Notes and Editorial Reviews
Albinoni's Op. 5 set of concertos provides fine examples of the composer's concise, lyrical style--all of it more musically interesting than the ubiquitous Adagio in G. The set also is notable for the rare feature of two separate viola parts, resulting in a configuration of Violin I, Violin II, Viola I, Viola II, and basso continuo. While the music is mostly in the standard mold of the Baroque string concerto, some of the pieces feature rather extended solo passages. Simon Standage displays his usual high musical standards in the Concerto No. 2, and his playing is especially beautiful in the solo lines of the lovely Adagio of the Concerto No. 5. There is even a cello solo turn in the very pretty Adagio of No. 11.
Musicum 90 remains one of the world's top period bands. Passage-work in the violins moves cleanly and without weight; chord changes are never over-stressed in the continuo, and overall ensemble balance is excellent. Standage gets his group to produce some fine dynamic shadings, and Chandos' engineering is near-perfect. Sure, there are some occasional rough spots, like the start of the Presto tutti statement in the second movement of Concerto No. 3, but the energy of the performance more than makes up for that. Individual players within the sections don't always agree on intonation, but it doesn't take much away from the overall enjoyment of this disc. Warmly recommended.
--David Preiser, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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