Notes and Editorial Reviews
The world-class British period-instrument ensemble Florilegium dispatches the two concertos with expected stylistic flair and technical ease, recorded in Channel Classics' vivid, detailed sound, this time from London's St. John the Evangelist church. Every period-instrument group does Vivaldi, but none better than this one, and with only 10 players (in varying configurations depending on the piece) the sound and substance is never lacking for power or richness of ensemble tone.
In the vocal selections Elin Manahan Thomas is vocally a fuller, more forward, more dominating presence than we're used to in this repertoire; but she definitely is in command of the music and its technical challenges--listen to the wild vocal
gymnastics she impressively negotiates in the "Amen" of the Laudate Pueri. And in the same work, her subtle, shapely vocalism in the "A solis ortu" section is a highlight of the disc. If you're reluctant to take a chance on yet another cookie-cutter Vivaldi recording (and who isn't?), don't hesitate to check this one out, for its vital performances and vibrant sound--you won't be disappointed.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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