Vivaldi, Buonamente, Castello, Uccellini, Cavalli

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Buonamente,Castello,Cavalli,Uccellini,Vivaldi
LABELS: Linn
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Winged Lion
WORKS: Music by Vivaldi, Buonamente, Castello, Uccellini, Cavalli,
PERFORMER: Palladian Ensemble
CATALOGUE NO: CKD 015 DDD
The Winged Lion is a disappointing follow-up to the Palladian Ensemble’s acclaimed debut of last year. Comprising a selection of chamber music that was popular in 17th-century Venice (though not necessarily composed there), the disc tends towards the musically lightweight, with several pieces exerting only an ephemeral charm.

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Perhaps not surprisingly, it is the more familiar names who provide the CD’s brightest moments: Vivaldi’s two chamber concertos evince a typical panache and Cavalli’s Canzon is a model of stylish poise. Of the lesser-known works, I was intrigued by the flamboyant Sonata duodecima from Castello, by Vitali’s gently appealing Ciaconna and by Turini’s serene Sonata a tre.

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The Palladian Ensemble, for all their technical virtuosity, do not always sound at ease with this repertoire. Their at times over-emphatic approach inhibits the music’s flow and communicates a feeling of their playing ‘on their best behaviour’. It’s a shame too that the insert notes, though featuring several descriptions of Venice by 17th- and 18th-century British visitors, should include so little information on the composers and their music. Graham Lock