Tartini’s Violin

Sonatas for violin and b. c.
Črtomir Šiškovič violin, Luca Ferrini harpsichord & organ
50:29
Dynamic CDS 7744

Although everyone thinks of Tartini as Italian, he was born in what is now geographically Slovenia, and this recording of four named sonatas is a collaboration between one musician from each of the two countries. They start with “Didone abbandonata” which, like the others, is in three movements (two are slow-fast-fast, the other two slow-fast-alternating). Then comes arguably the composer’s most famous piece, “Il Trillo del Diavolo”, followed by two less well-known pieces; a sonata in A entitled “Pastorale” (unique in the composer’s output in requiring the bottom two strings to be tuned a tone higher than usual, and accompanied on organ where Ferrari plays harpsichord in the others) and “Staggion bella” in B flat. My enjoyment of the recital was hampered by the sound quality – the acoustic lacked warmth, the violin was not really projecting into the space and the harpsichord lacks any resonance; the performances are fine, if they too slightly lack vitality – clean readings, but no real oomph.

Brian Clark