VIVALDI Concertos for Various Instruments: RV 861, 163, 2712, 3123, 4454, 4825, 5006, 5267, 5308) • AdrianRead more Chandler, dir 2,7,8(vn); Pamela Thorby 1,3,4(rcr); 1,5,6Peter Whelan (bn); 7,8Sara Deborah Struntz (vn); La Serenissima (period instruments) • AVIE AV 2201 (72:01)
One of the underlying motifs of this program seems to be Bohemia, which Vivaldi visited in 1730 and where he probably acquired the paper on which some of these concertos are written. This mixed program opens with what must be one of his briefest concertos, RV 163, in B?. Though under four minutes, and with no special solo instrument, it encompasses many of Vivaldi’s salient characteristics: a strong opening theme, a fine melody, and rhythmic surprise. This brief piece is called “Conca,” for reasons Adrian Chandler connects with a Bohemian use of the conch shell to ward off impending storm. The only storm in front of us here, however, is the pleasurable swirl of Vivaldi’s invention.
In 1727–28, Vivaldi wrote two sets of string concertos, both, in the end, called La Cetra (the lyre). One set was published in Amsterdam in 1727 as op. 9 and may have originally been intended for the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, to whom, on a visit to Trieste in 1728, however, he personally gave a manuscript of a set of new concertos. Vivaldi may have been looking for a job, and the emperor was certainly interested, but nothing happened because the emperor died and Vivaldi, having moved to Vienna without a patron, died in poor straits. The ensemble plays one concerto from the published set (RV 530) and two from the manuscript (RV 526 and 271, of which the former had to be reconstructed by Chandler).
The remaining four concertos on this disc use bassoon and recorder for the concerted part. Two of these, however, are single-movement fragments (RV 482 and 312, the latter reconstructed by Chandler). There is also a “sonata” for recorder and bassoon (RV 86).
Numbering 19, La Serenissima is a fairly large band, as early instrumental ensembles go. This gives a pleasant and most-welcome heft to its sound. The soloists are all good and it would be invidious to single out one of them. This is Vivaldi at his most vivacious, but don’t overlook the rightly named “amorous” concerto (RV 271) from the 1728 manuscript with which the program ends. Anyone looking for an introduction to Vivaldi’s instrumental pieces other than The Four Seasons would do well to start here.
Concerto for 2 Violins in B flat major, RV 526by Antonio Vivaldi Performer:
Adrian Chandler (Violin),
Sarah Deborah Struntz (Violin)
Period: Baroque Written: Venice, Italy
Concerto for Violin in G major, RV 312by Antonio Vivaldi Performer:
Adrian Chandler (Violin)
Period: Baroque Written: 18th Century; Venice, Italy
Killer CD, ideal giftJuly 3, 2012By Dundas I Flaherty (Malibu, CA)See All My Reviews"I buy CDs to try things out, pieces that you don't hear on the radio, and that's how I bought this CD. It's the best music I've bought in the last two or three years. The work itself is cheerful, energetic, mood-elevating, perfect for the car or on the iPhone for walking the dogs. The performances are terrific, virtuosic; I had no idea bassoons could do what they do in this work. I find myself listening to this CD instead of more pop Vivaldi like "Seasons." It isn't background music; you have to give more of yourself to it than you'd expect, but it rewards the attention and then some. We keep a supply of gifts, the Mozart "Requiem" for instance when someone dies, easy Beethoven for kids. This CD is our gift for musical sophisticates. We're season subscribers at Disney Hall and have become friends with our row-mates there. This CD is what we gave them at the end of last season."Report Abuse