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Vivaldi: Concertos & Cantata With Bassoon / Linde, Berkhouti, Dirksen, Et Al


Release Date: 05/27/2008 
Label:  Etcetera Records   Catalog #: 1324   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Cassandra L. LuckhardtRegina AlbanezFrouke MooijRachael Beesley,   ... 
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VIVALDI Bassoon Concertos: in a, RV 497; in d, RV 481; in e, RV 484. Chamber Concertos: in D, RV 92; in g, RV 104, “La notte.” Qual per ignoto calle 1 Frans Robert Berkhout (bn); Pieter Dirksen (hpd, cond); Georgia Brown (fl); Clint van der Linde (alt); Read more class="SUPER12">1 La Suave Melodia (period instruments) ET’CETERA 1324 (66:18 Text and Translation)


Vivaldi’s bassoon concertos are second only to his violin concertos, at least in terms of quantity. There are 37 of them, and two more that are incomplete. Oddly, no one has been able to determine with any certainty for whom Vivaldi composed them. Some may have been intended for the girls in the Ospedale della Pietà, but there is no solid evidence to support that. One of the concertos is dedicated to a Venetian musician named Giuseppe Biancardi. Another is dedicated to the Bohemian Count Wenzel von Morzin. Apart from that, we really don’t know much about these works, and attempts to date them are largely based on stylistic signposts. They were written with an accomplished bassoonist (or bassoonists) in mind, however.


This collection is well planned, avoiding the “here comes another one” syndrome by mixing three bassoon concertos with two in which the bassoon is joined by other soloists, and also with a chamber cantata in which the bassoon is allowed to play an important role. (I say “is allowed,” because its shoes, as the booklet notes point out, usually would be filled by a cello instead.) In the cantata, an unrequited lover romantically compares his state to that of a pilgrim wandering through the streets and assailed by bad weather. This work is believed to date from c. 1734, and apparently Vivaldi sent it to Friedrich August II, the new elector of Dresden, in hopes that the elector would commission more music. It is compact (less than 12 minutes long) and imaginatively written, and it highlights Vivaldi’s mastery of storm-music, as well as his idiomatic (but difficult) vocal writing.


La Suave Melodia is another pocket-sized ensemble. There are two violins, a viola, a cello, a violone, a theorbo or Baroque guitar, and a harpsichord or organ. The latter are played by Pieter Dirksen, the ensemble’s director and author of the booklet notes. Dirksen and company follow what seems to be the recent trend in authentic Vivaldi performance practice: not driving the music so hard that it (and the listener) becomes senseless. There’s a relaxed air to these performances; yet we are not cheated out of the music’s verve.


Berkhout plays with a pleasing, round tone that requires no special effort on the part of the listener to appreciate. I’ve been listening to Ernest Ansermet’s old recording of two of these concertos (RV 481 and RV 497), and while Henri Helaerts, his bassoonist, packs plenty of character into his playing, Helaerts’s very French—that is to say, nasal—tone is very different from what Berkhout has to offer here. (Of course Ansermet’s accompaniments, while stylish in their own way, are very “big band.”) The male alto, about whom the booklet has nothing to say, can be a little hooty, but his plaintive tone and emotive delivery are appropriate for the text.


Here’s a disc of Vivaldi’s bassoon concertos that, while not earth shattering, leaves you asking for more, and that counts for a lot.


FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Bassoon in A minor, RV 497 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Frouke Mooij (Violin),
Rachael Beesley (Violin), Clint Van Der Linde (Countertenor), Wanda Visser (Viola),
Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Frans Robert Berkhout (Bassoon), Pieter Dirksen (Organ),
Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Regina Albanez (Guitar)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
2. Chamber Concerto for Recorder, Violin and Bassoon in D major, F 12 no 7/RV 92 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Georgia Browne (Flute), Rachael Beesley (Violin),
Wanda Visser (Viola), Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Frouke Mooij (Violin),
Regina Albanez (Guitar), Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Pieter Dirksen (Organ),
Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Frans Robert Berkhout (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
3. Concerto for Bassoon in D minor, RV 481 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachael Beesley (Violin), Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Pieter Dirksen (Organ),
Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Frouke Mooij (Violin), Maria Vahervuo (Violone),
Regina Albanez (Guitar), Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Wanda Visser (Viola)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 10 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
4. Qual per ignoto, RV 677 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Wanda Visser (Viola),
Clint Van Der Linde (Countertenor), Rachael Beesley (Violin), Frouke Mooij (Violin),
Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Regina Albanez (Guitar),
Pieter Dirksen (Organ)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 12 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
5. Chamber Concerto for Flute, 2 Violins and Bassoon in G minor, RV 104 "La notte" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Wanda Visser (Viola),
Rachael Beesley (Violin), Georgia Browne (Flute), Frouke Mooij (Violin),
Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Regina Albanez (Guitar), Regina Albanez (Theorbo),
Pieter Dirksen (Organ)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
6. Concerto for Bassoon in E minor, RV 484: 1st movement, Allegro poco by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Pieter Dirksen (Organ), Wanda Visser (Viola),
Rachael Beesley (Violin), Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Regina Albanez (Guitar),
Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Frouke Mooij (Violin), Regina Albanez (Theorbo)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
7. Concerto for Bassoon in E minor, RV 484: 2nd movement, Andante by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Frouke Mooij (Violin), Rachael Beesley (Violin), Wanda Visser (Viola),
Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Regina Albanez (Guitar),
Pieter Dirksen (Organ), Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord), Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 
8. Concerto for Bassoon in E minor, RV 484: 3rd movement, Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Pieter Dirksen (Organ), Maria Vahervuo (Violone), Regina Albanez (Guitar),
Regina Albanez (Theorbo), Cassandra L. Luckhardt (Cello), Rachael Beesley (Violin),
Frouke Mooij (Violin), Wanda Visser (Viola), Pieter Dirksen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Pieter Dirksen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Suave Melodia
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Guido Tichelman.
Audio Producer: Frans Robert Berkhout. 

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