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Vivaldi: 5 Cello Concertos / Heinrich Schiff, Brown, ASMF


Release Date: 11/24/2008 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 411126   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Writing for the cello often finds Vivaldi at his most stylistically varied and also, to my mind, at his most expressive. The five concertos assembled on this new LP from Philips are no exception, though I am sorry to report to Vivaldi lovers that only one movement has not previously appeared in the catalogue. Concertos RV424, 413 and 401 have all been issued fairly recently and in the same order of performance as here, on an Erato/Conifer release with Frédérick Lodéon as soloist (STU71453, 5/82). RV418 is one of four cello concertos in an excellent recital by Christine Walevska included in Vol. 7 of the Philips Vivaldi Edition; RV41 I has previously appeared on a record of cello concertos played by Claude Starck on the Read more Schwann/Impetus label. Heinrich Schiff, the soloist on this new issue, evidently thinks that the slow movement which Vivaldi provided for RV4I I is not worthy of him for he lifts an entirely different one from another F major Concerto (RV412). It seems, on the face of it, rather an odd thing to do but I must admit to finding the interloper an altogether more interesting piece.

In most respects I prefer this approach to Vivaldi to that of the artists on the Erato LP. Schiff has a fine technique and he is a relaxed player. His intonation, furthermore, is more dependable than that of Lodéon and there is no doubt at all in my mind that the ASMF offer crisper and more sympathetic support than the Jean-Francois Paillard Chamber Orchestra. Tempos, by and large, are well judged though the opening movement of RV413 is surely too fast. It's a particularly attractive piece with its weakly stressed ritornello endings and its graceful appoggiaturas but the elegance is diminished by this helter-skelter approach. I noticed, too, that Schiff halves the note-values of a passage in the first solo section of the finale of the same concerto; presumably for effect but it is not what Vivaldi wrote. Schiff seems to revel in the bravura element of these concertos and carries it off convincingly; Vivaldi did not spare his cello soloists and much of the writing requires agility and sensibility. Schiff has a pleasing tone which is extremely faithfully represented on this digitally recorded LP. Sadly there is a slight drop in pitch towards the end of the second tutti section of the finale of RV401. But generally speaking, this is a very enjoyable release which I have already listened to many times over.

-- Gramophone [8/1984]
reviewing the original LP release
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello in F major, RV 411: Excerpt(s) by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
2.
Concerto for Cello in A minor, RV 418 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
3.
Concerto for Cello in B minor, RV 424 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
4.
Concerto for Cello in G major, RV 413 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
5.
Concerto for Cello in C minor, RV 401 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
6.
Concerto for Cello in F major, RV 412: 2nd movement, Larghetto by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

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