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Works for Violin & Guitar

Monica Huggett, violin
Richard Savino, guitar
Harmonia Mundi France HMU907116 69:22 DDD
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An intimate evening; a stroll through the stone arcade at sunset. Titled "Romanza," this recital of classical guitar and violin nicely captures the atmosphere of a warm and gentle evening in Southern Italy.

The première guitarist of his day, Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) also understood the violin, as his duo sparks a wonderful courtship between the instruments. There are few harmonic surprises here – the concluding Rondeau has the most entertaining turns in its setting of a Hungarian gypsy dance. Savino is playfully at ease throughout.

The Paganini Grand Sonata (1803) presents sweet and predictable tunes without the virtuoso confetti of his well-known violin concertos. The guitar is the featured performer, and Paganini shows its range with some harmonics that were unique at the time. In the Sonata concertata, Huggett asserts her earthy tone as the violin stands equal. Her phrasing is fresh and spirited throughout.

Sonics are first rate, even better than those accorded Frederic Chiu at the same venue (Lucasfilm's Skywalker Ranch). Recommended.

Copyright © 1997, Robert J. Sullivan