Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
These are exceptionally well-played renditions of works that have had perhaps more attention--in almost every shape, size, and instrumental configuration imaginable--than any other 18th-century orchestral music. Crisp, clean, snappy articulation, rich-toned horns, bright trumpets, mellifluous strings and winds, and ideal, unhurried tempos and well-balanced ensemble sound makes for a very satisfying hour-plus concert.
The period-instrument Italian orchestra (unusual to hear in this music!) is very ably led by Federico Guglielmo, who chose to follow recommendations recently asserted by Christopher Hogwood particularly regarding
performing order of the 22 individual pieces that make up the suites in D, G, and F. This means that instead of the traditional divisions into suites, we hear one compilation of all the movements, beginning with the F major (which is ordered exactly the way it is in my old Eulenburg pocket score from 1973) and continuing with a mixture of the G major and D major movements. Unless you've got a particular movement sequence firmly stuck in your consciousness and you can't jar it loose, L'Arte dell'Arco's program order won't bother you at all. What may bother you, however, is an annoying clicking/clacking noise that in a couple of places disrupts the otherwise demonstration-quality sound (most notable on tracks 7 and 8).
Nevertheless, the highlights are many, including some very lovely ornamentation by the solo flute in the G major Menuet, exciting brass playing throughout, and a Fireworks Overture that's as rousing and artfully executed as you'll ever hear. This is a release that manages to make a memorable impression in a very crowded field--a significant achievement, and an imposing calling-card for this fine orchestra.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Water Music, HWV 348-350 by George Frideric Handel
Written: 1715/1736; London, England
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