Andrey Penyugin graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory’s Special Music School (class of Professor Vladimir Kudryavtsev). He won prizes at the Max Reger International Competition and the Premio Valentino Bucchi. Since 2006, he has been Musical Director and violinist in the ‘Soloists of Catherine the Great’ and has helped to organize the EARLYMUSIC Festival. He learned to play the baroque violin with Andrey Reshetin. He has worked with outstanding masters of early music such as Michael Chance, Philippe Jaroussky, Andrew Parrott, Hugo Reyne and Max Cenčić.As Musical Director of the ‘Soloists of Catherine the Great’ he has staged premieres of works by Vicente Martin y Soler (the opera Gorebogatyr Kosometovich, 2015), Giuseppe Sarti (the cantata Have Mercy on Me, O God, 2014), Domenico Dall’Oglio and William Herschel.
The 24 capriccios for solo violin by the British astronomer and composer William Herschel are among the most amazing compositions in the history of music. Herschel was an extraordinary man, but for a long time his musical achievements have been overshadowed by his contribution to science. He wrote a substantial amount of music, but his 24 capriccios are without doubt his most original work. It is hard to believe that such bold harmonies and psychedelic images could have been written as long ago as 1763.This recording of Herschel’s 24 capriccios is the latest world premiere of the EARLYMUSIC Festival and the ‘Soloists of Catherine the Great’. The capriccios were found and recorded by one of the group’s violinists Andrey Penyugin, a specialist in rare baroque music.These violin miniatures will help to dispel the myth that there were no great British composers between Handel and Britten.