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Geminiani: Violin Sonatas, Op. 4 Igor Ruhadze, Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya

Geminiani: Violin Sonatas, Op. 4 Igor Ruhadze, Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya

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Ruhadze plays Geminiani: the latest volume in a revelatory project breathing new life into the founding figures of the Italian violin school of the 18th century. The violinist Igor Ruhadze has already attracted superlatives and a dedicated following for his series of Locatelli albums on Brilliant Classics. With his colleague Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, he has now turned to no less significant a figure in the rapidly evolving world of 18th-century Italy, Francesco Geminiani. In 2022, their album of the Op.1 Violin Sonatas won universal praise: ‘a superb new recording … These musicians do honour to the period performance movement, and their release goes straight to the head of today’s Baroque offerings.’ As another Fanfare reviewer observed, 'The early-music world needs more performers like Igor Ruhadze. The violinist, born in Russia and now living in Amsterdam, divides his time between historically informed performance of Baroque music and conventional "modern" violin playing, and the results are outstanding. He plays on a Jacobs violin from 1693, and his sound in Geminiani's Op.1 sonatas is sweet and majestic, with a wonderfully sustained and developed melodic line.' Lending further attraction to these albums is that the sonatas in each collection are so rarely gathered together, but rather performed piecemeal within compilations of the Italian Baroque. Yet the genius of Geminiani stands up on its own. While the Op.1 collection dates from 1714, just two years after Geminiani had settled in London, Op.4 was published in 1739, alongside a revision of Op.1. In the meanwhile he had become known, not only in England but across Europe, for the brilliance and imagination of his playing, which transfers itself so readily on to the pages of these sonatas. They posed the stiffest challenge to violinists of their time – perhaps only Geminiani himself could have done them full justice – and yet now they come alive under the fingers of Ruhadze with new energy in which flamboyance is balanced with grace and elegance.

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    • Number of Discs: 2
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    • Label: Brilliant Classics
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