Violinist Bojan Cicic delivers on virtuoso Giovanni Giornovich concertos

Giovanni Giornovich AKA Giovanni Mane Giornovichi, started life as Ivan Mane Jarnovic. This Croatian violin virtuoso made his debut in Paris (1773), and landed in England after the French Revolution.

He was a friend of Haydn, and his music was almost as popular among London audiences of the 1790s. The three concertos in this release were all premiered during Giornovich’s stay in London. And all receive their world recording premiere.

The works stylistically fall somewhere between Haydn and Mozart. So it’s a mystery to me why they’re not better known. These are well-crafted concertos with memorable and tuneful melodies.

Violinist Bojan Cicic and the Illyria Consort give credible performances. Giornovich wrote these concertos to show off his own talent. Bojan Cicic rises to the challenge. He has a firm command of the extreme upper register and is able to toss off double stops easily.

My one complaint is the sound of the solo violin. The way it was recorded might be the problem. I found the tone to be leaning too much into the treble, giving the violin a slightly pinched sound.

Still, I’m glad these works were recorded. I’m glad I heard them. And I hope Cicic will record more of Giornovich’s seventeen surviving concertos.

Giovanni Giornovich: ‘London’ Concertos
Bojan Cicic, violin
The Illyria Consort
Delphian Records DCD34219

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