Alfredo Campoli


Born: October 20, 1906; Rome, Italy   Died: March 27, 1991; Princes Risborough, England  
This revered violinist was remarkable for the exquisite tone he drew from his Stradivarius (the Dragonetti, dated 1700), as well as his comprehensive musicianship. His interests embraced works from the Classical period through compositions written by the composers of his own time. His collaborations with the best conductors were always of a special order: two great artists meeting for the full realization of works they both valued. Campoli was Read more born to a father who taught violin at Rome's Accademia Santa Cecilia and a mother who had retired from a career of concert and operatic performance. At the age of five, Alfredo began his musical studies with his father. Several years later, after the family had moved to London, the child was heard in a series of concerts given for English forces at YMCA facilities. At the age of 13, Campoli began entering competitions, eventually winning seven first prizes, a silver cup, and two gold medals. One of these was presented to him by Princess Mary at the 1919 London Music Festival after a performance of Mendelssohn's violin concerto. Campoli's professional debut came with a recital at London's Wigmore Hall. In the aftermath of his success there, offers came from all regions of the country for both recital engagements and solo appearances with England's premiere orchestras. Given the depressed state of the British economy, Campoli pursued a career in light music during the 1930s, gaining celebrity for his radio broadcasts with his Salon Orchestra. Smaller settings, afforded him by his Welbeck Light Quartet and his trio, also heightened his popularity with the public. At the same time, Campoli maintained a schedule of performances, if a less arduous one, devoted to serious music. With Sir Henry Wood, he appeared at a 1938 Promenade Concert. Prior to the beginning of WWII, Campoli disbanded his Salon ensemble and stood ready to provide concerts for British forces. Initially, Campoli's Italian citizenship stood in the way of his broadcasting, but eventually that obstacle was cleared. In any event, it did not interfere with the innumerable concerts the violinist gave for troops in hospitals and army camps and for British workers keeping up the war effort in the nation's factories. Upon the conclusion of hostilities, Campoli resumed his career, concentrating on serious music and making extended tours of Europe, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Appearing once more on regular BBC programs, he eventually amassed a total of more than 1,000 broadcasts. Recordings for British Columbia and HMV also added to Campoli's expanding audience. Campoli's American debut came as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic on December 5, 1953, when he performed Lalo's Symphonie espagnole under conductor George Szell. Later, the violinist undertook several American tours. In 1956, he toured the Soviet Union as part of a troop of British artists (the first since WWII) and was subsequently invited to return to perform in orchestral concerts. Campoli's recorded artistry maintains as persuasive a hold on the imagination as it did in concert. However sensuous, the beautifully sculpted tone never cloys. The violinist's grace and ease prompted from certain conductors (Boult, for example) a less-confined, less emotionally restricted performance. Campoli's ability to invest a full measure of life into his work while never letting his tone slip out of focus is uncanny. Several discs on the Beulah label reissue incomparable Decca performances. Read less
Browse 1-9 of 9 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Elgar Rediscovered
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 0167 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Edward German
    Performer:  May Grafton,  Alfredo Campoli,  Harold Pedlar,  Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Alfredo Campoli,  Landon Ronald,  Sir Henry Coward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Alfredo Campoli's Salon Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 3.
    Bax, Moeran, Benjamin: Violin Concertos; Walton: Cello Concerto / BBC...
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2114 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Benjamin,  Ernest John Moeran,  Arnold Bax,  Sir William Walton
    Performer:  Derek Collier,  Alfredo Campoli,  André Gertler,  Gregor Piatigorsky
    Conductor:  Stanford Robinson,  Rudolf Schwarz,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Northern Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 5.
    Boult Conducts Elgar / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 5010 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Pablo Casals
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $22.99
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  • 6.
    Elgar: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / London Po, Et Al
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Alexander Cameron,  John Chambers,  Rodney Friend  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $58.99
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Fistoulari, Lso
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7024/25 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Willem de Mont
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 8.
    Coates, Moeran: Violin Concertos / Boult, Groves, Et Al
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 27806 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Douglas Coates,  Ernest John Moeran
    Performer:  Colin Sauer,  Alfredo Campoli
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Northern Symphony,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 9.
    Bliss: Introduction And Allegro, Concerto For Cello & Orchestra, Meditiations
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470186 Release Date: 05/20/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Robert Cohen
    Conductor:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Bernard Herrmann,  Elgar Howarth,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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