L'estro Armonico Import
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By Peter P. Fuchs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Mercury Baroque of Houston gives evidence in this gorgeous CD that they are bucking the trend towards aggressive and hard-bitten Vivaldi performances. Their readings are so sensitive, yet vibrant, and have not a drop of the harsh "baroque and roll" tendencies of so many other groups. Just as a for -instance, and a quite an ironic and telling one I think, I heard a concert of the Venice Baroque Orchestra no less playing in a church on Lincoln Road in South Beach, Miami Beach last year. They performed with mandolinist Avi Avatai, and their performances though fun, were so strident and blitzkrieg-like that I marveled after awhile that this was actually a concert of "baroque music". So the irony is, the "Baroque Orchestra" from the Venice itself plays Vivaldi with vastly less musical sensitivity and poised forcefulness than the Mercury Baroque which comes from Big Oil-country in the State of Texas--- Houston! Go figure, in the zany world of historically informed performance practice. To my ears, the Mercury Baroque epitomizes what is good in said practice, without all the pitfalls--- harshness, stochastic readings, and out of tune (flat) playing. All I can say in summarizing this odd fact is that this CD is exemplary of general musicality, which used to be more common, and one of the greatest performances of these great works in history.
By Whitt - Published on Amazon.com
Ive seen them perform live here in Houston. Well done. A good treat.