Music on the theme of Tarantism
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his very brief CD is a series of pieces from the late 16th to the 18th century rather spuriously linked together by the concept of the tarantella. Most of them have nothing to do with this theme although there are arrangements of 18th-century tarantellas. The ‘straight’ early music is beautifully played on a range of recorders, but a fair proportion of the CD is taken up with arrangements, such as Vivaldi’s concerto ‘La Notte’ for flute and strings, interpreted as a nightmare by Miriam Nerval and given a rather distorted (alla Red Priest) performance by four recorders.
I’m sure this goes down a bomb in concert, but I could do without it. What is it about Vivaldi’s music that makes some musicians want to vandalize it? More effective were Nerval’s arrangements of 18th-century Tarantellas, including a charming ‘Napoletana’. The playing throughout this CD is technically impressive and musically exciting, but in light of the variety of approaches to the music and the CD’s extreme brevity I think it is more an item for the group to sell at the door after concerts than a very serious contribution to the recorder ensemble discography.
D. James Ross
You can buy the CD and help support this young quartet via their website.