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Nightmare In Venice / Red Priest

Release Date: 06/09/2009 
Label:  Red Priest Recordings   Catalog #: 2   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio VivaldiHenry PurcellJean-Marie LeclairGiovanni Paolo Cima,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Vivaldi opens the program of Nightmare in Venice , in a collection that plays on the dark image most people have of that city thanks to movies like Death in Venice and Don’t Look Now , and dark shops crammed with creepy carnival masks.

(Aside: I was once in Venice at the time of the film festival, and one evening I wandered into a piazza where a movie was screening. It was Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas . The movie was not very scary, but boy I was Read more spooked by the city itself on my way back to the hotel!)

As befits its title, this disc has proved something of a nightmare to critics by being more “over the top” than its predecessor. The “Witches’ Dance,” in a suite compiled from pieces by Robert Johnson and the aptly named Nicholas Le Strange, involves a cackle produced by closely recorded violin glissandi, played above the bridge. Tempos in Vivaldi’s “La notte” concerto creep forward tentatively at one moment then fly into a panic the next, setting the ghostly scene admirably.

There existed in the early-Baroque period a stylus phantasticus , two examples of which are in this recital: Cima’s Sonata a Tre and Castello’s Sonata Decima. The style blended disparate elements of song and dance in an unpredictable manner that contemporaries regarded as grotesque. In the same spirit of willful grotesquery, Adams and cohorts deconstruct Corelli’s Fantasia on “La Folia,” bringing in even more disparate elements like a passing reference to the Elgar Cello Concerto, and various ethnomusical or jazzy touches. This is nothing more nor less than an outrageous party piece.

For all that, the concert has its respectful moments, primarily the Vivaldi Concerto Grosso from L’estro armonico, brisk but not manic in the outer movements and pellucid in the central Larghetto. There is also a comparative straightforwardness to most of the dances in the suites from Purcell’s masque and Leclair’s tragédie lyrique . The prelude to The Faerie Queen is positively genteel, while Leclair’s first “Demon Dance” goes with a lilt to assure us that this demon was courteous enough to be welcome at the Paris Opéra. Lest the demonic element slips our mind, the third “Demon Dance” from Scylla et Glaucus is prefaced by Julia Bishop playing the opening of Saint-Saens’s Danse Macabre."

-- FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Flute in G minor, Op. 10 no 2/RV 439 "La notte" by Antonio Vivaldi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728; Venice, Italy 
Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, Op. 3 no 8/RV 522 by Antonio Vivaldi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711; Venice, Italy 
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Suite by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Scylla et Glaucus, Op. 11: Suite by Jean-Marie Leclair
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1746; France 
Sonata a tre by Giovanni Paolo Cima
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1610; Milan, Italy 
Sonate concertate in stil moderno Book 2: Sonata no 10 à 3 by Dario Castello
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1629; Venice, Italy 
Masque of Oberon: Satyrs' Dance by Robert Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1621; England 
Johnson's Flat Masque by Robert Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
Witches dances (2): no 1 by Robert Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
The furies by Nicholas L'Estrange
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1624; England 
Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 5: no 12 in D minor "La Follia" by Arcangelo Corelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Priest
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1700; Rome, Italy 
Notes: Arranged: Red Priest 

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