Notes and Editorial Reviews
Andrew Manze is celebrated as "a violinist with extraordinary flair and improvisatory freedom" (BBC Music Magazine) and "the first modern superstar of the Baroque violin" (San Francisco Examiner). Featuring Manze's longtime duo partner Richard Eggar on Harpsichord, Jaap ter Linden on gamba, the Academy of Ancient Music and the English concert, this varied selection of award-winning recordings offers a comprehensive portrait of the artist.
R E V I E W S
Along comes Andrew Manze in the waning years of the 20th century, and all of our previously ingrained expectations regarding Baroque performance are suddenly and marvelously shattered. At last, here is a violinist who reasserts this music's
once-accepted and long-misunderstood inherent excitement, its improvisatory roots, its performer-oriented legitimacy. As embodied in Corelli's magnificent Op. 5 sonatas, Manze and his long-time keyboard partner Richard Egarr set off a series of musical fireworks that not only revive these pieces as substantial concert works but also establish them as assertions of virtuoso technique and shameless celebrations of period style. Of course, Corelli's creations represent a high point in violin writing, whatever the period, but Manze expands the written notes into a dazzling display of sheer technique and well-considered yet stunningly imaginative interpretation, all of which shows off his 18th-century instrument to full effect. The engineering gives full measure to Manze's intense, delightfully edgy sound and balances perfectly with Egarr's bright, sparkly harpsichord timbre. Can Manze make a less-than-ideal recording? Apparently not. [3/15/2003]
-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing the original release of the Corelli works,
If you're looking for an excellent disc containing Mozart's three most popular violin concertos played on period instruments, look no further. These are splendid performances, musically astute and full of ear-catching detail. The playing of the English Concert under Andrew Manze is simply marvelous, with polished strings and delightful flutes, oboes, and horns... Manze also earns points for his excellent, original cadenzas in each concerto. These are full of virtuosity but also are stylish, clearly in sync with the musical argument--and not a second too long. In general, the quick movements never hang fire as they so often do in traditional performances on modern instruments. The famous "Turkish" interlude in the finale of the Fifth concerto seldom has sounded so emphatically exotic, with col legno bows really slapping against the strings and the ensuing return of the main rondo theme perfectly judged. The sonics also couldn't be better in stereo or multichannel formats, with ideal balances both within the orchestra and in relation to the soloist. I'm not giving up Grumiaux (Philips) anytime soon as my recording of reference, but Manze offers his own valid solution to the problem of finding the right balance between the music's high spirits and its inimitably Mozartian lyric grace.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing the original release of the Mozart works,
The performances are splendid. Manze has a pleasing awareness of the inherent poesy and fantasy in Vivaldi's music and has the technique to make the most of it. I derived particular enjoyment from La reinpesta di more and the tenderly expressive Concerto for viola d'amore and lute I like the gently swung rhythm of the sublime Largo just as I admire Manze's ornamented repeats - but readers are unlikely to be disappointed by anything here. Just occasionally I found the upper string sound a little thin and undernourished but the orchestra are generally on good form, responsive to Vivaldi and Manze alike. These aspects can be savoured above all in the C major Concerto with its treble recorders, tenor chalumeaux, mandolins, theorbos, violins, cello and string tutti. Vivaldi was clearly intent on showing off the diverse, multicoloured musical talents of his pupils in this rhythmically infectious piece. In summary. this is a delightful, well-conceived programme, executed with refinement of taste and technique.
-- Gramophone [4/1998, reviewing the original release of the Vivaldi works, also available as
Manze, never short of genius or fire in the Italian and Austrian repertory he has recorded up to now, here relaxes his sound, making gentle and subtle use of tempo and dynamics and only occasionally breaking out into the impassioned lyricism of Which he has shown himself so capable. But that does not mean to say that he has simply plugged into the fashionable French baroque sound with its easy grace and polite twiddles: one can easily imagine these sonatas being played in just such a pretty manner, but Manze has instead looked deep into the music and extracted from it a great variety of expression. including in many places an unexpected darkness, a brooding restraint immediately apparent in the Grave movements with which some of these sonatas open, but seldom far away even in the apparently carefree musettes, rondeaux or allemandes. It brings to the music an unexpected emotional edge, even a touch of menace... Combined with the sympathetic contributions of Richard Egarr and Jaap ter Linden, this is baroque chamber music-making of the highest order.
-- Gramophone [4/1999, reviewing the original release of the Rebel works,
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Violin no 3 in G major, K 216 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Andrew Manze (Violin)
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria
Concerto in C major, RV 558 by Antonio Vivaldi
Andrew Manze (Violin)
Academy of Ancient Music
Written: Venice, Italy
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