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Swedish virtuosi

Tobias Ringborg plays
music by Roman,
and KEITH BRAMICH listens

Nytorp Musik    Nytorp9902

Ringborg plays Roman (c) 2000 Nytorp Musik

Swedish composer Johan Helmich Roman (1694-1758), born 308 years ago today, was the son of a violinist in the Royal Opera Orchestra in Stockholm, and was employed there in the same capacity as his father. After a year or so, he was allowed to travel to complete his studies. He played in Handel's opera orchestra in London, earning the nickname 'the Swedish virtuoso' and worked for the Duke of Newcastle, before being summoned back to Stockholm, where he was swiftly promoted to vice concertmaster and later, in 1727, to concertmaster.

Nearly twenty years later, Roman travelled again, to England, France and Italy, and it is thought to be during this second phase of travelling in the late 1730s, after meeting many of Europe's finest musicians (including, probably, Tartini), that the six Assaggi ('attempts' or 'essays') featured on this disc were written [listen -- track 12, 0:00-0:45].

The award-winning Swedish violinist Tobias Ringborg (born 1973) studied with Harald Thedéen in Stockholm, with Lewis Kaplan at the Juilliard School in New York and with Igor Oistrach, Klaus Hertel, Herman Krebbers and Igor Ozim. He has played extensively in the USA and Europe, including for Swedish Radio and TV, and has recorded much chamber music, and violin concertos by Aulin, Berwald and Stenhammar. Here, Ringborg plays an original violin -- one of only five known to exist -- by Joachim Tielke (1641-1719), an instrument maker better known for his viols.

These two Swedish virtuosi -- Roman and Ringborg -- hold our attention for nearly an hour of unaccompanied violin music with no problem, because this is imaginative, varied music, brought to life with clear, focussed and generous playing. The quality and imagination extend to the booklet notes and the packaging. Well-recorded by the excellent Swedish company Nytorp Musik, the Tielke violin sounds intriguingly different.

Copyright © 26 October 2002 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK


Ringborg plays Roman

Nytorp9902 DDD Stereo 56'40" 2000 Nytorp Musik

Tobias Ringborg, violin

Johan Helmich Roman: Assaggio in C (BeRi 303); Assaggio in G minor (BeRi 320); Assaggio in C minor (BeRi 310); Assaggio in A major (BeRi 301); Assaggio in G minor (BeRi 314); Assaggio in B minor (BeRi 324) - world première recordings of the complete Assaggi on a period instrument






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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews