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  • Italian Violin Sonatas (Locatelli · Geminiani · Veracini · Tartini · Mascitti) /Europa Galante · Biondi
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Italian Violin Sonatas (Locatelli · Geminiani · Veracini · Tartini · Mascitti) /Europa Galante · Biondi

2 customer reviews

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Biography

Fabio Biondi is one of the most important and influential figures of the Baroque period-instrument movement. Born in Palermo, he made his concerto debut with the RAI Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve, and gave his first recital on a Baroque violin in Vienna’s Musikverein when he was sixteen. He went on to work with such distinguished groups as Musica Antiqua Wien, La Chapelle ... Read more in Amazon's Fabio Biondi Store

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Product details

  • Composer: Francesco Geminiani, Francesco Maria Veracini, Giuseppe Tartini, Michele Mascitti, Pietro Antonio Locatelli
  • Audio CD (5 May 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00008XRSR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,852 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tim Edmonds VINE VOICE on 4 July 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an interesting collection of pieces by five eighteenth century Italian violinist/composers, all of whom were influenced to varying extents by Corelli.
Each of the pieces features the violin as the primary instrument, played expertly here by Fabio Biondi, but it by no means dominates proceedings. Playing with Biondi are the three members of Europa Galante, who between them use a cello, theorbo (bass lute), baroque guitar, cittern and a variety of keyboard instruments including an organ. These form a vital part of the music, sometimes taking a continuo part and sometimes duetting with the violin on more or less equal terms.
The opening sonata is by Veracini and consists of a French-style overture followed by a lively and melodious set of four dance tunes. Next is a more conventional four-movement piece by Locatelli, alternating elegant courtly adagios with fast-flowing allegros.
The middle piece stands out from the rest because Mascitti's "Psyché" is not a sonata but programme music - a delightful set of ten short movements based on a figure from classical mythology who had a love affair with Cupid. There is some lively interplay between the violin and the backing instruments - it sounds as though the musicians were really enjoying themselves.
It's back to the more traditional style with the Geminiani sonata, which comprises three movements - an austere andante and a grand allegro affettuoso sandwiching a lighter presto. The last piece, by Tartini, is also a three-movement sonata. The opening largo is a expressively measured, with an almost spiritual feel and a beautifully developed melody line which then leads into a pair of lively allegros.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philo on 2 Sept. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fine collection of 5 Italian baroque composers-violinists, brilliantly performed by Europa Galante. A nice piece to own and to give as a present to someone who appreciates authentic playing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
All roads lead back to Rome - and Corelli 26 Nov. 2005
By Alan Lekan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The liner notes give a colorful history of the five "minor composers" of the Italian violin virtuoso era featured on this CD - revealing a fascinating commonality (beyond the fact that all their names end in the letter "i"). And this was that they all seeem to have been guided, metaphorically at least, to Rome and Arcangelo Corelli. All studied his methods, modelled his style and payed homage to his legend in their compositions seen here on this sampler of a few not-so-famous Italian violin sonatas. Like Corelli, many of these composers wrote brilliant concerto grossi in the spirit of the master. But the less exaulted sonatas here are no less musically interesting - especially when played by one of the masters of the Italian Baroque, Fabio Biondi.

The lead Amazon reviewer above summarized this CD well, so no need to repeat much, other than to say that the collection of violin sonatas here are wonderfully played with the typical verve, artistry, expressivity and sensuous tone that has earned Biondi an enthusiastic following worldwide. If you like Biondi in Vivaldi, Bach or other his other Baroque music, this CD will surely not disappoint. It spotlights his lyrical talents in a more intimate way via the simpler violin sonata genre. The sound quality on Veritas/Virgin is pleasantly forward, most vivid and is very good overall (but not quite perfect). As with most of the Virgin recordings I have of the Europa Galante as compared to others, there seems to be a depth of "sound stage" somewhat lacking (to me at least), but really nothing to discourage aquiring and enjoying this CD or the others. Five stars for a most enthalling performance of these lesser-known works from Biondi and the Galante.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Italian Fiddler at His Best 25 Feb. 2008
By Timothy D. Hinck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't overstate the importance of these contemporary recordings of Italian music by Italian bands. It may be cliched to say that it takes an Italian to properly perform Italian music, but in this case it certainly seems to be the case. The sense of drama is so effective: the facility with which this group can drop from fortissimo to pianissimo, the timing of dramatic pauses, the variation in articulation, etc. There is a very advanced and improvisatory approach to ornamentation and vibrato (a much more liberal, but yet tasteful use of the latter than is found in the Northern-European recordings of this music). This is really the showcase album for Europa Galante's leader Fabio Biondi and his terrifying virtuosity and artistry. The only thing more terrifying than this intense and ferocious music is when it is placed in the hands of fiddler with such great music taste and control.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Want Some Fiery Fiddling? 4 Nov. 2007
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Felefeber" is a Scandinavian word for fiery fiddling, and that's what Fabio Biondi has to offer on this disk - virtuosic bow-work on his Baroque violin, with stunning use of double stops and the full tonal potential of gut strings. I know I've given out a lot of five-star reviews to Baroque ensembles lately, so I'll have to give this disk 6 or 7 to distinguish it. The big surprise for me is the Pysche suite by Michele Mascitti, a composer I'd never encountered before. It's fresh, eccentric, complex, and intellectually as well as sensually satisfying. The continuo of organ, cello, and theorbo is both brilliantly supportive of the fiddle-fire and at times independently expressive. The A minor sonata by Francesco Geminiani is also powerfully shaped and full of affect. If your sense of the Baroque violin repertory is centered on Vivaldi, you will be very delightfully surprised to hear how different the same musical language could sound when "spoken" by other Italian virtuosi.
This disk was released in 2003; my only complaint is that it's taken four years to reach me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Italian Violin Sonatas: Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante... 8 Mar. 2012
By D. S. HARDEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can add no more to the already positive (actually, glowing) praises for this work. I heard one of the Psyche recordings on XM Radio by Michele Mascitti and had to have it. This is a most excellent recording of Baroque-era compositions!

I can't help but recommend this to everyone!

I rate "Italian Violin Sonatas: Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante"...Five stars!
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