Vivaldi’s Recorder Concertos

Floral design

Vincent Lauzer recorders, Arion Orchestre Baroque, dir. Alexander Weimann
ATMA ACD2 2760

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ancy a glide down the Grand Canal with some wonderful Venetian sunshine glinting off the water in shimmering reflections, then this marvellous recording will not disappoint; even the familiar works are played with poise and fine articulation without any blistering speeds that boggle the mind and defy one’s ears, or vice versa! The impeccable balance between the soloist and superbly responsive orchestra is felt at every step, along with the unforced excellence in capturing Vivaldi’s splendid virtuosic contours for both alto and sopranino recorders. The concerto transposed in F (Track 9-11) RV312R is an arrangement of the G major Violin concerto RV312 by Jean Cassignol, and it works especially well, so too the wonderfully atmospheric “La Notte” on alto recorder, which loses nothing of that spectral feel. It is particularly pleasing to have these works gathered together for comparison and variation. RV441 (circa 1728) is a real tour de force  with unfurling ritornelli and incredibly challenging solo passages, which can go easily astray or be over-played! RV442 in F major written a little earlier, between 1724-1729, the later date reflecting the date of publication of the closely related RV434 (with Largo e cantabile  in G minor), the fifth work from the Op. 10 set of concerti, finds a more tender, subdued mood, again beautifully captured by the mellifluence of soloist Vincent Lauzer, and the closely supportive Arion orchestre baroque; the recorded sound is as radiant as the music… bathing in that bright Venetian sunshine!

David Bellinger

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