Giovanni Battista VIOTTI (1765-1824)
Violin Concerto No.16 in E minor, W16 (G85) [28:05]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 1791)
Rondo for violin and orchestra in C, K373 (1781) [5:11]
Rondo for violin and orchestra in B flat, K269/261a (1775-77) [6:15]
Adagio for violin and orchestra K261 [6:52]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 1827)
Romance for violin and orchestra No.1 in G, Op.40 (1802) [6:14]
Romance for violin and orchestra No.2 in F, Op.50 (1798) [8:00]
Christian J. Saccon (violin)
Orchestra di Padova e vel Veneto/Giovanni Battista Rigon
rec. September 2008, Auditorium Pollini, Padova
VELUT LUNA CVLD176 [60:45]
I’m in the fortunate position of being able to review several discs, both CDs and DVDs, made by the Italian violinist Christian Saccon. A student of G. Volpato he has also studied with Tibor Varga, Uto Ughi, Pierre Amoyal, Franco Gulli and Zakar Bron. This has exposed him to Russian, Italian, and Franco-Belgian stylists, amongst others, but from the recordings I have heard there is no evidence of a lack of focus or any sense of pulling in divergent directions.
His performance of Viotti Concerto’s in E minor is very sympathetic. He takes time to conquer its treacherous opening - where his tone thins somewhat - but in general his approach strikes me as in the lineage of that of Franco Mezzena and his compendious recordings of the composer’s music with groups such as Symphonia Perusina. Saccon plays his own attractive and apt cadenzas, and vests the slow movement with a considerable amount of pathos or ‘affect’, phrasing with warmth but without resorting to too much vibrato usage. The finale is gracious and vital, with Saccon evincing elegance throughout and the little explosive orchestral moments well attended to by conductor Giovanni Battista Rigon.
Whatever one’s view of the rest of the programming, Saccon certainly doesn’t disappoint. The Mozart Rondos and the Adagio are played with neat assurance, and Saccon has chosen well when deciding to incorporate Franco Gulli’s charismatic cadenzas. The world is not short of recordings of the two Beethoven Romances, but all a musician can do is play them well. This Saccon does, and he has been accorded very respectable orchestral support and a sympathetic recording.
The primary focus of this disc must remain the Viotti which I don’t think ousts Mezzena’s but which reflects well on all concerned nonetheless. The Mozart and Beethoven offer comparable virtues.
Jonathan Woolf  

Saccon certainly doesn’t disappoint.