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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concertos, Cello Sonatas No 1-6 / Lamon, Tafelmusik


Release Date: 04/03/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 796453           Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne LamonAnner BylsmaChristina MahlerStephen Marvin,   ... 
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Number of Discs: 4 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Recordings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons tend to fall into one of two catagories. There are the star soloist versions, which spotlight the virtuosic, and highly marketable, talents of the big name violinists. And then there are the period instrument versions, in which greater emphasis is put on unusual textures and more authentic performance practice.

This new disc from the Canadian group Tafelmusik is an excellent example of the latter, and a distinctive feature of their recording is their adoption of a pitch roughly a semitone higher than usual with period groups in line with recent research into common practice in 18th-century
Read more Venice. They also make use of an archlute to add variety to the continuo, and the result is a bright, distinctive sound which brings freshness, clarity and variety of texture to the music.

The playing itself is incisive but free of the hard-driven tempi which sometimes mar authentic performances, and is imaginatively allied to the seasonal pictures painted in the sonnets on which the concertos are based (which are included in the CD booklet).

Lamon’s relatively small tone means that her instrument blends in with the ensemble rather than dominating it, highlighting the concerto grosso aspects of the works. Her playing puts expressiveness before virtuosity and is quite beautiful in the slow movements, which she ornaments freely adding a refreshing touch of spontaneity to music which is after all very familiar. In a hugely overcrowded field, Tafelmusik has come up with a winner in these highly satisfying and well-recorded performances, and the Sinfonia and Concerto for Four Violins are pleasing bonuses.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- David Michaels, BBC Music Magazine

I have been a fervent admirer of this Canadian period-instrument ensemble since hearing its first CD on the Hyperion label (12/87) in a programme of vocal and instrumental pieces by Vivaldi. The new Vivaldi disc is entirely instrumental containing a very well balanced and carefully planned programme of nine concertos, no less, for a variety of string combinations. Four of them are ripieno concertos without soloist in which Vivaldi sometimes foreshadows the early symphonists; another (RV549), a work for four violins with a concertante cello in the first movement, is the opening piece in Vivaldi's earliest concerto collection, L'es!ro armonico (Op. 3). The remaining four feature the cello to a far greater extent. Two are for solo cello and strings (RV413 and 418), the third for violin and cello (RV547), one of two which Vivaldi wrote for this combination, and the fourth (RV575) for two violins and two cellos.

The cellist Anner Bylsma requires no introduction to regular readers of these pages. For almost 30 years he has been making outstanding recordings of baroque and early classical repertory, both as a soloist and as an ensemble player. It would seem Tafelmusik have constructed this programme in his honour and I hope it is the first of many, since the chemistry between soloists and ensemble works exceptionally well.

Although Vivaldi wrote as many as 27 cello concertos, I have yet to find a dull one. The two recorded here are splendid examples of the composer's skill in writing for this instrument. But I must register the strongest protest at the tempo chosen for the opening movement of RV4I3. Though brilliantly played—there is no denying that—it is absurdly brisk allowing the music not one moment to breathe. All the more a pity, since the movement is a particularly engaging one with an airy rococo gracefulness, an abundance of appoggiaturas and affecting weakly stressed phrase endings. If you are looking for a more eloquent, communicative performance of this delightful piece then Christophe Coin (L'OiseauLyre) provides it.

Apart from this single criticism I have little but praise for an outstanding disc. The concerto for violin and cello and that for two violins and two cellos come off admirably; tempos are effectively judged, though a shade hard driven at times, and plenty of attention is given to achieving clear textures. Both face stiff competition from existing recordings in The Classical Catalogue, RV547 from a sparkling performance by Europa Galante (Opus 111) and RV575 from the Taverner Players (EMI). As I have implied, the remainder of the programme is first-rate, musically and from an interpretative standpoint; I especially enjoyed Tafelmusik's affectionate, gently spoken account of the attractive ripieno Concerto in A major (RV159) with which they conclude the disc. Fine recorded sound. Only the hardest of hearts will resist the melancholy Largo of RV575 (scored for the four soloists with continuo) and the affecting melodic ideas shared between violins and cellos in its finale. Strongly recommended.

-- Gramophone [9/1992]

In December 1740, a notice in the Mercure de France announced the imminent publication of six ‘Sonates Violoncello Solo col Basso’ by Antonio Vivaldi. He composed at least ten cello sonatas; one has vanished, but this extremely rare Paris print encompassed the greater, and much the best part of a corpus of work which might have been significantly larger than we now know.v These sonatas have been recorded fairly regularly; the catalogue features creditable versions from Pieter Wispelwey (Channel Classics) and David Watkin (Hyperion), both accomplished periodists offering much to enjoy and admire in their contrasting performances. If Wispelwey is the more mercurial, surprising and unconventional, then Watkin’s more scholarly approach tends sometimes toward drabness, regardless of its authority.

Veteran Dutch authenticist Anner Bylsma, however, plays with greater imagination and fervour than either. Questions of phrasing, articulation and ornamentation will always remain largely conjectural; Bylsma’s solutions are reassuringly plausible, but never pedantic in their application of received historical wisdom. Sony’s fine recording is richly detailed, whilst never over-resonant, and continuo playing is discreetly effective throughout. Highly recommended.
Performance: 5 (out of 5); Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- Michael Jameson, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
2.
Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
3.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
4.
Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
5.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
6.
Sinfonia for Strings in B minor, RV 169 "al Santo Sepolcro" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
7.
Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello in B minor, Op. 3 no 10/RV 580 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1991 
Venue:  Humbercrest United Church, Toronto 
8.
Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV 157 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
9.
Concerto for Cello in D major, RV 403 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
10.
Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV 152 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
11.
Concerto for Cello in B minor, RV 424 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
12.
Concerto for Strings in D minor, RV 127 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
13.
Concerto for 2 Violins and 2 Cellos in D major, RV 564 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Christina Mahler (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello),
Stephen Marvin (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
14.
Concerto for 2 Oboes in D minor, RV 535 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  John Abberger (Oboe), Washington McClain (Oboe)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
15.
Concerto for Cello in A minor, RV 419 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
16.
Concerto for Cello in E minor, RV 409 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Michael McCraw (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
17.
Concerto for 2 Violins and 2 Oboes in C major, RV 557 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Washington McClain (Oboe), John Abberger (Oboe),
David Greenberg (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
18.
Concerto for Strings in G major, RV 151 "Alla rustica" by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
19.
Concerto for Cello in A minor, RV 418 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 9 Minutes 45 Secs. 
20.
Concerto for Strings in C major, RV 117 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
21.
Concerto for Strings in F minor, RV 143 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 
22.
Concerto for Violin and Cello in B flat major, RV 547 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 8 Minutes 40 Secs. 
23.
Concerto for 2 Violins and 2 Cellos in G major, RV 575 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Stephen Marvin (Violin),
Christina Mahler (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 10 Minutes 0 Secs. 
24.
Concerto for 4 Violins in D major, Op. 3 no 1/RV 549 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Christina Mahler (Cello), Chantal Rémillard (Violin),
Stephen Marvin (Violin), Cynthia Roberts (Violin)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
25.
Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 7 Minutes 52 Secs. 
26.
Concerto for Strings in E minor, RV 134 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
27.
Concerto for Strings in A major, RV 159 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1990 
Venue:  Hervormde Kerk, Bennebroek, Netherlands 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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