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Vivaldi: The Pisendel Sonatas / Unger, Pfaender, Remy

Vivaldi / Unger / Pfaender / Remy
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog #: 12248   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Annette UngerLudger RémyMichael Pfaender
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VIVALDI Pisendel Violin Sonatas: in F, RV 2; in C, RV 29; in A, RV 25; in G/g, RV 6; in c, RV 19 Annette Unger (vn); Michael Pfaender (vc); Ludger Rémy (hpd) (period instruments) GENUIN 12248 (63: 25)

Ortrun Landmann’s notes tell Read more the story of Antonio Vivaldi’s five sonatas, presented in Genuin’s collection, dedicated to his student and colleague Johann Georg Pisendel—of their discovery in a cabinet in Dresden in the middle of the 19th century, of their surviving the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945, of their eventual dismemberment for the purpose of making trades, and of the ultimate assembling of the sources, sources from which violinist Annette Unger, cellist Michael Pfaender, and harpsichordist Ludger Rémy made Genuin’s recording. Three of the sonatas consist of four movements, in the pattern slow-fast-slow-fast (although, as Landmann points out, many of the movements don’t bear titles); the Sonata in F Major adds to these four a theme with variations, and the Sonata in G Major (or G Major/Minor), comprises five quick movements and a Tempo di Minuetto.

Unger, playing a sweet-sounding violin made by Cornelius Schneider-Marfels in 2008, endows the opening Andante of the Sonata, RV 2, with cocky sprightliness and the fourth with irresistible élan. Her manner, historically informed or not, has a rich openness and a tonal elegance reminiscent of Arthur Grumiaux’s way with Baroque masterpieces (the reverberant ambiance of Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche enhances the effect). But the continuo group plays with a crisp percussiveness that brings excitement to movements like the sonata’s second that recall even more strongly, perhaps, the exuberant tub-thumping of Il Giardino Armonico and the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The theme and variations offers variations that sound a great deal like Giuseppe Tartini’s L’Art del arco , themselves variations on a famous and very similar (if not verisimilar) theme and harmonic pattern by Arcangelo Corelli; but Unger invests with a rich timbral imagination what could have become a dry academic exercise. Pfaender and Rémy dig sharply into the opening movement of the Sonata in C Major, RV 29; Unger plays the third movement, a Siciliana, with a suavity that reveals its similarity—and not only in the violin part—to the Sicialiana-like Largo in Vivaldi’s Concerto, op. 3/11.

The Sonata in A Major, RV 25, opens with a movement in double-stops that sounds just as modern melodically as Tartini’s in his famous Devil’s Trill —and it even includes an alternation of major and minor modes heightening its poignancy. Pfaender and Rémy create a Tambourin-like drone under the violin’s jaunty melody in the last movement. The Sonata, RV 6, comprises a series of six short movements (all but one last less than 1:41) that constitute a sort of suite, and Unger and her cohorts keep the textures buoyant and the melody freshly appealing. The Sonata, RV 19, the only one in a minor key throughout, opens with an extended movement in a portentous dotted rhythm in which the ensemble trips along despite the movement’s weight; the performers maintain high seriousness throughout the next movement, relaxing in the third—in both weight and Affekt —before proceeding headlong into the relatively complex finale.

In its readings of these sonatas, the ensemble proves that the techniques with which daring ensembles have transformed the Master’s Concertos can achieve similar results in the sonatas as well. And their demonstration, presenting some relatively unfamiliar works, serves at least a double function. Recordings like this one should inspire many violinists to take up these sonatas. Urgently recommended.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in C major, RV 2 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Annette Unger (Violin), Ludger Rémy (Harpsichord), Michael Pfaender (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1709; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 12 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in A major, RV 29 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Michael Pfaender (Cello), Annette Unger (Violin), Ludger Rémy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Sonata for violin & continuo in G major ("a Pisendel" No. 3), RV 25 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Michael Pfaender (Cello), Annette Unger (Violin), Ludger Rémy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in C minor, RV 6 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Annette Unger (Violin), Michael Pfaender (Cello), Ludger Rémy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in F major, RV 19 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Michael Pfaender (Cello), Annette Unger (Violin), Ludger Rémy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

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 Inexhaustible Delight September 7, 2013 By Anthony G. (valley stream, NY) See All My Reviews "One never grows tired of music this superlative. No one who is sincere in his love of Baroque violin music can forego owning this CD." Report Abuse
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