Lolli/Paisiello

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COMPOSERS: Lolli/Paisiello
LABELS: Opus
WORKS: Violin Concerto in C
PERFORMER: Tatiana Grindenko (violin); MAMA Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: 111 OPS 30-180
With this release Grindenko and the Moscow Academy of Ancient Music’s MAMA Orchestra celebrate the fashion for Italian music in 18th-century Russia. Supported by alert orchestral accompaniment, Grindenko – a pioneer of the eastern European period-instrument movement – gives a bold, virtuoso performance of Lolli’s C major Violin Concerto. Although the studio recording is rather dry for my taste, its close focus does present Grindenko’s robust playing and the orchestra’s firm sound with pleasing clarity. There could have been greater tonal warmth in the Adagio, but there is real charm in the final rondo.

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Paisiello was one of Italy’s most popular imports to 18th-century Russia. However, his small-scale chamber music has become sadly neglected. Here, Grindenko and the MAMA Orchestra give evidence of Paisiello’s melodic flair and fluent elegance in three divertimenti. Their stylish phrasing highlights the expressive power of the slow movements and the infectious vitality of the fast ones, revealing this repertoire’s remarkable dramatic scope. Grindenko’s keen interpretations and the MAMA orchestra’s vigorous playing style – vividly evoking the spirit of musical life at the St Petersburg Court – make rewarding listening. Nicholas Rast