I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

La voce nel violino

Enrico Onofri and Imaginarium Record Violin Sonatas lavoce_onofri.jpg I love the baroque repertoire, especially the early- and middle-era sonatas for solo instruments, such as my favorite, the violin. Onofri here records some pieces he's done before (Castello, Fontana), but nonetheless, presents a diverse program: Cima, Uccelini, Monteverdi, Castello, Gesulado, Pandolfi, etc.). It only whets the appetite of what more might come from his own ensemble, Imaginarium (including friends Tampieri, Köll, and Doni). I often tell of hearing Onofri live (I believe with Mr. Doni on organ) in Cleveland, OH, some years ago. It was the best musical performance I'd ever witnessed. It was perfect. Affective. Entrancing. This same repertoire is now on this disc, at least much like what I heard live. Onofri doesn't play, say, in the style of Andrew Manze. The violin has a far richer tone, and Onofri plays it at different stress levels (lightly, harshly, and everywhere in between) conjuring different sounds (tone) from the instrument. And unlike Manze and many of his colleagues (among them, Huggett who released some years ago a Fontana/Cima album), Onofri uses affective ornamentation that seems unique. But you also hear it in the early baroque vocal music; it seems quite appropriate. Trills and turns on notes that aren't quite true sharps, for instance. In modern parlance we'd call these microtones. Onofri sprinkles them around like a messy chef throws salt into his various stock pots preparing for a grande meal. His sound on this recording is superb; the ambiance captured along with the other continuo (harp, cello,, lute, harpsichord, and organ) is live yet not distant. It allows the sound of each participant to "glow." If you liked his earlier release on Winter & Winter, this one is a natural progression. Where there are fabulous moments in that recording, this one is an equal, if not one step ahead in aesthetic gold. My own study of this literature never went far enough for me to say if Onofri's playing style is absolutely historically authentic, but it seems so by my ear. Even more so, it's infinitely pleasing to this modern, 21st century ear. I can only recommend this release on ZigZag with my warmest encouragement.

Rameau, Scarlatti, Couperin et Bach