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Review for Locatelli CD

American Record Guide, July/August 2014
The third volume of the Locatelli Edition includes all 12 of the Op. 3 violin concertos plus two earlier unpublished concertos in A and E recorded here for the first time. Ruhadze also performs the 24 Capriccios in the manner Locatelli intended - inserted like cadenzas at the ends of the fast movements (I and III) of each concerto. Igor Ruhadze is a skilled violinist, certainly equal to this very technically demanding repertory. His fingers fly through the Capriccios; slow movements take on an intense, evocative timbre.

The first and only Complete Locatelli Edition ever!

The first and only Complete Locatelli Edition ever!
Igor Ruhadze and his group Ensemble Violini Capricciosi have dedicated themselves to recording Locatelli's works for some years now. Careful research along with a genuine enthusiasm for the overlooked composer's works have led to a fine set of recordings, previously described by Gramophone as ‘brilliantly and at times breathtakingly performed'. The release also includes new recordings of the composer's Concerti Grossi Opp. 1 & 7 and Introduzioni Teatrali Op.4, as well as the haunting Sinfonia funebre, a work to mark the death of an unknown woman in Rome. The vibrant playing of the Ensemble Violini Capricciosi is complemented by Musica ad Rhenum, led by highly acclaimed flautist Jed Wentz, who perform the Flute and Trio Sonatas. This release represents excellent value for money, at only €30.00 for 21CDs of listening pleasure; a compelling and masterful accomplishment just waiting to be enjoyed.

Review for Locatelli CD

The Ensemble Violini Capricciosi   bring a lushness to the Locatelli music itself. The ensemble sounds energetic and sprightly in such movements as Sonata's ! Vivace-they dont create any impression of heaviness.The ensemble is smoothly elegant in passages.Strongly recommended for the music itself and for the dedicated, excoting performances. Robert Maxham. Fanfare magazine   January/February 2013
The Ensemble Violini Capricciosi, founded and led by Igor Ruhadze, who have bravely taken up the cause of performing the virtuoso violin repertory on period instruments, emerge from these recordings as fine advocates. The task is somewhat easier with the Op 5 Sonatas, where the writing is less flamboyant, closer in fact to Corelli, with gently lyrical slow movements and contrasting lively fast ones. The playing is elegantly supple, the string tone warm and the architecture of individual movements thoughtfully worked out. All this makes for a pleasant mood and enjoyable listening. The more exuberant Op 8 pieces are here brilliantly and at times breathtakingly performed but sometimes the pyrotechnics intrude to such an extent that those negative criticisms seem to have a point. Lapses of invention there certainly are but the music can also surprise, as in the final Allegro of Op 8 No 7, where the jaunty off-beat rhythms seem to belong to a different century.

Locatelli Volume 2 Violin Sonatas

Locatelli: Violin Sonatas
Ensemble Violini Capricciosi

About this release
Pietro Antonio Locatelli might not exactly be a household name, but in his day he was an international phenomenon -- a prodigiously talented violinist who entertained royalty and who had studied with Corelli's contemporaries from the age of 15. Renowned for exploring the very top register of his instrument, Locatelli is today considered the founding father of the modern virtuoso style. Spanning 5CDs, this compilation celebrates the genius of a man whose violin sonatas occupy an significant position in the history of the string repertoire.

Locatelli's sonatas effectively exploit the capabilities of both the violin and violinist, with many containing extremely high notes as well as rapid shifts between these and lower notes. The composer is also credited with exploring new bowing techniques, such as rapid staccato runs and arpeggios all on one bow, and these are joined by whole passages of double stopping and extended cadenzas -- substantial features of the works on the compilation. All in all, there is little doubt that these sonatas were revolutionary masterpieces of their time, ones that pushed the boundaries of technique and whose virtuosic passages continue to dazzle listeners of today.

Igor Ruhadze studied modern violin at the Moscow Central School of Music before pursuing his growing interest in music of the Baroque period. A pioneer of historically informed performance, he co-founded the Ensemble Violini Capricciosi with the aim of performing mostly virtuosic violin music on instruments from the relevant period. This disc marks the group's second recording for the Locatelli edition series, the first of which was devoted to the composer's trio sonatas.

This 5-CD set contains the Violin Sonatas, testimony of Locatelli's prodigious gifts as a supreme virtuoso in his day (people thought he was possessed by the devil! Definitively the Paganini of the Baroque...). His instrumental innovations still prove a huge challenge to today's violinists. Russian born and taught Igor Ruhadze succeeds with flying colours, as he already displayed in the first volume of the Locatelli Edition (BC 94376): "his effortless technique enables him to express the beautiful melodic lines and the imaginative instrumental ornamentations of these wonderful Baroque sonatas."
- The CD cover shows picturesque images of Amsterdam, the city where Locatelli settled, worked and prospered.
- Includes booklet notes on the composer and each of the pieces.

It is probably no coincidence that these concertos are less often played and recorded than, for instance, the violin concertos by Vivaldi or Tartini. Many of these are not easy either, but may have a stronger musical appeal to performers and audiences alike. Even so, this disc is to be welcomed, especially because of the impressive performances by Igor Ruhadze. It was said in his time that Locatelli always played in tune, but that his tone was coarse. Nothing of the latter can be noticed here, fortunately. Ruhadze produces a beautiful tone, and even in the most difficult passages there is no hint of stress in his tone. It is one of the virtues of these performances that they go beyond a technical exhibition. Ruhadze and his colleagues underline the musical substance of these concertos in a convincing manner.

The ensemble is rather small and performs with one instrument per part. That is a matter of choice; it is perfectly legitimate to play these concertos with a slightly larger ensemble. The tutti are performed well, but now and then I felt that there is a bit too much staccato playing, for instance in the opening movement of the Concerto No. 2 in c minor. It reminds me of the performances from the days before historical performance practice became the standard.

This complete recording of the op. 3 has two interesting additions: violin concertos which have not been published and have come down to us in manuscript. They seem a little more modest in their technical requirements, and I find them quite interesting and valuable additions to the catalogue. I don't know whether they have been recorded before, but I had never heard them. They definitely deserve to be part of the standard repertoire of professional violinists.

All things considered, this is a fine set, and if you want to get the best possible impression of what Locatelli's L'Arte del Violino is like, don't miss it.

Johan van Veen (© 2014)


Locatelli Edition Volume 1

Ensemble Violini Capricciosi and Igor Ruhadze
The first volume( 2 CD's) in Brilliant Classics' exciting new edition of Locatelli's complete works, the Italian composer's trio sonatas are brought into focus, taken from his Op.5 and Op.8 collections.

About this release
During his lifetime, the Italian composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695--1764) could have been considered a fully-fledged star in the world of composition. Although he was recognised for his awe-inspiring virtuoso violin playing (which earned him the nickname of 'The Devil'), it was his shrewd approach to publishing that secured him such a wide audience. Nevertheless, like so many distinguished composers of his era, his works fell into obscurity after his death, and it is only in the 21st century that a deserved revival is taking place, spearheaded by Igor Ruhadze and Ensemble Violini Capricciosi.

In this 2-disc release, the first volume in Brilliant Classics' exciting new edition of Locatelli's complete works, the Italian composer's trio sonatas are brought into focus, taken from his Op.5 and Op.8 collections. The genre was popular in the mid-18th century, and Locatelli must have had commercial motivations for publishing two sets. However, the music itself remains elegant and sophisticated, catering to shifting popular tastes (adopting elements of the flourishing galant style, for example), while maintaining variety across the collections and carefully balancing traditional and new elements.

This new volume is lent further authority by its performers, Ensemble Violini Capricciosi. A new ensemble led by Igor Ruhadze, it is comprised of musicians who all specialise in historical performance practice, and is therefore perfectly placed to deliver performances of sensitivity and insight. Comprehensive in scope, as this volume demonstrates, the Locatelli Edition promises to be an exciting addition to Brilliant Classics' catalogue of recordings by rediscovered composers.

Other information:
- Volume 1 of Brilliant Classics' Locatelli Edition, with future releases by Igor Ruhadze and Ensemble Violini Capricciosi to follow. The Locatelli Edition will be issued in separate sets containing the various repertoire segments (violin concertos, trio sonatas etc).
- Locatelli, like many of his contemporaries, moved abroad and settled in Amsterdam/The Netherlands, concertising as a violinist (and a "devil" he was as a performer!), and founding a flourishing publishing house.
- Locatelli composed in the tradition of the Italian Baroque, in the well known forms of the Concerto Grosso, Solo Concerto and Trio Sonata. His style is inventive, flamboyant, and extremely virtuoso. His violin sonatas and concertos still present a daunting challenge even to todays violinists.
- Russian violinist Igor Ruhadze was trained in his native Moscow as a virtuoso on the modern violin. However, his interest took him into early music, playing with such ensembles as Musica ad Rhenum, Jed Wentz and others. His solid technique enables him to tackle the often fearful difficulties of Locatelli's music with ease, charm and brilliance. His ensemble play on original instruments, and follow the Historically Informed Performance Practice.
- Historically-informed performances on period instruments
- Includes booklet notes, with an introduction to Locatelli and notes on his trio sonatas.

Locatelli project

10 October, on his Birthday, Igor Ruhadze and ensemble Violini Capricciosi started the biggest at the moment recording project inThe Netherlands.Together with Brilliant Classics Igor Ruhadze and ensemble Violini Caprissiosi will record complete works of Pietro Antonio Locatelli !!!!It is around 17CD with chamber music,all violin concertos and   all orchestra works.

All information about the project on Facebook, Twitter and our web-site.

Concert in English church Amsterdam

Dear friends of Violini Caprissiosi!

We are coming back to English church in Amsterdam with several concerts this season.
The first concert was on 16th of October with program “Tête-à-tête": playful and joyful duets for 2 violins by G.F.Teleman,   A.Vivaldi, J.M.Leclair.
Our next concert   of Violini Capricciosi in English Church in Amsterdam will be on 29th of January 2012. After the week of the Locatelli recording in Scheidam we will present to you program "Salon P.A.Locatelli": sonatas for 1 and 2 violins with basso continuo   by P.A.Locatelli himself and J.M.Leclair and A.Vivaldi.

Telemann Paris Quartets.

Musica An Rhenum: Jed Wentz, Igor Ruhadze, Job ter Haar, Cassandra L. Luckhardt, Michael Borgstede


The bubbling melodies and rhythms that run through all three CDs, the charisma of the soloists, the elan of the allegros (which borders, from time to time, on a Goebelesque frenzy) and an entirely youthful vigor paint an ardent and lyrical portrait of Telemann, especially in the more extended and attractive Nouveaux Quatours. Here Jed Wentz unleashes an unbridled, loquacious and enchanting virtuosity: listen - one example among 20 others - to the Modere and the Pas Vite of the fifth quartet and savor his luminous song, his arabesques, his faultless style.

Igor Ruhadze and Bart van Oort Romantische Meesterwerken voor viool en piano

Beethoven                   Frühlings Sonate op 23

Mendelssohn               Sonata in F (1838)

Schumann                              Romanzen

Schubert                      Grand Duo in A, D. 574

De Russische meesterviolist Igor Ruhadze gaf zijn glanzende solistencarrière en zijn prestigeuze docentschap aan het beroemde Tchaikovsky Conservatorium in Moskou op om zich in Nederland te specialiseren in de oude muziek. Al snel werd hij in Nederland, wereldwijd gidsland voor de oude muziek, een van de meest toonaangevende violisten. Er zijn niet veel musici die zich op historische instrumenten aan het grote romantische repertoire wagen. Zowel fortepianist Bart van Oort als Igor Ruhadze hebben bijzondere affiniteit met het romantische repertoire. Als geen ander weten zij de meerwaarde van hun historische instrumenten aan te spreken: uiterste verfijning, romantische gloed, en sprankelende virtuositeit.

Bart van Oort       fortepiano

Igor Ruhadze            viool

Romantische Meesterwerken 25-8-2010 / 20:30 Nicolaaskerk, Oost Vlieland

Romantische Meesterwerken 29-9-2010 / 20:30 zie website, Wittem

Romantische Meesterwerken 1-10-2010 / 20:00 Slotkapel, Egmond

Romantische Meesterwerken 5-10-2010 / 20:15 Nutszaal, Enkhuizen

Romantische Meesterwerken   5-2-2011 / 16:00 Dorpskerk, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht

Romantische Meesterwerken 19-3-2011 / 20:15 De Vlam,

Romantische Meesterwerken 26-3-2011 / 20:00 Dorpskerk De Glind, De Glind

Concert series 2007-2008 of Igor Ruhadze and ensemble “Violini Capricciosi”

“Italian Devil in Amsterdam”. Virtuoso Violin music of 18th century

In a series of five concerts in English Church in Amsterdam, Igor Ruhadze and his ensemble "Violini Capricciosi" will explore the range and virtuosity of P.A.Locatelli and his contemporaries.
The ideas of concert series based on facts from life of famous Italian violin player and compose P.A. Locatelli, who moved to Amsterdam in 1729 and became famous 18th century Dutch violin player, teacher, and publisher. He organized himself first public concerts in Amsterdam, inviting for concerts best musicians. The story of first public concerts and famous violin virtuosos, who played in Amsterdam in 18th century, you will know if come to a new concert series of violin music “Italian Devil in Amsterdam” in English church. All these composers along with G.F. Handel will feature in subsequent concerts in January 26, April 19, May 3 and June 14.The presentation of a new concert series   was on 2 of November in English church at 20.15.Concert consisted of works by A. Vivaldi, F. Geminani, G. Tartini, J.M. Leclair and P.A. Locatelli.
Next concert of concert series will be 26 of January 20.15 in English church.

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A. Falconieri - songs and dances
Ensemble “La primavera”
Anabela Marcos - soprano
Mitchell Sandler - bass-baritone
Clémence Comte - recorder
Igor Ruhadze - violin
Maaike Boekholt - viola da gamba   
Regina Albanez - theorbo
Margit Schultheiss - harp
Gabriel Aguilera Valdebenito - drums

“A beautiful disc”. Goldberg Magazine 2007 5 stars

Et'cetera KTC 1312
"Trios & Concerto"
Clémence Comte - recorder
Igor Ruhadze - violin
Peter Frankenberg - oboe
Menno van Delft - harpsichord
Regina Albanez - theorbe
Maaike Boekholt - viola da gamba
Sarah Walder - viola da gamba, cello

This attractive collection presents six of Telemann's trio sonatas, but at the end of the program all the players join forces in one of the chamber concertos. In two of the trio sonatas, the harpsichord has an independent obbligato part, while in the others it is part of the continuo; only one scoring (recorder, violin and continuo) appears in more than one work.The performances are characterized by a flexible elegance and lyricism. The players are sensitive to the rhetorical character of the music, but the phrases are shaped as much by dynamic nuance as by articulation. Their caesuras are rounded and graceful; even staccatos are gently incisive, rather than emphatic. Tempi seem conventionally moderate and steady, without ever degenerating into metronomic rigidity. The instrumental sonorities are gently sensuous, enhanced by the constant presence of the theorbo. The recording is resonant yet crystal-clear: I have seldom heard a recording of baroque chamber music in which the harpsichord's melodic contribution emerges so naturally as an equal strand in the texture. There are few bold gestures here, yet only on one occasion (the violin's brilliant passages in the Concerto's final Vivace) did I wish for a more extrovert, flamboyant approach. Even there, the players' technical assuredness and natural musicality are never in doubt. Throughout, they reveal a clear understanding of the music's stylistic and affective demands, and they communicate the shape of the movements (and of individual phrases) with apparent spontaneity and captivating charm.