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Frank Almond's "A Violin's Life: Music for the Lipiński Stradivari," Volume 3

Released on Avie Records, the disc features works by Edvard Grieg and Giuseppe Tartini, as well as a recently discovered piano trio by Amanda Maier


Violinist Frank Almond recently released the third disc in a series of recordings he has made in celebration of the storied life of his Stradivarius violin. Originally owned by Giuseppe Tartini, the instrument later received its name from the nineteenth-century Polish violinist Karol Lipiński.

However, the violin has also been the subject of much interest since it came into Almond's possession. In 2014, a thief assaulted Almond with a stun gun in order to gain access to the violin. Nine days later, police were able to apprehend the offender, a 41-year-old Milwaukee man named Salah Jones — and after being found guilty, Jones received a seven-year prison sentence.

"The theft was like losing a child...[the instrument] becomes part of you in a way that's difficult to articulate verbally," Almond said at the time.

At another point in its history, the "Lipiński" Strad spent three generations in the possession of the Norwegian Röntgen family, who were close friends of the composer Edvard Grieg. Almond has included Grieg's Sonata No. 3 on the album in acknowledgment of this relationship, and he performs the work alongside pianist Adam Neiman.

Amelia Maier, a Swedish composer and virtuoso who was related to the Röntgens by marriage, also features, with a piano trio that has only recently been unearthed from the archives.

The final piece on the album is an early work by Tartini himself, the Sonata Prima in D Op. 2 — in homage to the violin's original owner.

You can purchase "A Violin's Life" Vol. 3 directly from Avie Records — here.

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