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Vivaldi: Variations, Trio Sonatas / Purcell Quartet


Release Date: 02/13/2007 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55231   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Elizabeth WallfischCatherine MackintoshRobert WoolleyRichard Boothby
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VIVALDI Trio Sonatas: in g, RV 74 ; in d, “La folia,” RV 63; in C, RV 60. Violin Sonatas: in C, RV 754; in A, RV 758 Purcell Qrt HELIOS 55231 (52:18)


An interesting collection of Vivaldi, even if it isn’t actually all by Vivaldi. The Read more probable cuckoo in the nest, here, is the Trio Sonata in C. Ryom lists it, but the piece exists only in a single, non-autograph manuscript held currently in the library of Lund University. Stylistically, it doesn’t sound like the composer’s work. In one movement, the two violins play only in unison, while the entire, rather uneven work displays a style more North German than Corellian. The authorship of the Trio Sonata in G Minor, from the same collection, is also in doubt, though there are enough features bringing Vivaldi to mind—the familiar call-and-answer phrasing in the Allegro, canonic imitations in the second Andante—that make this attribution more likely.


The Trio Sonata in D Minor, op. 1/12, subtitled “La folia,” is not only certifiably Vivaldi, but also his most frequently recorded piece of chamber music. ArkivMusic.com lists 24 currently available recordings. Although one might wish to credit the Red Priest with the fascination it exercises, the truth is that the work owes as much to its ground and melody (first mentioned as a traditional Portuguese folk dance in the 16th century) as to their treatment. Vivaldi’s version first appeared in 1705, and was clearly influenced by that of Corelli, which was published in 1700 and circulated in manuscript over the previous decade.


The other two works on this album, like the first pair, never saw publication. Any number of plausible reasons could be advanced for this, but the truth is that we don’t know. All we have in this case is a manuscript of 12 sonatas copied under the composer’s supervision and bound in a volume that once belonged to that musical Maecenas, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. There is no question of authorship here, nor would there be, even if the remaining fragments of Ottoboni’s library had long ceased to exist. Or to put it another way, any composer of the period who could so imitate Vivaldi’s worth as well as his style in detail would be worthy of respect.


The performances are lyrical and eloquent, qualities that will remind readers familiar with the work of the Purcell Quartet’s version of the Royall Consort Suites of William Lawes (Chandos 584). The members emphasize purity of tone and technical expertise while remaining relatively reticent in the use of dynamics and dramatic “touches.” The final two movements of the Sonata in A perhaps show them at their straightforward and eminently musical best, while the Preludio that leads off the Sonata in C seems bare and cries for embellishment, despite the delicacy of treatment. The Trio Sonata in D Minor is as good as any out there, though my personal preference runs to the more overtly theatrical Hesperion XXI version that features Manfredo Kraemer and Mauro Lopes (Alia Vox 9844, on an album entitled, appropriately enough, “Altre Follie”).


The engineering is close and lifelike, without having that large hall reverberance so often regrettably considered a necessity for any music that predates Haydn. With good notes, the lowered price and high performance quality easily compensates for this 1985 release’s short timing. Recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Trio Sonata in G minor, F 13 no 51/RV 74 RV 74 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin), Catherine Mackintosh (Violin), Robert Woolley (Harpsichord),
Richard Boothby (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1705; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/1985 
Length: 12 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Trio Sonata for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo in C major, RV 60 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Richard Boothby (Cello), Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin), Catherine Mackintosh (Violin),
Robert Woolley (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1985 
Length: 8 Minutes 56 Secs. 
3.
Trio Sonata for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo in D minor, Op. 1 no 12/RV 63 "La Follia" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Robert Woolley (Harpsichord), Richard Boothby (Cello), Catherine Mackintosh (Violin),
Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1705; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1985 
Length: 9 Minutes 29 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in C major, RV 754 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Catherine Mackintosh (Violin), Richard Boothby (Cello), Robert Woolley (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1985 
Length: 10 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: erox of traycard does not specify which violin soloist. 
5.
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in A major, RV 758 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Catherine Mackintosh (Violin), Robert Woolley (Harpsichord), Richard Boothby (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1985 
Length: 9 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: erox of traycard does not specify which soloist is playing violin. 

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