, January 2018
Gaetano Pugnani was one of the most brilliant violinists of his age. At age ten he joined the Royal Chapel of Turin—as first violinist. And his career just kept getting better.
Pugnani’s concertos are written a light, transparent Galant style. His music sounds similar to that of Johann Christian Bach and Carl Abel (he worked with both). The solo violin part has plenty to do. But there’s more to this music than just fireworks.
In order to do Pugnani’s music justice, his melodies should be played with sensitivity, expressiveness, and sometimes simplicity. Violinist Roberto Noferini has made a study of Pugnani’s concertos. His playing shows a real affinity with the music. And something more.
The cadenzas on this recording are all improvised. Noferini has some completely absorbed the music that he could improvise in the style of Pugnani.
And it works. Just listening to the music I didn’t hear anything that sounded out of place or anachronistic. And although Noferini’s cadenzas stay true to the style, they also work with the material in interesting ways.
This is fine music-making indeed. © 2018 WTJU Read complete review