Vivaldi: Laudate Dominum; Salve Regina; Concerto fatto per la solemnita della S Lingua di S Antonio in Padova; Concerto for Violin & Organ; Concerto for Violin & Cello

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COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: Avie
ALBUM TITLE: Music for the Chapel of the Pieta
WORKS: Laudate Dominum; Salve Regina; Concerto fatto per la solemnita della S Lingua di S Antonio in Padova; Concerto for Violin & Organ; Concerto for Violin & Cello
PERFORMER: Mhairi Lawson, Adrian Chandler, sarah McMahon, Robert Howarth, La Serenissima
CATALOGUE NO: AV 2063
Adrian Chandler, Mhairi Lawson and La Serenissima follow their successful ‘Vivaldi in Arcadia’ disc (reviewed March 2004) with a programme of vocal and instrumental music which the composer most probably wrote for the chapel of the Venetian Ospedale della Pietà. The most substantial piece here is the earliest of several settings which Vivaldi made of the Vespers psalm ‘Laudate pueri Dominum’. This one, loosely anchored to the key of C minor, is cast in ten sections and scored for soprano and strings. Though it possesses neither the radiance nor the virtuosity that characterises the later stylistically forward-looking G major setting for soprano (RV 602), it shares in common several happy instances of skilful word-painting, notably perhaps in the ‘A solis ortu’, where Vivaldi simply but aptly suggests the rising and setting sun. In this work and in the Salve regina antiphon of more modest dimensions, but probably belonging to the same period, Mhairi Lawson sings with secure intonation, expressive sensibility and pleasing warmth of colour. The ‘Et Jesum benedictum’ of the Salve regina is beautifully sung.

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Chandler is the solo violinist in four strongly contrasted concertos, all of which have been previously recorded. In two of them he is joined by organist Robert Howarth who, together with cellist Sarah McMahon (RV 544a), shares solo status. The lively, enthusiastic and stylish playing, caught in dryish sound, is infectious and deserves to win friends. Nicholas Anderson