finale is an Allegretto Rondo, with a bouncy and light melody and some lovely accompaniment with everything moving along at express speed, and it is a very appropriate conclusion to this fine work.

The guitar sonata that follows is a one – movement piece of a little less than three and a half minutes long, so is not a Sonata of several movements. It is pleasant and very nicely played but not especially memorable as a piece of guitar music.

The Paisiello Introduction and Variations that follows is Paganini violin writing at its most virtuosic, and our player Giulio Plotino is easily up to the task, and makes this 13 minute piece sound simple, which it most definitely is not.

The most famous piece here is no doubt the Sonata Concertata for violin and guitar and its three movements are beautifully played and the guitar has an almost equal part to play here, unlike some of Paganini’s duet pieces, where the guitar is always an accompaniment for the violin.

The final Cantabile in D Major, here in its version for violin and guitar is melodic with a fine violin melody and some lovely appropriate accompaniment from the guitar. Its three and a half minutes provides a superb conclusion to what is a CD with exceptional playing of some very pleasant works that any lovers of Paganini will no doubt enjoy immensely.


Chris Dumigan

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