Cimarosa, Albinoni, Marcello & Vivaldi

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COMPOSERS: Albinoni,Cimarosa,Marcello & Vivaldi
LABELS: Nimbus
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Oboe Concertos
WORKS: Works by Cimarosa, Albinoni, Marcello & Vivaldi
PERFORMER: John Anderson (oboe); Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Wright
CATALOGUE NO: NI 7027 DDD
Cimarosa’s Oboe Concerto makes an excellent introduction to this splendid programme. In this sensitive transcription of four single-movement keyboard sonatas, Arthur Benjamin’s exploitation of the oboe’s tonal characteristics comprehensively reveals the instrument’s expressive potential. Moreover, Anderson’s, and the Philharmonia’s, compelling mix of fluent phrasing and spirited virtuosity realises the oboe’s capacity to stir the emotions in a stylish, thoroughly convincing account.

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The remainder of the disc concentrates on the rich diversity of the Italian Baroque concerto. In Albinoni’s B flat major and D major concertos (Op. 7/3, 6), for example, Anderson’s spontaneous ornamentation strikingly animates the exuberant opening allegros and engagingly boisterous finales, while broad, flowing lines emphasise the pleading, vocal quality of the poignant adagios. Alessandro Marcello’s dreamy, Romantic,D minor Concerto, meanwhile, is given an atmospheric performance, enhanced by vivid recording, that evocatively captures the purposeful strength of its outer movements and yearning intensity of its melodious slow movement. To conclude, three concertos amply display Vivaldi’s magnificent orchestration and lively imagination. Sample the exquisitely sung, firm-toned aria of the D major Concerto’s largo, the boldly projected, brilliantly scored opening allegro of the F major Concerto, or the spacious grandeur of the majestic Concerto in A minor. Nicholas Rast