Album review: Frank Almond, A Violin's Life (Avie)


A Violin's Life tracks the specific instrument employed on the album, a famous Stradivari known as the “Lipinski”, through pieces written by, or for, its successive owners, beginning with the baroque formality of Giuseppe Tartini's “Sonata in G minor”, notable for its technically demanding double-stopped “Devil's Trills”, and proceeding to the Romanticism of Julius Röntgen's “Violin Sonata No 2 in F sharp”, from the late 19th century.

Particularly notable is Karol Lipinski's brief but dazzling “Caprice Op 29 No 3”, for which the instrument is primarily renowned, its dervish flourishes bearing out the faith of his tutor Salvini, whom, legend has it, smashed Lipinski's inferior instrument before presenting him with the rich-toned Strad.

Download: Caprice Op 29 No 3; Sonata in G minor