Vivaldi: Flute Concertos, RV 428 (Il gardellino), 429, 433 (La tempesta di mare), 434, 435, 437, 439, 440

COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: EMI
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi
WORKS: Flute Concertos, RV 428 (Il gardellino), 429, 433 (La tempesta di mare), 434, 435, 437, 439, 440
PERFORMER: Emmanuel Pahud (flute); Australian CO/Richard Tognetti
CATALOGUE NO: 347 2122
Vivaldi’s six Flute Concertos, Op. 10, have long been favourites among lovers of his music. They have enjoyed a constant presence in record catalogues for over half a century since Jean-Pierre Rampal made a recording still available in most European countries. Rampal’s flute playing in the 1950s was second to none and the small string ensemble under the direction of Louis de Froment was not so bad, but the idiosyncratic harpsichord continuo realisations by Robert Veyron-Lacroix were more than sufficient to prevent this very elderly recording from retaining any benchmark status. Emmanuel Pahud is an accomplished modern flautist and his account of these evergreen pieces is unlikely to disappoint listeners, even though some of his ideas are a little too tricksy and contrived for my taste. Fast movements bristle with energy while slower ones are executed with a feeling for lyricism. The orchestral support of the Australia Chamber Orchestra is alert and sympathetic and the perhaps too discreetly balanced harpsichord and organ continuo playing is clean and stylish. Two further flute concertos from the Vivaldi pool, but which were not included in the composer’s Op. 10, complete a mainly enjoyable programme but the bonus track mentioned in the booklet does not exist. Nicholas Anderson

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