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Vivaldi: Flute Concertos / Kuijken, Le Petite Bande

Vivaldi / La Petite Band / Kuijken
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Accent   Catalog #: 24241   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barthold Kuijken
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Petite Bande
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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SuperAudio CD:  $18.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Unmissable.

This disc of eight Vivaldi flute concertos was recorded using period instruments and has a warm, nicely balanced sound. La tempesta di mare starts the disc, with well-judged tempi which allow for details to be clearly heard and space for the music to breathe. Barthold Kuijken’s playing has sparkle and musicianship in abundance, and the accompaniment from La Petite Bande is excellent throughout.
 
The clarity of detail continues in La Notte, with an impressively dark atmosphere created in the opening section. The fast-moving notes in the Fantasmi Presto are
Read more played with excellent technical control from the whole ensemble, and Kuijken’s fascinating ornamentation in the Largo is well worth hearing. The charming Il Gardellino features a sense of lightness in conjunction with beautifully crafted phrasing. The slow movement is completely captivating throughout, with more examples of Kuijken’s imaginative ornamentation of the solo line. The final movement returns to a light and cheerful mood, with nicely defined dotted rhythms and an unhurried, effective choice of tempo.
 
The G major concerto, Op. 10 No. 4, features more elements of the stile galante than the other concertos, and the sleeve-notes explain that this concerto appears to be the only one originally composed for the Op. 10 set. The solo flute line floats effortlessly over the ensemble here, and there is a wonderful sense of elegance about the playing. Concerto Number 5 in F major has a more delicate mood and the opening movement provides a beautiful contrast. The slow movement is dark and mysterious in atmosphere, while the contrasts of dynamic in the final movement create an enjoyable echo effect.
 
The final concerto in the Op. 10 collection is a reworking of an earlier concerto for recorder, with structural alterations and a change of key in the version for flute. The liner-notes include an interesting discussion of the two versions, and demonstrate Barthold Kuijken’s obvious passion for the music he is playing. This recording displays some impressive rhythmic accuracy, especially within the context of the many trills and technical passages in the final movement.
 
The D major concerto RV 783 was discovered in the early 1990s and has a bright, dazzling sound. This is yet another faultless performance, with poise, energy and clarity throughout. The final work on the disc is the C major concerto for two flutes, with Barthold Kuijken ably joined by Frank Theuns. The two flute parts are well matched, and the fast-paced opening movement has an imposing and infectious energy. The lyrical central movement allows space for the music’s simplicity to shine, with gentle phrasing which does not impose on the melodic lines. The energy returns in the closing movement, with sprightly semiquavers and clear articulation in the flutes heard against a strong and rhythmically punchy bass-line.
 
Overall, this recording has a fresh voice amongst the many discs containing these works. The approach is intelligent, well researched and musically intuitive, and rather than feeling dry and academic, as some period-instrument recordings can be, the high levels of artistry here make the concertos seem as alive and fresh as they undoubtedly were in Vivaldi’s day. Unmissable.


-- Carla Rees, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (6) for Flute, Op. 10 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barthold Kuijken (Flute)
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Petite Bande
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728; Venice, Italy 
2.
Concerto for Flute in D major, RV 783 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barthold Kuijken (Flute)
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Petite Bande
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
3.
Concerto for 2 Flutes in C major, RV 533 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barthold Kuijken (Flute)
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Petite Bande
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 

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