Binder, Boccherini etc, de Falla, Dompierre, Liszt, Paganini, Saint-Saens, Tartini: Works by Saint-Saëns, Binder, Tartini, Dompierre, de Falla, Liszt, Paganini, Boccherini etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Binder,Boccherini etc,de Falla,Dompierre,Liszt,Paganini,Saint-Saens,Tartini
LABELS: Analekta
WORKS: Works by Saint-Saëns, Binder, Tartini, Dompierre, de Falla, Liszt, Paganini, Boccherini etc
PERFORMER: La Pietà/Angèle Dubeau (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: AN 2 8723

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Angèle Dubeau named her string orchestra La Pietà after the orphanage where Vivaldi tutored his orchestra of abandoned, mostly illegitimate girls. Contemporary accounts report that they played like angels, but today’s La Pietà has decided to turn towards the dark side with a devilishly fun programme of music inspired by Lord Beelzebub himself.

Most of the usual suspects are here (Tartini, Liszt, Paganini, whose 24th Caprice is presented with Szymanowski’s spicy harmonies), played with immaculate tone and technique by 11 strings and piano. The expected splashes of colour – the hollow, vibrato-less timbres at the opening of Danse Macabre, the whistling harmonics and glissandos in Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in the West – are joined by some unexpected textural niceties, such as the beguiling interplay between soloists and orchestra in Boccherini’s Diabolic symphony, or the egalitarian sharing of melodic material in the Devil’s Trill.

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Two recent works by François Dompierre play with Latin inspired rhythms, while the arrangement of the Devil’s Reel sounds like an unholy alliance between Holst and Piazzolla. However, the Rolling Stones’s Paint it Black is simply too tame by far, and just occasionally one wants a bit more sulphur in the overall sound. The accompanying DVD is a taster for La Pietà’s immensely popular television programmes. Howard Goldstein