Sonatas for violin and basso continuo: František Benda (1709-1786) - Sonata in B flat major, Sonata in C minor, Sonata in A major; František Jiránek (1698-1778) - Sonata in F major, Sonata in C major; Josef Antonín Gurecký (1709-1769) - Sonata in D major
The CD's title, a paraphrase of Josef Mysliveček's nickname, Il divino Boemo, aptly characterises the theme of the recording: the 18th-century violin virtuosos/composers hailing from the Czech lands. The most distinguished of them, whose influence was compared to that of Tartini's, was František Benda. Although inspired by Vivaldi, he created his own singular performance style, which was even lauded by the famous English music historian Charles Burney. The CD features sonatas preserved in Prague in period copies. Also contained on the recording are overlooked pieces by composers virtually unknown until recently. František Jiránek's life is linked with Count Václav Morzin's celebrated orchestra, as well as Antonio Vivaldi himself. Another discovery is the sonata by J. A. Gurecký. Owing to the masterful and refined performance of the violinist Lenka Torgersen and the spellbinding accompaniment of the harpsichordist Václav Luks (also the conductor of Collegium 1704), the album presents to us the fascinating world of Czech violin virtuosos - a colourful, tender and beautiful world.
Virtuoso and gallant - the fascinating world of the most celebrated Czech 18th-Century violinists.
“Using a 1760 Klotz violin with a dark ochre hue, [Torgersen] produces a subtle messa di voce effect on many notes, which is a stylistic feature that may surprise (or even displease) those used to modern instruments and techniques. Her sensitive phrasing and wide range of tasteful ornamentation are also delightful.“ International Record Review, May 2014
“This is a beautifully recorded, stylish disc. The recording itself is rich but does not detract one iota from the cleanliness of texture and, indeed, of performance. Lenka Torgersen, the violinist, delivers the ornamentation beautifully throughout, particularly her trills… Unhesitatingly recommended, quite simply one of the best recordings of Baroque violin music I have come across.“ MusicWeb International, July 2018