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Uto Ughi (b1944)

Uto Ughi, trained initially in Siena and one of George Enescu’s last pupils in Paris, is a violinist of distinctive character. Some will enjoy the depth of his tone—dark and rich on the lower strings, with a mighty and conspicuous vibrato—whilst others may find his approach overblown, leaving not enough to the listener’s own imagination. Certainly, Ughi is an extreme example of post-war trends in violin playing and his is an approach that will not previously have been heard upon the two historic instruments in his possession: the 1701 ‘ex-Kreutzer’ Stradivari and the 1744 ‘ex-Grumiaux’ Guarneri.

Aesthetic judgements aside, Ughi’s intonation—sharp in high registers, especially—will be problematic to many ears; this is not helped by the use of vibrato in passagework (a fashion often ascribed to Kreisler but in fact rather more a habit of later twentieth-century players).




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