This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
A delightful disc, very well recorded
Andrew Parrott has provided the listener with additional interest in his new recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by inviting a different soloist for each of the four concertos. Then he brings them together in a fine work for four violins and strings, RV553, concluding the programme with two ripieno compositions, a Sinfonia, RV146 and the captivating little Alla rustica, RV151. Parrott, as we might expect brings plenty of fresh thinking to the music, above all in respect of phrasing and ornamentation. And he realizes the programmatic element in the Four Seasons both vividly and with a good sense of style. The soloists, too, show imagination in their response to Vivaldi's vernal
imagery. Chiara Banchini, of whose Ensemble 415 I am an admirer, is allotted ''Spring'', Alison Bury ''Summer'', Elizabeth Wallfisch ''Autumn'' and John Holloway ''Winter''. Each brings her or his own individual delights to the music and, while some ears may quibble over the pitching of notes from time to time, the overall standard of execution is high and the interpretations mainly satisfying.
There are too many pleasing details to discuss here but from among them Alison Bury's ornamentation of the Largo of her concerto, Elizabeth Wallfisch's incisive, virtuosic account of ''Autumn'' and John Toll's effective harpsichord continuo playing in the same work and indeed throughout, deserve mention; and there is the welcome, intermittent presence of a theorbo and archlute, audibly and sensitively played by Jakob Lindberg.
The remaining concertos come over equally well. The Concerto in B flat for four violins is an attractive work in which Vivaldi deploys the obbligato parts in a variety of ways sometimes giving them imitative ideas, as in the first movement, sometimes pairing them off, as in the initial statement of the melancholy Largo. The two G major pieces are smaller in scale and are ripieno works rather than solo ones. The Sinfonia carries a dedication to the great Dresden virtuoso and Konzertmeister, Pisendel, with whom Vivaldi had become acquainted in about 1716. As Paul Everett remarks in an informative note, the Sinfonia probably dates from about this time since its second movement appears as an aria in Vivaldi's Mantuan opera, Armida al campo d'Egitto. This Sinfonia, like the better known Concerto alla rustica, is a piece of enormous vitality, rhythmic elan and melodic charm. Parrott and his Taverner Players respond accordingly. A delightful disc, very well recorded.
-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [12/1991]
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