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Vivaldi: La Cetra / Podger, Holland Baroque Society

Vivaldi / Podger / Holland Baroque Society
Release Date: 06/12/2012 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 33412   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

A search for the best recording of a given set of Vivaldi violin concertos gets easier with every new release from Rachel Podger. Her last effort for Channel Classics, a scintillating recording of the 12 concertos of La Stravaganza (Op. 4) simply blew away the existing competition (click here for review), and this one promises to do the same. Not that there are that many complete traversals of all 12 of these concertos, but after these commanding performances, recorded with Channel Classics’ signature attention to realistic sound reproduction, future applicants need not apply.

Read more Podger is a dynamic and unfailingly accurate virtuoso with exceptional interpretive instincts that can turn an unimposing rhythmic accent, a tiny melodic figure, or a seemingly routine harmonic progression into a moment of surprise or sheer wonder not only at the technical facility but also at the unexpected expressive effect. These concertos are full of challenges for the soloist, and Podger, who has considerable experience not only with Vivaldi, but with Mozart, Bach, and Haydn, has no apparent fear of any of them. And she also is a confident leader, bringing her very capable orchestral colleagues perfectly along with her, not only concerning tempos, but more importantly into her personal conception of dynamics, her volatile phrasing and often relentless rhythmic thrust. This is what makes these performances so exciting, invigorating, and so memorably different from the Vivaldi we’ve previously known and loved from performers such as Fabio Biondi, Giuliano Carmignola, and Andrew Manze.

There’s nothing not to like in terms of the music, and there are interesting little tidbits of trivia, such as the C minor theme of the Largo in Concerto No. 1, which bears an all-too-striking resemblance to the theme of Bach’s G minor fugue in Book 1 of the WTC. For some reason the first movement of the D minor concerto (No. 8) is foisted on many third or fourth-year violin students, perpetuating the idea that Vivaldi is “easier Bach”. Well, it isn’t. And just listen to Podger’s no-holds-barred performance and you’ll want to slap a warning label on the work: “For Adults Only”.

The Holland Baroque Society is a superb ensemble—it reminds me of the Quebec-based Les Violons du Roy—a group of young and very talented musicians whose inherent youthful energy and technical virtuosity, not to mention serious dedication to their music, reassures us older types that the future of classical music is secure. Full disclosure: I happened to be in Amsterdam during these recording sessions, and sat in for an all-too-brief period. I can say without qualification that the sound you hear is absolutely faithful to the superb acoustics of Amsterdam’s Waalse Kerk and to the vibrant timbres of the Holland Baroque Society’s period instruments. (A wonderful thing about these performances is the way the instruments themselves and their unique colors are celebrated and exploited—not just the bowed strings, but also the lute, organ, and harpsichord.) When listening to this CD I turned the volume up just slightly past my normal listening level, and I was rewarded with a room-filling reproduction of what I’d heard in Amsterdam. “Uitstekend!” Highly recommended.

-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concertos (12) for Violin, Op. 9 "La Cetra" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
2. Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 9 no 1/RV 181a by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
3. Concerto for Violin in A major, Op. 9 no 2/RV 345 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
4. Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 9 no 3/RV 334 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
5. Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 9 no 4/RV 263a by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
6. Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 9 no 5/RV 358 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
7. Concerto for Violin in A major, Op. 9 no 6/RV 348 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
8. Concerto for Violin in B flat major, Op. 9 no 7/RV 359 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
9. Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 9 no 8/RV 238 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
10. Concerto for 2 Violins in B flat major, Op. 9 no 9/RV 530 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
11. Concerto for Violin in G major, Op. 9 no 10/RV 300 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
12. Concerto for Violin in C minor, Op. 9 no 11/RV 198a by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
13. Concerto for Violin in B minor, Op. 9 no 12/RV 391 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Rachel Podger (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 The disc skips and I am too intimidated by music  June 4, 2013 By ROBERT L. (Mount Lookout, OH) See All My Reviews "Sorry." Report Abuse
 Fresh Vivaldi January 22, 2013 By Michael R. (Huntington Woods, MI) See All My Reviews "Listening to Vivaldi concertos can be a boring walk through a familiar garden. The foliage is beautiful but you have seen it all so many times that the experience has become empty. Nothing is exciting any more. This recording by Rachel Podger is not the old familiar walk. It reveals new treasures at every turn. The Holland Baroque Society plays with vigor and sensitivity. Rhythms are there that I have not heard before. Melodic lines sing from Podger and her friends. From beginning to end, on two discs, the listener experiences Vivaldi as if he were a newly discovered genius who was far ahead of his time. No matter how many recordings of Vivaldi you have in your collection you need to make room for another addition. I need to add that the recording quality is top notch. The performers sound like they are there in the room with you. I can not think of one reason for not getting this new recording except be warned that you may be spending more of your time listening to Podger and thinking what else has she recorded that I can buy and enjoy." Report Abuse
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