Under August the Strong, the court of Dresden boasted the finest orchestral ensemble in 18th-century
Tognetti's name sits comfortably alongside the likes of Torelli, Veracini and Vivaldi, whose influence was core to the Dresden aesthetic and, in terms of technique, he is up there in the highest league. In this Bath Bachfest concert, interest also focused on his debut as guest director of the
The vibrantly physical dynamic of Tognetti's playing was immediately apparent in the fire and drive of the Vivaldi concerto in D major RV 562 for violin, two oboes, two horns and bassoon, where the AAM musicians were urged to bring a defining rhythmic thrust to balance the darkly chromatic figurations. In the Concerto Grosso No 1 in E flat major, by Johann Georg Pisandel – Dresden's presiding virtuoso and champion of Vivaldi – the violin's solo lines were delivered with rich flourish, which the AAM strings then emulated in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3 in G major BWV 1048, while investing the finale with a dancing lightness. Bach's Concerto in D major for three violins after BWV 1064 again carried great intensity.
The extraordinary tonal colour of Tognetti's Guarneri del GesÙ, which he played with a conventional bow, set him apart from the more subdued sound of those around him with their shorter, more curved, baroque-style bows. But the Australian's instinct for the music's natural ebb and flow found him dropping right back into the texture and drawing beautifully projected solos from his fellow musicians.
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