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Camillo Sivori: Opere Per Violino E Pianoforte

Sivori / Tortorelli / Meluso
Release Date: 04/10/2012 
Label:  Tactus   Catalog #: 811901   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela MelusoMauro Tortorelli
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SIVORI Tarantella. Rêverie. Fiori di Napoli. Variations on Nel cor più non mi sento. Romanzas.Variations on a Theme from Lucia di Lammermoor Mauro Tortorelli (vn); Angela Meluso (pn) TACTUS 811901 (63:19)


There’s some reason to consider the 19th-century violinist Camillo Sivori to be Nicolò Paganini’s only real student, although for Read more sure others found themselves following the maestro from town to town and listening to him through hotel-room walls in order to divine his musical and technical secrets. Sivori, in turn, taught Zino Francescatti’s father, who taught Zino, so that violinist had some claim to being Paganini’s direct violinistic descendent. Some stories about him make it seem less than certain that Sivori inherited a great deal of technical facility from his teacher. For example, it’s been said that in order to perform Paganini’s Moses , he played on a small violin with only one string, placed in the center of the fingerboard. To a certain extent, Sivori has been forgotten, although a compilation appeared in 1994 with violinist Bruno Pignata, pianist Riccardo Agosti, and pianist Franco Giacosa, reviewed somewhat ambivalently by David K. Nelson in Fanfare 18:1, as did another more recently (by Ingolf Turban and I Virtuosi di Paganini on Telos 115, which I urgently recommended in Fanfare 33:6), including his music as well as that of his teacher. In any case, Mauro Tortorelli’s and Angela Meluso’s collection includes some works that didn’t appear on either of these. Their program opens with the Tarantella, which Renato Riccio’s notes assign to about 1829, when Sivori would have reached only his early teenage years. In its declamatory recitative-like introduction, Tortorelli reveals himself keenly attuned to the lyrical side of the composer’s personality as well as to his more overtly virtuosic one—and perhaps more so, since he sounds a bit brittle in the crisp staccato passages. Still, he brings a youthful exuberance to the work that’s hard to resist. Violinist Bruno Pignata and pianist Franco Giacosa, collaborating in some arrangements for trio with cellist Riccardo Agosti, included this item in their collection of the composer’s works on Dynamic CDS 115, but otherwise there’s no overlap in the programs. In fact, though, Pignata provides a more effervescent, headlong reading of the Tarantella, sounding less brittle in its technical passages.


The Rêverie depends on a similarly singing virtuosity, and while Tortorelli sounds confident in the singing, he seems a bit brittle and even occasionally awkward in intonation and bow control in the virtuosity (while some of the timbral stiffness might be attributed to Tortorelli’s instrument, the spottiness has to be attributed to him alone). Fiori di Napoli , which follows, similarly melds virtuosic passages with cantabile , although its technical demands far surpass those of anything that precedes it on the program. Here, Sivori emerges as a swashbuckling technician, but Tortorelli gives listeners a more vivid impression of its challenges than he does of any wholly satisfactory way of surmounting them. He certainly doesn’t make them sound ingratiating for the violinist, although anyone who hears Tortorelli will obtain a strong impression of the work’s élan nonetheless, which they may be tempted to place on a roughly equal footing with those of Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, who had some claim to have inherited Paganini’s mantle. The variations on Giovanni Paisiello’s melody Nel cor più non mi sento , which Riccio assigns to Sivori’s 17th year, provide a brightly engaging alternative to the set by Paganini. The third variation’s alternating runs and staccatos don’t always hit their marks in Tortorelli’s reading, but the piece’s charm somehow invariably finds its way through arguably superficial imperfections in the performance. That’s even more noticeable, perhaps, in the second-to-last variation, although Tortorelli’s pizzicatos in the last one, which he plays unevenly, finally exact their heavy toll. Ingolf Turban included the Two Romances without Words , which follow, on his program of music by Paganini and Sivori on Telos 115, which I urgently recommended. Tortorelli sounds ardent in the first and sensitively expressive in the second (but then, so does Turban, who employs more portamentos to heighten the effect of the first, even if he doesn’t wring quite so much drawing-room sensibility as does Tortorelli from the second).


The program concludes with a set of variations on a melody from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lamermoor , and these embody a transcendental virtuosity that challenge Paganini’s works themselves, or Ernst’s. For some reason, Tortorelli seems to have summoned all his strength for these ultimate hurdles, and he makes it over the top in most (but by no means all) of them, even if his bow tends to skid in flying staccatos (maybe that’s part of the enjoyment—he makes the work sound like fun, and if it isn’t going to plumb the depths anyway, what’s wrong with that?).


If Tortorelli’s readings aren’t the ne plus ultra in this repertoire, they do demonstrate just what the composer demands and serve as an invitation to other violinists to follow him; many should be sorely tempted to accept. Rather strongly recommended, accordingly, although more for the direction in which it points than for any elegance in the design of the pointer itself.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tarantella for violin & piano, Op. 21 by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2.
Rêverie, for violin & piano by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
3.
Fiori di Napoli, for violin & piano, Op. 22 by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 13 Minutes 21 Secs. 
4.
Variations for violin & piano on "Nel cor più non mi sento", Op. 2 by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 17 Minutes 26 Secs. 
5.
Romance for violin & piano No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 23/1 by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Romance for violin & piano No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 23/2 by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Angela Meluso (Fortepiano), Mauro Tortorelli (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7.
Introduction & Variations on themes from Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor", for violin & piano by Camillo Sivori
Performer:  Mauro Tortorelli (Violin), Angela Meluso (Fortepiano)
Date of Recording: 04/2011 
Venue:  I Musicanti Studio, Rome, Italy 
Length: 14 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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