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Invigorating Vivaldi PerformancesJan. 9 2006
J Scott Morrison
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The hoary canard that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto six hundred times doesn't hold water, witty though it be. And these seven concertos for recorder are a case in point. Unlike most of his other concertos, these works are for solo recorder (and sometimes a second solo instrument) and groups of instrumental soloists rather than orchestras per se. In other words, these concertos are chamber music, the recorder soloist accompanied by no more than six other musicians.
As for the performances, they are lively, clear, musically informed and done to perfection by this group of Hungarian instrumentalists. The recorder player (recorderist?) is Lászlo Kecskeméti who has appeared on other issues in the Naxos series of other Vivaldi concertos. He is a fine player. I wouldn't quite put him in the class with Michala Petri, but he's not far behind her. Kecskeméti is joined in five of the concertos by oboist Lászlo Hadady who is also quite fine. Undergirding these performances is the fine and often virtuosic harpsichord and cello continuo played by Borbála Dobozy and György Kertész respectively. The bassoon joins the fray in four of the concertos and is played by the redoubtable György Olajos. The two violinists are Attila Falvay and Katalin Párkányi. The little cadential flourishes that all the soloists make at appropriate moments are delightful.
Vivaldi concertos make fine aural wallpaper and too often that is how they are used -- I recently heard one of these concertos while on hold in a call to my doctor's office -- but they pay close attention as well. And you certainly cannot argue with Naxos's budget pricing.