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Ruggiero Ricci - Complete Decca Recordings

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Ruggiero Ricci - Complete Decca Recordings
Ruggiero Ricci - Complete Decca Recordings


The most complete tribute ever issued to the fiendish fingers and sublime artistry of a true virtuoso, Ruggiero Ricci - a feast of concerto, solo and recital repertoire recorded by Ricci, collected together for the first time, and including a previously unpublished set of the Brahms Violin Sonatas. This 20CD Limited Edition boxset complete with original jackets is divided into three sections: Violin and Orchestra; Solo Violin; Violin and Piano.

Born Roger Rich to an Italian immigrant father on a Californian army base in 1918, he became Ruggiero Ricci when he was introduced to the New York musical public as a child prodigy violinist. By the time of his debut on Decca the Tchaikovsky Concerto conducted by Sargent in 1950 he was an experienced performer and recording artist who had already stunned audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with the solo-violin repertoire he would make his own: not only Bach but also Ysaye, Wieniawski and most of all Paganini, whose Caprices he was the first to record complete later in 1950. At the close of the Tchaikovsky sessions, the musicians of the New Symphony Orchestra burst into spontaneous applause.

A new and typically illuminating essay by Tully Potter on Riccis life and recorded legacy draws on previously unpublished correspondence and sheds light on the background to many of these recordings.

Notable records of Riccis famous cantabile in concerto repertoire include a hugely influential Paganini album with Anthony Collins and a gripping account of the Sibelius with Oivin Fjeldstad. There are two recordings of the Mendelssohn (1957 and 1974), the first with another prodigy, the conductor Piero Gamba, and the second recorded in Deccas Phase 4 stereo with Jean Fournet. He strikes sparks in partnership with Ernest Ansermet for Ravels Tzigane and the solos in Tchaikovskys Orchestral Suites. These (Suites Nos. 3 and 4) as well as sections featuring the solo violin, from the Fistoulari Phase 4 recording of Swan Lake, are included in this collection.

Decca partnered Ricci with several notable pianists for recital repertoire, starting with his former teacher Louis Persinger and including Friedrich Gulda. Many of these chamber recordings (a Sarasate album, sonatas by Weber, Richard Strauss and Prokofiev) were made not in the Decca studios but in Riccis home in New Jersey. While he recorded the Second and Third Brahms Sonatas with Julius Katchen in London in 1957, he also taped the cycle of three sonatas at home with Katchen three years earlier. These 1954 performances are issued here for the first time: essential listening for all fans of great violin playing.

This young Americans really remarkable accuracy in playing the most difficult passages is certain to cause many a trained fiddler to mop his forehead in amazement. American Record Guide, July 1951 (Paganini Caprices)

I look forward to more discs by this first-rate duo His natural elegance stands him in good stead in the Prokofiev, where his partner at the piano also distinguishes himself by some most artistic leggiero playing. Gramophone, October 1953 (Prokofiev & Strauss Sonatas)

There is some truly amazing fiddling here ... combining faultlessly brilliant technique with unusually warm tone A must for all violinists. High Fidelity, October 1954 (Paganini Concertos)


  1. Name
  2. BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 61
  3. TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35, TH.59
  4. PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 1 In D Major, Op. 6
  5. PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 2 In B Minor, Op. 7
  6. RAVEL: Tzigane Concert Rhapsody For Violin And Orchestra
  7. SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto In D Minor, Op. 47
  8. TCHAIKOVSKY: Serenade Melancolique; Scherzo (from Souvenir Dun Lieu Cher)
  9. KHACHATURIAN: Violin Concerto In D Minor
  10. MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64
  11. BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 26
  12. PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1 In D Major, Op. 19
  13. PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 63
  14. LALO: Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21
  15. SARASATE: Carmen Fantaisie De Concert, Op. 25
  16. SARASATE: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 No. 1
  17. SAINT-SAENS: Havanaise, Op. 83
  18. SAINT-SAENS: Introduction Et Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
  19. TCHAIKOVKSY: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35, TH.59
  20. DVORAK: Violin Concerto In A Minor, Op. 53, B.108
  21. MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O14
  22. TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35, TH.59
  23. TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)
  24. TCHAIKOVSKY: Suite No. 3 In G Major, Op. 55
  25. TCHAIKOVSKY: Suite No. 4 In G Major, Op. 61 Mozartiana
  26. PAGANINI: Caprices, Op. 1 (1950 Recording)
  27. PAGANINI: Caprices, Op. 1 (1959 Recording)
  28. BARTOK: Sonata For Solo Violin, Sz.117
  29. STRAVINSKY: Elegie For Solo Violin
  30. PROKOFIEV: Sonata In D Major For Solo Violin, Op. 115
  31. HINDEMITH: Sonata For Solo Violin, Op. 31 No. 1
  32. Sonata For Solo Violin, Op. 31 No. 2
  33. JS BACH: Sonata No. 1 In G Minor For Solo Violin, BWV 1001
  34. JS BACH: Partita No. 2 In D Minor For Solo Violin, BWV 1004
  35. WEBER: Six Sonates Progressives For Violin And Piano, Op. 10
  36. RICHARD STRAUSS: Violin Sonata In E Flat Major, Op. 18
  37. PROKOFIEV: Violin Sonata No. 2 In D Major, Op. 94a
  38. BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 7 In C Minor, Op. 30 No. 2
  39. BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 10 In G Major, Op. 96
  40. BRAHMS: Violin Sonata No. 1 In G Major, Op. 78
  41. Violin Sonata No. 2 In A Major, Op. 100
  42. Violin Sonata No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 108
  43. BRAHMS: Violin Sonata No. 2 In A Major, Op. 100
  44. Violin Sonata No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 108
  45. SARASATE: 8 Danzas Espanolas
  46. Caprice Basque, Op. 24
  47. Introduction Et Tarantelle, Op. 43
  48. Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
  49. PAGANINI: Le Streghe, Op. 8 (arr. Kreisler)
  50. Fantasia On The G String (after Rossinis Mose In Egitto)
  51. Moto Perpetuo, Op. 11
  52. Introduction And Variations On Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento For Solo Violin
  53. Variations On God Save The King, Op. 9
  54. La Campanella (arr. Kochanski)
  55. Sonata In E Minor, Op. 3 No. 6
  56. I Palpiti, Op. 13 (arr. Kreisler)
  57. WIENIAWSKI: Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op. 16
  58. ELGAR: La Capricieuse, Op. 17
  59. VON VECSEY: Caprice No. 1 For Violin And Piano: Le Vent
  60. KROLL: Banjo And Fiddle
  61. CHOPIN: Nocturne No. 20 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth. (Trans. Milstein)
  62. SMETANA: Andantino (Z Domoviny)
  63. SUK: Burleska (Four Pieces For Violin And Piano, Op. 17 No. 4)
  64. ACHRON: Hebrew Melody
  65. SARASATE: Jota Aragonesa, Op. 27
  66. HUBAY: Der Zephir (from 6 Blumenleben For Violin And Piano, Op. 30 No. 5)
  67. MOSZKOWSKI: Guitarre, Op. 45 No. 2 (arr. Sarasate)
  68. BAZZINI: La Ronde Des Lutins Scherzo Fantastique, Op. 25
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