Locatelli: Three Violin Concertos from L’Arte del violino

CD cover il labirinto armonico

Ilya Gringolts, Finnish Baroque Orchestra
61:49
BIS-2445 SACD

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Locatelli’s op 3 violin concertos were composed in Venice, under the influence of Vivaldi and in the shadow of Corelli, under whom Locatelli may even have studied previously in Rome. What is much more interesting than tracing Locatelli’s antecedents, though, is to hear in his remarkable music suggestions of the coming generations, including Paganini and even the Mannheim school. A striking feature of the twelve concerti of the op 3 are the 24 Capricci for solo violin, which the composer integrates into the outer movements of each as showpieces for his own virtuosity. The excellent programme note by Marianne Rônez, however, points out that perhaps our obsession with these startling Capricci unfairly overshadows the beauty of Locatelli’s Largo movements, as well as his adventurous and ground-breaking use of harmonic progressions – it is a very fair point. Soloist and director, Ilya Gringolts, produces exciting and profound readings of Locatelli’s music, and he is very ably supported by the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in the 9th, 11th and 12th concertos of the set.

D. James Ross