Geminiani: Violin Sonatas, Op. 1 / Ruhadze, Nepomnyashchaya

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Igor Ruhadze’s Brilliant Classics recording of sonatas by Locatelli (94736) won warm praise from Gramophone. ‘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 pieces are brilliantly and at times breathtakingly performed.’ With his latest Brilliant Classics album, the Russian Baroque-specialist violinist and director turns to another pivotal figure in Baroque-era violin culture, Francesco Geminiani.

Taught first by his violinist father and then by both Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti in Rome, Geminiani was already a leading figure in north Italian courts in his 20s, before he undertook the move to London that made his name and fortune. Geminiani dedicated the Op.1 Sonatas (1716) to Baron Johann Adolf Kielmansegge, his first London patron. According to Hawkins, Kielmansegge favored the composer by arranging a performance before the king in which Geminiani was accompanied on the harpsichord by Handel. With these sonatas, which clearly stem from Corelli, Geminiani presented himself to the public as Corelli's pupil. Many imitation editions followed the first printing, but the commentator Charles Burney maintained that only the composer himself could do them full justice. Apparently designed as a calling card for Geminiani’s talents as a violinist-composer, the Op.1 Sonatas still make strenuous technical but also expressive demands on any interpreter. Their genteel surface and polished dialogue between parts conceals an array of sophisticated contrasts between moods and demonstration of a violinist’s credentials as an artist as well as a technician.

For this new recording, Igor Ruhadze is joined not by his colleagues in the Violini Capricciosi ensemble but the Russian-born harpsichordist Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya. Having pursued graduate studies with early-music luminaries such as Richard Egarr and Menno van Delft, she too evinces intense sympathy with Geminiani’s idiom.

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 22, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BRI96524

  • UPC: 5028421965246

  • Label: Brilliant Classics

  • Number of Discs: 2

  • Period: Baroque

  • Composer: Francesco Geminiani

  • Performer: Igor Ruhadze


  1. Sonatas for Violin & Keyboard (12), Op. 1

    Composer: Francesco Geminiani

    Performer: Igor Ruhadze (Violin), Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya (Harpsichord)