During his lifetime, the Italian composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695–1764) could have been considered a fully-fledged star in the world of composition. Although he was recognised for his awe-inspiring virtuoso violin playing (which earned him the nickname of ‘The Devil’), it was his shrewd approach to publishing that secured him such a wide audience. Nevertheless, like so many distinguished composers of his era, his works fell into obscurity after his death, and it is only in the 21st century that a deserved revival is taking place, spearheaded by Igor Ruhadze and Ensemble Violini Capricciosi.
In this 2-disc release, the first volume in Brilliant Classics’ exciting new edition of Locatelli’s complete works, the Italian composer’s trio sonatas are brought into focus, taken from his Op.5 and Op.8 collections. The genre was popular in the mid-18th century, and Locatelli must have had commercial motivations for publishing two sets. However, the music itself remains elegant and sophisticated, catering to shifting popular tastes (adopting elements of the flourishing galant style, for example), while maintaining variety across the collections and carefully balancing traditional and new elements.
This new volume is lent further authority by its performers, Ensemble Violini Capricciosi. A new ensemble led by Igor Ruhadze, it is comprised of musicians who all specialise in historical performance practice, and is therefore perfectly placed to deliver performances of sensitivity and insight. Comprehensive in scope, as this volume demonstrates, the Locatelli Edition promises to be an exciting addition to Brilliant Classics’ catalogue of recordings by rediscovered composers.
- Volume 1 of Brilliant Classics’ Locatelli Edition, with future releases by Igor Ruhadze and Ensemble Violini Capricciosi to follow. The Locatelli Edition will be issued in separate sets containing the various repertoire segments (violin concertos, trio sonatas etc).
- Locatelli, like many of his contemporaries, moved abroad and settled in Amsterdam/The Netherlands, concertising as a violinist (and a “devil” he was as a performer!), and founding a flourishing publishing house.
- Locatelli composed in the tradition of the Italian Baroque, in the well known forms of the Concerto Grosso, Solo Concerto and Trio Sonata. His style is inventive, flamboyant, and extremely virtuoso. His violin sonatas and concertos still present a daunting challenge even to todays violinists.
- Russian violinist Igor Ruhadze was trained in his native Moscow as a virtuoso on the modern violin. However, his interest took him into early music, playing with such ensembles as Musica ad Rhenum, Jed Wentz and others. His solid technique enables him to tackle the often fearful difficulties of Locatelli’s music with ease, charm and brilliance. His ensemble play on original instruments, and follow the Historically Informed Performance Practice.
- Historically-informed performances on period instruments
- Includes booklet notes, with an introduction to Locatelli and notes on his trio sonatas.