Rossini: Sonate a quattro; Bottesini: Gran Duo
Salvatore Accardo; I Musici
Catalogue No.

In the summer of 1804, while on a summer holiday in the village of Conventello near Ravenna, Rossini then aged twelve, composed his six ‘Sonate a quattro’ for two violins, cello and double-bass. Many years later, the composer wrote on the front of the manuscript: ‘First violin, second violin, violoncello and contrabass parts for six ‘horrendous’ sonatas composed by me at the country house (near Ravenna) of my friend and patron, Agostinio Triossi, at the most youthful age, having not even had a lesson in thorough-bass. They were all composed and copied in three days and performed in a doggish way by Triossi, contrabass; Morini (his cousin), first violin; the latter’s brother, violoncello; and the second violin by myself, who was, to tell the truth, the least doggish.’

Known also in orchestrated versions as the ‘String Sonatas’, they are rarer in these original versions. Together with musicians with whom he has worked closely, Salvatore Accardo recorded these in 1978 in Switzerland. They were issued the following year and, according to Tully Potter, who writes the notes for this release, ‘have acquired mythical status and are unlikely to be surpassed: the original two-LP set has been changing hands for three-figure sums but this is the first complete international CD reissue on Decca’. Three smaller Rossini works complete the disc which is then filled out by the more extensive ‘Gran Duo Concertante’ for violin, double-bass and strings by Dragonetti’s successor as king of the double bassists, Giovanni Bottesini.

Although noted for his fearless and thrilling performances of music by Paganini for Deutsche Grammophon, Salvatore Accardo also recorded extensively for Philips in the 1970s and 80s. His repertoire ranged from Baroque music through to 19th and 20th century concertos, including the complete music for violin and orchestra by Bruch and concertos by Mendelssohn and Sibelius.


CD 1*
Sonata a quattro No. 1 in G major
Sonata a quattro No. 2 in A major
Sonata a quattro No. 3 in C major
Sonata a quattro No. 4 in B flat major
Sonata a quattro No. 5 in E flat major

CD 2
Sonata a quattro No. 6 in D major*

Salvatore Accardo, violin
Sylvie Gazeau, violin
Alain Meunier, cello
Franco Petracchi, double bass

Duetto for Cello and Double-bass in D major*

Alain Meunier,
Franco Petracchi,
double bass

Un mot à Paganini for Violin and Piano*

Salvatore Accardo, violin
Bruno Canino, piano

Une larme (arranged for Double-Bass and Piano)*
Franco Petracchi, double bass
Bruno Canino, piano

Gran Duo Concertante for Violin, Double-bass and Strings

Luciano Vicari, violin
Lucio Buccarella, double-bass
I Musici


Recording information

Recordings: Salle des Remparts, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland, 10–15 September 1971 (Bottesini); Musica-Théâtre, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, 21–27 October 1978 (Rossini)
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer


‘In the hands of the splendid team assembled here, the effect is enormously exhilarating. As well as virtuosity from all, there is an uncommon purity of intonation and the kind of tonal nuance that makes it clear that sensitivity, not exhibitionism, is the ruly factor, though the players respond with evident zest to Rossini’s flights of ebullience. … Very strongly recommended.’(Sonate a quattro) Gramophone

‘superbly played here, with first-class unanimity and the utmost finesse’ (Duetto) Gramophone