Ruggiero Ricci – Complete American Decca Recordings

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9 CD 

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028948419883

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Ruggiero Ricci (Violin)

Contents

CD 1

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741) Concertos for Violin, Strings and Continuo, Op. 8 Nos. 1–4 ‘Le quattro stagioni’ (The Four Seasons) Ruggiero Ricci, violin / conductor; Stradivarius Chamber Orchestra

CD 2 NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 7

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Violin Concerto No. 1 in A major, Op. 20 Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / Max Rudolf

CD 3

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750)

Sonata No. 1 in G minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1001*

Partita No. 1 in B minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1002*

Sonata No. 2 in A minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1003*

Ruggiero Ricci, violin

CD 4

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685–1750)

Partita No. 2 in D minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1004*

Sonata No. 3 in C major for Solo Violin, BWV 1005*

Partita No. 3 in E major for Solo Violin, BWV 1006*

Ruggiero Ricci, violin

CD 5

PABLO DE SARASATE (1844–1908)

8 Danzas españolas

Introduction et Tarantelle, Op. 43

Caprice basque, Op. 24 Serenata andaluza, Op. 28

Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Brooks Smith, piano FIRST RELEASE ON CD

CD 6

FRITZ KREISLER (1875–1962)

Praeludium and Allegro ‘in the style of Pugnani’

Siciliano and Rigaudon ‘in the Style of Francoeur’

Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane ‘in the style of Couperin’

Rondino on a theme by Beethoven

Variations on a theme by Corelli ‘in the style of Tartini’

Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, Op. 6 (for solo violin)

Caprice viennois

Tambourin chinois

Liebesfreud

Liebesleid

Schön Rosmarin

La Gitana

The Old Refrain

La Chasse ‘in the style of Cartier’

‘Meet The Masters’ – Ruggiero Ricci interviewed by Victor Alexander*

Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Brooks Smith, piano *FIRST RELEASE ON CD

CD 7

THE GLORY OF CREMONA

JEAN-ANTOINE DESPLANES (1678–1760) Intrada

PIETRO NARDINI (1722–1793) Larghetto [Adagio] (from Violin Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, arr. David)

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741) Preludio (from Violin Sonata in C minor, Op. 2 No. 7, RV 8)

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Cantabile e Valser, Op. 19

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756–1791) Adagio (from Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, KV 282, arr. Friedberg)

DIMITRY KABALEVSKY (1904–1987) Improvisation for Violin and Piano, Op. 21 No. 1

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) Mélodie in E flat major, Op. 42 No. 3 (from Souvenir d’un lieu cher)

FRANCESCO MARIA VERACINI (1690–1768) Largo (from Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 2 No. 6)

MARIA THERESIA VON PARADIS (1759–1824) Sicilienne

JENŐ HUBAY (1858–1937) Violin Solo, Op. 40a (from The Violin Maker of Cremona)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759) Andante (from Flute Sonata in B minor, HWV 367b. arr. as ‘Larghetto’ by Hubay)

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Romance in A major, Op. 94 No. 2 (arr. Kreisler)

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897) Hungarian Dance No. 20 in E minor, WoO 1 (arr. Kreisler) & Hungarian Dance No. 17 in F sharp minor WoO 1 (arr. Kreisler)

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809–1847) Lied ohne Worte, Op. 62 No. 1: Andante espressivo ‘May Breezes’ (arr. Kreisler)

MAX BRUCH (1838–1920) Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 (excerpt) – Played on 15 different violins Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Leon Pommers, piano FIRST INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ON CD

CD 8

BRAVURA!

PIETRO LOCATELLI (1695–1764)C Capriccio (from The Harmonic Labyrinth, Op. 3 No. 12)

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Introduction and Variations on ‘Nel cor più non mi sento’ for solo violin

HEINRICH WILHELM ERNST (1812–1865) Airs Hongrois Variés, Op. 22

FRANZ VON VECSEY (1893–1935) Caprice No. 1: Le Vent

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835–1880) Les Arpèges – Variations sur L’Hymne Autrichien (No. 6 of L’École moderne, Op. 10)

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Variations on a theme of Joseph Weigl

HEINRICH WILHELM ERNST (1812–1865) Variations on ‘The Last Rose Of Summer’ for solo violin

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Variations on ‘God Save the King’ for solo violin, Op. 9 Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Leon Pommers, piano FIRST RELEASE ON CD

CD 9

VIOLIN PLUS 1

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741) Sonata in A major for Violin and Continuo, Op. 2 No. 2, RV 31 Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Kenneth Cooper, harpsichord

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124 Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Gloria Agostini, harp

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782–1840) Sonata No. 12 in E minor for Violin and Guitar, Op. 3 No. 6 Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Rolando Valdés-Blain, guitar

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887–1959) Suite for Voice and Violin Ruggiero Ricci, violin; Lee Venora, soprano

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891–1953) Sonata for Two Violins in C major, Op. 56 Ruggiero Ricci, violin I; David Nadien, violin II FIRST RELEASE ON CD

STEREO RECORDINGS

Several legendary but long-unavailable recordings freshly remastered in a comprehensive ‘original covers’ set of Ruggiero Ricci’s recordings for American Decca during the 1960s.

With definitive accounts of the Tchaikovsky Concerto and the Paganini Caprices recorded in 1950, Ruggiero Ricci became established as a Decca artist in the early days of LP. A decade later he began recording for Decca’s American division, and between 1960 and 1970 he made nine albums of solo, recital and concerto repertoire which are gathered here in one set for the first time. Ricci had already recorded some of the solo Bach sonatas and partitas, but in 1967 he made his first complete set for American Decca. Tully Potter’s illuminating booklet essay explains how a snowstorm forced Ricci to hole up in a hotel for several days prior to the sessions, and his devoted his time to perfecting his interpretations of Bach.

Ricci was renowned for the astonishing virtuosity that enabled him to tackle the Caprices and Concertos of Paganini without breaking sweat – he became the first great exponent of the composer in the LP era with his Decca recordings – and he remade the Second Concerto for American Decca in 1964 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Max Rudolf: one of several albums here receiving its first international release on CD.

The American Decca legacy of Ricci also included several ‘concept albums’ which soon became collector’s items. The set opens with the first of them from 1964, on which the violinist plays The Four Seasons of Vivaldi on four different Strads, one for each concerto, with a string ensemble fielding another ten Strads for a uniquely rich string sound. Two years earlier, Ricci had made “The Glory of Cremona”, which saw him play fifteen priceless violins in sessions attended by two security guards. Even these two projects pale beside the astonishing virtuosity on display in “Bravura!”, which collects some of Ricci’s favourite “knuckle-breakers” by Paganini, Wieniawski and Ernst.

The set closes with another album new to CD, “Violin Plus 1” from 1970, which paired Ricci with five different musicians for a unique display of his versatility, accompanying soprano Lee Venora in Villa-Lobos, taking the spotlight in a Saint-Saëns Fantaisie for violin and harp, and meeting David Nadien as an equal in the Sonata for Two Violins by Prokofiev. As well as one of the last century’s most spell-binding technicians on the violin, Ricci was a complete musician, to whom this set pays eloquent tribute.

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