Bach: Violin Concertos Giuliano Carmignola Primary Artist
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This release of {|Bach|}'s well-explored violin concertos (plus a couple of arranged keyboard concertos) by Italian violinist Giuliano Carmignola delivers truth in advertising on its back cover: the violinist, playing a 1739 Guidantus and leading the historical-instrument ensemble {|Concerto Köln|}, seems to cast fresh light on these much-loved masterpieces by imbuing them with all the joyfulness of his Venetian sound. What this means is that Bach is taken beyond even the vigorous Italian {|Vivaldi|} sound in vogue and into hoedown territory. It is absolutely something new and different, and it's hard to imagine Bach not being a bit startled by it. The fast movements are tumultuous and pushed to the edge in terms of tempo. Reactions to them will likely be entirely individual, and listeners might end up thinking that some of the concertos are enhanced or at least refracted in new directions by this approach, but that in others a certain Apollonian quality intrinsic to Bach is lost. Give Carmignola credit on a couple of counts: as fast and furious as things get, contrapuntal clarity is never lost, and in the slow movements he pours on an intensely lyrical quality that may also be unidiomatic, but will get to listeners if they let it. Carmignola is well supported by fine studio sound from the revived Archiv label, and in general this is the kind of album that gets points for sheer audacity.


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