Monday, 10 August 2015

Veracini - Sonatas - Holloway, ter Linden, Mortensen

Rating: 5/5

An excellent disc

This is an excellent disc of some very fine music by Veracini, whom John Holloway describes as earning "an honoured place on the short list of truly great violinist-composers," in which he includes Biber, Ysaye and Bach. For me, this is going a little far, but these are inventive and very enjoyable sonatas with some truly virtuoso writing for the violin.

Veracini was an eccentric and arrogant character judging by contemporary accounts, and that eccentricity and swagger can often be heard here. However, there is far more than that to the music, and there is a fine mixture of the vigorous the passionate and the tender in these sonatas, with some fine melodic writing and innovative harmonic invention. It all adds up to very high-quality early 18th Century music.

I tried this disc because I think that anything recorded by John Holloway is worth hearing, and it's certainly true here. Holloway and his excellent fellow musicians (both international stars in their own right, of course) give this music real meaning, and play together beautifully. There is a fine understanding between them and they really bring these pieces to life. Their playing and the quality of the music make this a pleasure from start to finish.

ECM's recorded sound is of their normal excellent standard, as is their presentation, and John Holloway's notes are interesting and readable. All round, it's a fine disc and I can recommend it very warmly.

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