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Vivaldi: Cello Concertos / Han-Na Chang, Christopher Warren-Green


Release Date: 01/13/2009 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 34791   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Helena BrownHan-Na ChangDawn JohnstonMary Scully,   ... 
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Richly entertaining.

Antonio Vivaldi was not simply Venice's most famous son but also one of the most prolific composers of the Baroque period. Although priesthood was his eventual career path his reputation was as the most original, popular, and influential Italian composer of his time, His output runs to more than five hundred concertos, dozens of operas, cantatas and trio sonatas. We are still counting as they are unearthed. When Igor Stravinsky notoriously dismissed Vivaldi’s entire career as: “[someone] who wrote the same concerto four hundred times.” this was not only a most unkind comment, but absolutely untrue as this collection demonstrates.

Venice during Vivaldi’s time fed on novelty. Venetians
Read more always wanted something different, something that would literally shock them. These were the same people who loved masks. To be able to satisfy Venetian taste for 20-30 years Vivaldi mirrored these needs by inventing “new stuff” and enjoying himself at the same time.

These seven Cello Concertos were written between the late 1700s and the mid-1720s. From them one can safely conclude that Vivaldi had a fairly good knowledge of the cello. He wrote for it with such dexterity and expertise and his innate feeling for the soul of the instrument demonstrates great empathy. Each concerto is different. Each shows a facet of Vivaldi’s character – the passionate, the pensive, the dramatic. A great deal of this is hard-driven rhythmically yet dreamy, gorgeous. Listen to the slow movements, like that of the A Minor Concerto RV418, where the harmony is so beautifully crafted.

For Han-Na Chang Vivaldi represents “liveliness of harmony and rhythm.” In an interview she conducted last year, she discussed the reasons behind this album - her first recorded foray into the Baroque music: “I have always really liked the Baroque repertoire, especially the Bach, where the soloist speaks. But, Vivaldi is really a new departure. The soloist is more of a group, a continuation with the band. There is a room for inventiveness which I really enjoy and love so much while recording these Vivaldi. At the same time, we are going for this very thin, stringy sound that is totally up-to-date. At the same time, it has the room for playfulness between different sections of the Orchestra.” To this effect, Ms Chang’s performances here are nothing short of phenomenal. Under the direction of Christopher Warren-Green, the London Chamber Orchestra lend their superb abilities to the full.

One of the highlights is the A Minor Concerto RV418, where Ms. Chang gives full rein to her expressive powers. The influence of Rostropovich is evident. He was the Korean’s teacher. She displays warm tone, vivacity and forward drive in the midst of a quest for inwardness and self-reflection. She once described this particular concerto as “[the RV418] is Vivaldi being the most pensive and melancholy. The soloist is improvising on top of a sea of fog, there is this expanse of harmony that is moving along like a glacier. Very slow, mind you, but moving, with a lot of tension. On top of that, I feel myself like a seagull – flying and drifting along.” The result is miraculous.

As part of the OpenDisc project, EMI offer listeners a range of additional exclusive features.

This richly entertaining recording is enhanced by exemplary annotations by Michael Talbot.

--Patrick P.L. Lam, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello in C major, RV 400 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Helena Brown (Harpsichord), Han-Na Chang (Cello), Dawn Johnston (Theorbo),
Mary Scully (Double Bass), John Heley (Cello), Dawn Johnston (Guitar)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Cello in A minor, RV 418 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Mary Scully (Double Bass), Han-Na Chang (Cello), Helena Brown (Harpsichord),
Dawn Johnston (Theorbo), Dawn Johnston (Guitar), John Heley (Cello)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Cello in C minor, RV 401 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Han-Na Chang (Cello), Dawn Johnston (Theorbo), Helena Brown (Harpsichord),
John Heley (Cello), Mary Scully (Double Bass), Dawn Johnston (Guitar)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 18 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Cello in A minor, RV 420 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  John Heley (Cello), Mary Scully (Double Bass), Han-Na Chang (Cello),
Dawn Johnston (Theorbo), Dawn Johnston (Guitar), Helena Brown (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 0 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Cello in D major, RV 403 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Dawn Johnston (Theorbo), Helena Brown (Harpsichord), Dawn Johnston (Guitar),
Han-Na Chang (Cello), Mary Scully (Double Bass), John Heley (Cello)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 25 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Cello in B minor, RV 424 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  John Heley (Cello), Han-Na Chang (Cello), Mary Scully (Double Bass),
Helena Brown (Harpsichord), Dawn Johnston (Guitar), Dawn Johnston (Theorbo)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7.
Concerto for Cello in E flat major, RV 408 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  John Heley (Cello), Dawn Johnston (Guitar), Mary Scully (Double Bass),
Helena Brown (Harpsichord), Dawn Johnston (Theorbo), Han-Na Chang (Cello)
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 5 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cello Concerto in A minor RV 420: I Andante
Cello Concerto in A minor RV 420: II Adagio
Cello Concerto in A minor RV 420: III Allegro
Cello Concerto in C RV400: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in C RV400: II. Largo
Cello Concerto in C RV400: III. Allegro non molto
Cello Concerto in C minor RV 401: Allegro non molto
Cello Concerto in C minor RV 401: Adagio
Cello Concerto in C minor RV 401: Allegro ma non molto
Cello Concerto in E flat major RV 408: I Allegro non molto
Cello Concerto in E flat major RV 408: II Largo
Cello Concerto in E flat major RV 408: III Allegro
Cello Concerto in B minor RV 424: I Allegro non molto
Cello Concerto in B minor RV 424: II Largo
Cello Concerto in B minor RV 424: III Allegro
Cello Concerto in D major RV 403: I Allegro
Cello Concerto in D major RV 403: II Andante e spiritoso
Cello Concerto in D major RV 403: III Allegro
Cello Concerto in A minor RV 418: I Allegro
Cello Concerto in A minor RV 418: II Largo
Cello Concerto in A minor RV 418: III Allegro

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