Locatelli: Concerto No. 1 in D major; Pisendel: Concerto in G minor; Leclair: Concerto in D major
Il Pomo d’Oro/Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin)
Naïve OP 30576 77.00 mins
With his long, dark locks, dramatic stage presence and devil-may-care virtuosity, Russian violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky is a latter-day Paganini, who brings to this programme of Baroque pyrotechnics the perfect balance of fire (‘pyr’) and art (‘tekhnikos’). He breezes through the salvo of technical challenges: multiple stoppings, bariolage, vertiginous leaps, embellishments, flashing scales and arpeggios – all are parried with brazen abandon. Yet he also brings a refined musicality and a sense of period style to these concertos, so alongside the fireworks there’s playing of exquisite delicacy and tenderness. In the first movement of Locatelli’s D major Concerto, for instance, Sinkovsky scampers through the fiendish, cadenza-like capriccio with a gossamer touch; there’s wistful intimacy to the lovely Andante cantabile of Tartini’s A minor work, while a spectral quality haunts the Sempre piano from Telemann’s B flat Concerto – a hypnotic movement redolent of the Largo from Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’.
Above all, though, a quasi-operatic quality pervades. Sinkovsky (who is also an outstandingly gifted countertenor) brings a vocalist’s sense of lyricism and articulation to these readings: the violin sings Tartini’s bel canto melodies, theatrical pathos infuses to the third movement Adagio of Leclair’s D major Concerto, while the second Largo from Pisendel’s G minor work is so pleadingly uttered that even the hardest heart would dissolve.
Il Pomo d’Oro is proving to be one of the most brilliant ensembles on the early music stage today, and the players respond to Sinkovsky’s direction with blazing energy. It’s only February, but this could well end up being my disc of the year.