After giving the UK premiere of Wolf-Ferrari’s seldom-performed Violin Concerto in March 2017, Italian-American violinist Francesca Dego presents her highly anticipated debut concerto disc featuring the piece, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniele Rustioni.
Released internationally on 27 October, the Deutsche Grammophon recording pairs the Wolf-Ferrari Concerto with Paganini’s better-known Violin Concerto No. 1, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary. Speaking ahead of the disc’s release, Dego commented: “Although it has missed out on a place in standard repertoire, Wolf-Ferrari’s concerto is a jewel for which I feel a kind of historical responsibility, as well as a personal infatuation. With this recording, I hope to help reclaim its rightful place in the violin repertoire, alongside one of the most virtuosic and theatrical violin works of all time – Paganini’s magnificent Violin Concerto Number 1.”
Dego has previously expressed her passion for championing largely forgotten violin works in the hope of bringing them into the musical limelight, and securing their place in the mainstream violin repertoire. Composed during the turbulent Second World War for the American violinist Guila Bustabo, whom Italian Wolf-Ferrari greatly admired, the Violin Concerto’s post-war reputation suffered politically following its premiere in Germany, exacerbated further when an allied bomb supposedly destroyed all copies of the work.
Speaking in the Birmingham Post following the UK premiere of Wolf-Ferrari’s Concerto back in March, Christopher Morley praised Dego for her interpretation and musicianship. “She unflinchingly climbed the stratospheres into which the composer repeatedly sent her, her intonation had a steely accuracy tempered by gorgeous tone from her full-throated violin, and her virtuosity encompassed all that Wolf-Ferrari wrung from his soloist.”
This is Francesca Dego’s fifth disc with Deutsche Grammophon since her signing in 2012. She has previously recorded the complete set of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas with pianist Francesca Leonardi, and Paganini’s 24 Caprices. You can watch Francesca discuss the latest disc in a short teaser clip HERE.
Further details on the Wolf-Ferarri recording, including purchase information, is available from HERE.
Forthcoming performances in the UK include recitals with pianist Francesca Leonardi at Temple Church, London (31st October), Milton Keynes City Church (1st November), and Trinity College Cambridge (29th November). Dego will also be performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in Scunthorpe (22nd November), and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in Crawley (23rd November) and Northampton (26th November), with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Mathieu Herzog.
Tickets for Temple Church can be purchased online.