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Estro Armonico Op. 3

Price: CDN$ 34.54 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
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15 new from CDN$ 18.64 3 used from CDN$ 28.27

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not satisfying. March 30 2011
By Alexander Mendez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree with the other reviewer that the recording is extremely weak. However, the Italian ensemble is actually a rather strong one. If you listen to the other recordings of L'Arte dell'Arco, it is quite clear that the ensemble itself is quite good and that Federico Guglielmo is an excellent violinist. In fact, both the ensemble and Christopher Hogwood have impeccable reputations, but somehow this recording did not work out. One of the reasons for its weakness is the performance choice. It was decided to have only instrumentalist play each part. Therefore, you have these grand concerti played almost as chamber pieces. This is an interesting choice, but the result is not very effective and, to those who have heard these works before, the result is unnerving. The choice seemed to affect the players themselves. There is very little of the creative playing characteristic of Italian violinists although on other recordings these same violinists play quite wonderfully. The continuo is feeble and in some movements there is a rather frenetic baroque guitar trying to fill in the gaps in the sound (baroque guitar can be used quite effectively as a continuo instrument, but it is not in this recording). The tempi are incredibly rushed. The overall sound is tinny and weak. In short, there is no reason to buy this unless you are really curious to hear what one part per player sounds like.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not in the race Feb. 3 2011
By J. TIMMERMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this on the strength of a glowing Gramophone Mag review but I am highly disappointed. I'm learning not to trust the Gramophone. For all their keen intellectual discussion of music performance, I think sometimes they are way off the mark on their performance rating, and I doubt that, despite their musical qualifications, very few of the reviewers are audiophiles that can assess recording quality objectively.

On this recording Hogwood has at his hands a mediocre provincial Italian ensemble with a scratchy tonal quality and less than ideal intonation, struggling on difficult passages. The playing is relatively bland, matched by a dead acoustic. Hogwood's 90's recording with the Academy of Ancient Music is more polished while the recording quality is warmer and more expansive. As well, it comes with the complete set of Op.10 flute concertos.

If you're after a fine recent Italian recording of the Op.3, Fabio Biondi's Europa Galante offers far more insights and interest, with more polished performance and a warmer more open sound (yet Gramophone gives it a lower rating). Although Biondi's Vivaldi Op.8 is very ordinary, being too quirky (the Gramophone loved it) his earlier Op.3 is excellent. Then there's also Pinnock's fine English Concert recording.

L'Arte dell'Arco's recording is certainly not horrible, it's just underwhelming, paling in comparison to others.