Vivaldi/Geminiani

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Vivaldi/Geminiani
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Cello Sonatas RV40, 43, 45 & 46; Cello Sonatas Op. 5/3 & 6
PERFORMER: Heinrich Schiff (cello), Ton Koopman (harpsichord/organ), Jaap ter Linden (cello continuo)
CATALOGUE NO: 434 124-2 DDD
The combination of magnificent cello playing and a continuo to match makes this record a very happy venture. The recording, made in December 1991 in the Raphaëlkerk, Amsterdam, deserves a special word of praise: the microphone is not, as it is so often nowadays, placed too close to the harpsichord, and there is a very realistic distance between the continuo group and the solo cellist. It was also a very good idea to employ a delightful-sounding chamber organ for two of the Vivaldi sonatas, RV40 and RV43, making them real sonate da chiesa or church sonatas, as indeed they might have been in the first place. (The Vivaldi works were published in Paris towards the end of his life but not, it seems, supervised by him.) It was also a clever plan to break up the Vivaldi by introducing two amiably eccentric cello sonatas by the Lucca composer Francesco Geminiani who settled in Ireland but continued to publish in Paris, where these works appeared in 1746. A final word of praise for the notes, written by Michael Talbot and others. I am not really a fan of the solo cello, but I very much enjoyed this fine disc. HC Robbins Landon

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