FEDERIGO FIORILLO (1755 - 1823)
The name of Federigo Fiorillo is all too well known to violinists, nurtured still on his 36 Caprices for their instrument. Born in Brunswick in 1755, the son of an Italian opera composer, he made his earlier career as a player of the mandolin, before adding performance on the violin to his range of concert activity which took him to St Petersburg, to Paris and for three years to Riga as music director. He served as violist in Salomon's quartet in London, where he moved in 1788, and played in the Haydn concerts during the latter's first London visit, but seems to have retired relatively early from concert performance. His death, probably in London, occurred some time after 1823, when he is said to have visited Paris. A prolific composer, he wrote a number of orchestral works for groups of solo instruments. The Sinfonia Concertante for two oboes opens in true classical style, before the entry of the solo instruments, and continues to allow the solo instruments the necessary prominence in movements rich enough in melodic invention, charm and interest.