It’s nice to welcome Manrico Padovani back after his contribution to Metier’s disc of music by Swiss-born composer Thomas Fortmann (Fanfare 37:2). While I was less than taken by his Beethoven Sonata, op. 12/1, on Ars (for sonic reasons, mainly), there are no such worries on this beautifully programmed, thought-provoking disc, recorded in Teplice’s Dum Kultury in June 2016. The orchestra is the North Czech Philharmonic (“Nordböhmische” in German, “North Bohemian,” although the Czech original, “Severočeská,” translates as “North Czech”). Nomenclature issues aside, it is a remarkably fine band caught here in fabulous sound. As in the Fortmann disc, Padovani is joined by violinist (and crime novelist) Natasha Korsakova. The disc focuses on juxtapositions of Baroque and contemporary double concertos for two violins. Korsakova takes primo in the Bach and Schnittke, Padovani in the Pärt and Vivaldi…

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