The Glory of Cremona (TMR 41)
On The Glory of Cremona (MCA, 1973), Ruggiero Ricci plays 15 famous violins, all fashioned by masters of Cremona, Italy. The oldest was created by Andrea Amati, the father of the violin, around 1560 to 1570. The most recent was crafted by Joseph Guarneri in 1744 and is known as De Bériot after its onetime owner Charles de Bériot. Ricci makes the most of the instruments’ rich sound on works by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Kabalevsky and others. For Paganini’s “Cantabile and Waltz,” he wields one of the album’s five Stradivariuses. Inside the vinyl release’s gatefold is a wealth of text: a history of Cremona’s violin-makers, comments by Ruggiero, and descriptions and illustrations of each instrument. The Glory of Cremona is one of the best reasons I can think of to buy old records, but the album has made it to streaming services, so you have no excuse for not checking it out.
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