Gioconda de Vito: Her Complete Recorded Masterworks for Violin | Documents 600409

Gioconda de Vito: Her Complete Recorded Masterworks for Violin


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Label: Documents

Cat No: 600409

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 10

Release Date: 18th August 2017



In her heyday the Italian-British soloist Gioconda de Vito was regarded as Europe’s foremost violinist. The Documents label releases a 10-CD box set, the first to document all of her recorded work. Highlights show her playing with Yehudi Menuhin while the icing on the cake is her recording of the Brahms Concerto under Furtwangler.

When Gioconda de Vito (1907-1994) left the stage for ever after a concert in Basel in 1961, she was regarded as the best violinist in Europe. For Yehudi Menuhin, she was a respected and equal partner, David Oistrakh had invited her to sit on the jury of the first Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, and Furtwangler spoke of her only with the utmost appreciation. He also accompanied her on the piano, when she - a strict Catholic - performed in Castel Gandolfo in 1953 at the request of Pope Pius XII and later also at the Vatican. But at the age of 54, at the height of her fame, she ended her career because she thought she could no longer fulfil her self-imposed and very high standards of quality. That is why her radio and studio recordings are relatively few in number. Bach, Beethoven and, above all, Brahms, were central to her efforts, but she was also devoted to chamber music. All of her recorded works, including those with Menuhin and Furtwangler, are included on these ten CDs. They are mostly played on the famous “Tuscan” Stradivarius from 1690, which the Italian state had made available to her, and on a Gagliano from 1762. Thus, Gioconda de Vito will be remembered the way an English critic described her after a Mozart concerto with Rafael Kubelik: “(She) played in a way that you rarely hear in life ... the slow movement ... was almost heavenly.”

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