Works by Cavalli, Merula, Vitali, Fontana, S. Rossi…
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This sparkling CD of instrumental music from 17th-century Italy features the youthful ensemble La Vaghezza, whose virtuosity and innate musicality shine through in this innovative programme. The title comes from Nigel North, who wrote of early music needing to be sculpted anew by performers using ornamentation and elaboration to create something new each time. While the idea of sculpting fabric seems a little perverse, the performers on two violins, theorbo, cello and harpsichord/organ certainly use wonderfully imaginative ornamentation and vivid playing techniques to bring this music to spectacularly life. La Vaghezza is new upon the scene, and enjoys the support of the EEEmerging scheme for young artists, a scheme which must have proved invaluable during the last two troubled years for the performing arts. This ensemble, brimming with youthful energy and talent, is just the sort of group to inject dynamism into the performing circuit, and these accounts of the earliest Italian virtuoso music for violins are thrilling and constantly intriguing.
D. James Ross