Vivaldi: Cello Concertos, RV 407, 408, 411, 420 & 421; Concerto for Violin & Cello, RV 544; Concerto for Violin & Two Cellos, RV 561

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Composer(s):
Vivaldi
Works:
Cello Concertos, RV 407, 408, 411, 420 & 421; Concerto for Violin & Cello, RV 544; Concerto for Violin & Two Cellos, RV 561
Performer:
Christine Busch (violin), Richte Van der Meer (cello); Ensemble Explorations/Roel Dieltiens (cello)
Label:
Harmonia Mundi
Catalogue Number:
HMC 901745
Performance:
starstarstarstarnostar
Sound:
starstarstarnostarnostar
4
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
Vivaldi catered generously for the cello with 27 concertos for the instrument, another for two cellos and nine sonatas with continuo. Soloist Roel Dieltiens has already issued the first disc in his current exploration of these rewarding pieces; now he follows it up with seven further concertos, two of them calling for partnership with violin. Like his bassoon concertos, Vivaldi’s concertos for cello are rewarding not only for their highly imaginative solo writing, which both stretches and explores the instrument’s versatile character, but also for the richly varied ideas contained in their ritornellos. If there is a single dull movement to be found among these captivating works then I have yet to find it. Dieltiens, his violin partner, Christine Busch and Ensemble Explorations bring rhythmic vitality and crisp articulation to the outer movements while in slow ones they draw out their poetry – sometimes elegiac, sometimes purely lyrical – with eloquent phrasing, apposite ornament and a feeling for expansive gesture. My only criticism, and it is a small one, is that the chamber organ is a shade more intrusive than it should be, perhaps, in part because of a slightly over-reverberant acoustic. In Raphael Wallfisch’s excellent complete survey of these pieces (Naxos), the sound is better managed. Otherwise I have little but praise for the new issue. Nicholas Anderson
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