The Bel Canto Violin Volume 3
Alfredo Campoli (violin)
With George Malcolm (piano), Eric Gritton (piano)
One of the most significant violinists in gramophone history, Alfredo Campoli enjoyed tremendous success in the 1930s as a purveyor of light music, both in concerts with his own salon orchestra and on Decca. A series of six 2CD reissues from Eloquence focuses on the violinist’s postwar reinvention of himself as ‘Campoli’, the classical soloist.
Nonetheless, Campoli retained a popular touch, and an innate feeling for light-hearted music, which lends both grace and distinction to this anthology of encores, miniatures and trifles. The second disc reproduces an album conceived and released by Decca in February 1955 as an 80 th -anniversary tribute from Campoli to the man who was in many ways his artistic forefather, Fritz Kreisler. Both violinists were equally at home in the café as the concert hall; both could charm the birds from the trees with the brilliance of their technique but also the natural, beguiling warmth of their expression which seemed to reflect a special generosity of spirit. It is no coincidence that Campoli became so sympathetic interpreter of the Violin Concerto which Elgar had dedicated to Kreisler.
The Kreisler album is complemented here by a first international CD release on Decca for three 10” LPs. Three Paganini showpieces and three Dohnányi works arranged by Kreisler were recorded in April 1953 and released in the autumn; in December of that year, Campoli went on to make an acclaimed debut at Carnegie Hall. Two medium-play discs of encores were then recorded in December 1954 and January 1956, both with the violinist’s principal accompanist, Eric Gritton.
All the recordings in this series of ‘Alfredo Campoli: The Bel Canto Violin’ have been given new remasterings from original Decca sources. Invaluable context on both artist and repertoire is provided by new booklet essays from Campoli’s biographer David Tunley.
anon.: Deep river
Debussy: Minstrels (from Préludes - Book 1)
Dohnányi: Ruralia Hungarica for Violin and Piano, Op. 32c
Drigo: Valse Bluette for Viola & Piano
Elgar: La Capricieuse, Op. 17
Fibich: Poème Op. 41 No. 14
Fiocco, J H: Allegro
Foster, S: Old folks at home
Gardner, Samuel: From the Canebrake
Granados: Danza española, Op. 37 No. 5 'Andaluza'
Heuberger: Midnight Bells (from Der Opernball)
Kreisler: Caprice Viennois, Op. 2
Kreisler: La Chasse (The Hunt) in the style of Jean-Baptiste Cartier
Kreisler: La Gitana
Kreisler: Polichinelle, serenade
Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro (in the style of Pugnani)
Kreisler: Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven
Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin
Kreisler: Tambourin Chinois, Op. 3
Mendelssohn: Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Op. 34 No. 2
Paderewski: Minuet in G major, Op. 14 No. 1
Paganini: Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 13 in B flat major
Paganini: Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 20 in D major
Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 7: Rondo ‘La Campanella
Ponce, M: Estrellita
Schubert of Dresden Jr.: Die Biene, Op. 13 No. 9
Schubert: L'Abeille (from 12 Bagatelles, Op. 13)
Tartini: Variations on a Theme of Corelli
Wieniawski: Étude-caprice, Op. 18 No. 2 in E flat major
Wieniawski: Étude-caprice, Op. 18 No. 4 in A minor