Recorded at the Palazzo Cavalcabo, Cremona between the 6th - 8th November 1993
Co-ordinated by Gerardo Paloschi
Recorded and produced by Giulio Cesare Ricci
The Violin Room in Cremona Town Hall is one of the Holy Grails of violin worship, containing as it does a wealth of information relating to the great makers: Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri. Relatively recently, sound equipment has been installed in the room so visitors can hear as well as see the preserved instruments. The sound is encoded on this disc from one of Cremona's great supporters, the man who founded the Festival in that city, Salvatore Accardo. He plays five instruments kept in Cremona; two Amati, two Guarneri and a Stradivarius. To accompany the visits, in a concept created by Giulio Cesare Ricci, Accardo has recorded an all-Kreisler programme (albeit hyphenated Kreisler as well) with accompanist Laura Manzini.
Accardo is a master violinist and always demands to be heard. His splendid technique is allied to a warm, sweet tone and his musical instincts are sure.
From the booklet notes:
Fritz Kreisler must be reckoned amongst the most amazing musical phenomena of the last hundred years. A child prodigy, he started his studies at the Vienna Conservatoire when he was seven, completing them at the age of twelve. When he was fourteen he toured the USA with Moritz Rosenthal (Liszt's last great pupil). On his return to Vienna, he finished his schooling, spent two years studying medicine and did his military service. During this time he hardly touched his violin. Then, however, he took it up again and decided to make it his career. This was to be a brilliant one from beginning to end, in spite of his being forced by political events to live in various different countries: USA during the first world war, then Germany followed by a year in France before returning to the US for the rest of his life.
Kreisler the violinist is inseparable from Kreisler the composer, transcriber, and, above all, forger. Pieces which he ascribed to composers such as Vivaldi, Porpora, Pugnani, Martini and Couperin - but which were in fact his own compositions - are a testimony to his musical knowledge and sensitivity. They are written with the same charm that characterised his playing. (Some, such as the Caprice viennois, even exist as piano transcription). The elegance of his playing and his famous "French vibrato", combined with his individual methods of bowing and fingering, made Kreisler unique.