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Posted October 1, 2010
Charles Auguste de Beriot's works are familiar to all violinists mostly as advanced student pieces. Bella Hristova delivers a technically brilliant and tonally secure reading of a collection of his solo violin works. The "12 Scenes ou Caprices pour le violon, Op.109" presents a series of descriptive short pieces with titles such as "La Separation" and "La Polka." The "Nine Studies" consists of short etudes requiring a multitude of bowing techniques with staccato, spiccato, difficult string crossings and long sostenuto passages, as well as extended arpeggios and chromatic runs all played flawlessly. The last selection, "Prelude ou Improvisation" showcases de Beriot's entire arsenal of fiddlers' challenges.
Miss Hristova summons a warm tone from the 1665 Amati violin while paying close attention to dynamics. Her extended runs beginning forte and ending pianissimo in the stratosphere of the fingerboard are especially notable. Natural and harmonic double stops, double trills and a sustained melodic line with simultaneous left hand double stop pizzicato are demonstrated with dexterity. The ambiance of St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada adds a delicious personal auditory touch. Aficionados of violin repertoire should have this Naxos recording.