One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,670 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Cyril Scott piano music

Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Symphony for solo piano

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770)
Violin Concerto in A major, D.96
Violin Concerto in B flat major, D.117
Violin Concerto in G major, D.78
Violin Concerto in E minor, D.56
Violin Concerto in G major, D.83
Salvatore Accardo (violin)
I Musici (D.96, 117 & 78); English Chamber Music (D.78, 56 & 83)
rec. 5-7 September 1973, Salle des Remparts, La tour de Peltz, Switzerland (D.96, 117 & 78); 26-27 February 1982, St. Barnabas Church, North Finchley, London, England (D.78, 56 & 83)
ELOQUENCE 482 5079 [61:51 + 42:14]

There could hardly be a better combination than Salvatore Accardo and I Musici on the first disc of this collection of Tartini's Violin Concertos. In these works, which straddle the Baroque and Classical eras, the performers are at one in the way they bring out the formal elegance of the music's structure with sparkle and buoyancy demonstrating the ways in which Tartini foreshadowed composers such as Haydn and Boccherini. But a balanced contrast is struck with the Baroque character of the music: Accardo steps out seamlessly from his integrated playing with I Musici in the recurring ritornello sections for all the instrumentalists and into the limelight as the soloist in the intervening sections, presaging the more fully developed concertos of Mozart, for example, with the almost Classically refined profile of their melodies.

In the latter Accardo pursues the melodic line like a golden thread with sweet, soft-toned phrases that embody a richer timbre than authentic-practice performers would countenance today, but is not so lustrously Romantic as to unsettle the overall balance of these poised interpretations. That effect is most stunning in the rapt slow movements where the simplicity of Tartini's writing is invested by the performers with a profound emotional character - in the case of the Concerto in G D.78, the Largo andante is scored simply for the soloist over soft pulsing quavers from the two orchestral violin parts alone. Even where the music becomes more strenuous, as in the contrapuntal first movement of the B flat Concerto and its cadenza, Accardo retains composure of tone and the linear unity of the music's long phrases.

Equally impressive is the panache with which both Accardo and I Musici realise the more florid aspects of Tartini's writing, where ornamental triplets remain under consummate control, as do the frothy execution of trills, especially in the first movement of the A major Concerto. Accardo's embellishments of the solo line in the repeated sections of some movements may take too many liberties for some, such as in the above-mentioned G major Concerto. But there is no doubting the stylishness with which he carries that off, and the nature of his embellishments certainly take their cue from those written into Tartini's score.

As an early ensemble which similarly turned from older-fashioned ideas about the performance of Baroque music towards a lighter-footed charisma, whilst still using modern instruments, the English Chamber Orchestra's performances on the second disc complement those by I Musici on the first. The ECO are a little more sturdy and forthright than their Italian counterparts whose crisp textures sound as though achieved more or less effortlessly. But, if anything, Accardo delivers the solo part with a sweeter daintiness, sustaining more of a contrast between his contribution and that of the ECO's. This re-issued double CD set provides a welcome confirmation of Accardo's reputation as a performer whose unmannered but characterful playing is as enticing in the music of the Baroque era as it is in the Romantic Concerto warhorses.

Curtis Rogers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,619 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger